Collection

NZ On Air Top 20

Curated by Kathryn Quirk

NZ On Air began funding local content in 1989. Timing in with the launch of a new funding system, this collection looks back at the 20 most watched NZ On Air-funded programmes over the years (aside from news and sports). Ratings information is only available from 1995, so this is how things have shaped up from 1995 to 2016 — plus some bonus titles. Most of the Top 20 has been captioned. Ex NZ On Air exec Kathryn Quirk tells us here how the complete list rated, while original NZOA boss Ruth Harley remembers how it all began.

Open Door - Pegasus Dance

Television, 2007 (Full Length)

The programme in the Open Door series follows a unique partnership between the Pegasus Unit — a special needs unit at Pakuranga college — and Auckland University Dance students, as they work together to produce a dance performance in just four weeks. The Pegasus Unit students blossom, and both groups of students learn from each other as the big day approaches.

Attitude - First Episode

Television, 2005 (Full Length Episode)

This first episode of this long-running show about people living with disabilities starts with a profile on presenter Nikki Sturrock, plus highlights from the TASC (Association for Spinal Concerns) Show Off Day — including leisure activities geared for disabilities. The programme then heads to the The Beehive for a chat with then Minister of Disability Issues, Ruth Dyson. Finally Attitude profiles a mother and daughter running their own lawn mowing and gardening business — Masport comes to the party with a specially-adapted mower.

Series

Queer Nation

Television, 1996–2004

Queer Nation was a factual series made by, for and about lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender (LGBT) New Zealanders. Produced by Livingstone Productions with John A Givins at the helm, it screened on TVNZ for 11 seasons over nine years from 1996 till 2004 and was the world's longest running free-to-air TV programme made for the LGBT community. Long-serving presenters included original host (and future NZ On Screen ScreenTalk director) Andrew Whiteside, Libby Magee and Nettie Kinmott. Queer Nation won Best Factual Series at the NZ Television Awards 2003.

Open Door - Alzheimers

Television, 2006 (Full Length)

This episode of Open Door gives insight into the lives of a diverse group of families affected by Alzheimers disease. The programme explores how each of the families deal with their unique situation and face up to the different challenges the disease presents as it develops, examining the hardships and positive times.

Series

Open Door

Television, 2000–2012

Open Door was a unique form of community-based television that allowed groups or individuals to apply to make a documentary programme about an issue – be it family, social, sexual, political, religious, that involves or concerns them. Production company Morningside Productions, then worked with TV3 to select the 10 best proposals. The programmes were made using the expertise and equipment of the production team, but with participants taking editorial control. Funded by New Zealand On Air and broadcast on TV3, Open Door ran for 12 seasons. 

Open Door - Back Up

Television, 2006 (Full Length)

Back-Up New Zealand provides outdoor exciting adventure activity courses (which include rock climbing, gliding, canoeing, scuba diving, and blo-carting), for people with disabilities. This episode of the Open Door series focuses on a group of course participants in the programme who have an intellectual disability. Their week long course sees them experiencing the fears overcoming the challenges; the excitement, the personal growth and the sheer joy of adventuring into the outdoors.

Open Door - Chinese New Zealand

Television, 2006 (Full Length)

This episode of the Open Door series focuses on Chinese New Zealanders of different backgrounds coming to terms with their multiple identities, while living in New Zealand. The documentary explores how their Chinese ethnic origin and the conflicting attitudes of parents and peer groups can cause problems. The people interviewed have embraced the positive aspects of two different cultures; they share their personal experiences and opinions on the best way forward for New Zealand as an increasingly multi-cultural nation.

Open Door - Road to Recovery

Television, 2007 (Full Length)

This programme in the Open Door series follows a group of people who have successfully conquered their mental illness and are now contributing to society. They talk about what caused their health problems and what it is that keeps them healthy. Creativity is a common theme. On their road to recovery many discovered hidden talents with which they now enrich their lives and the lives of others.

Series

Attitude

Television, 2005–Ongoing

Attitude is a weekly series that addresses the issues and interests of people living with a disability. The high energy series launched in 2008, with a strong thread of advocacy journalism. Attitude has a number of team members who themselves have a disability, including all the onscreen researcher/reporters. Much of Attitude's content has been loaded onto online hub Attitude Live, which launched in 2013 and later beat 86 countries to win a World Summit Award in the 'inclusion and empowerment' category — plus praise for digital innovation.