This documentary tells the 25-year history of Kohanga Reo via the influential figure of Iritana Tāwhiwhirangi (2014 New Zealander of the Year finalist). Kohanga Reo is a world-leading educational movement that revitalised Māori language, “by giving it back to the children”. Not eschewing controversy, director Tainui Stephens’ film journeys from a time when students were punished for speaking Māori to a present where they can have ‘total immersion’ schooling in te reo. The Qantas Award-nominated doco screened on Māori Television, and at indigenous festival ImagineNATIVE.
Studio 2 Live (also known as Studio 2) was a long-running TV2 kids show that screened in the after school slot. The programming included prizes, interviews, and travels around New Zealand. This excerpt is a 2010 bloopers reel from one of those trips: a 'Mission-On 2 Town' visit to the town of Franz Josef. Presenters Jordan Vandermade and Dayna Vawdrey see a sign at the local school and sing about it, Jordan stumbles on the ice, and over his lines in the dark; a giant kiwi abseils, uses the dunny, and loses his head. And almost everybody does some dancing.
Manurewa-bred Kiel McNaughton followed stunt work and study at Unitec with a five year stint playing beloved Shortland Street nurse James 'Scotty' Scott. Alongside his wife Kerry Warkia, he founded Brown Sugar Apple Grunt Productions in 2006, where he has directed shows Fine Me a Māori Bride, This is Piki, and Nia’s Extra Ordinary Life, New Zealand’s first web series for kids. McNaughton and Warkia went on to produce anthology movies Waru and Vai, which was shot across the Pacific. In April 2019 production began on McNaughton's debut feature as director: action movie The Legend of Baron To'a.