This documentary presents insight into the man most New Zealanders know as the Māori radical with a moko. Delving beyond the sensational headlines, Tame Iti is presented in the context of his whānau and beliefs. Iti tells his own story: from growing up in his beloved Urewera, and his role in Ngā Tamatoa, to heroes (Kenana, Guevara), moko, match-making and a late-starting art career. Iti’s children reflect candidly on an activist father who “is a kid at heart”. The doco screened on TV2, prior to Iti’s arrest during the infamous 2007 ‘Urewera raids’.
Directed by Peter Burger (Until Proven Innocent), this top-rating tele-feature dramatised the life story of legendary comedian Billy T James. Billy screened on 21 August 2011 as a Sunday Theatre drama on TV One, 20 years after Billy T’s death, aged just 42. Actor Tainui Tukiwaho (Step Dave) plays Billy T. Touted as revealing "the man behind the chuckle", the drama traverses Billy T’s life from childhood. This excerpt follows Billy as he reaches the peak of his career, fronting TV skits and pub stand-up. It was adapted by Briar Grace Smith and Dave Armstrong from the Matt Elliott biography.
Weekly media commentary show Media Take focuses on the week's news and new media developments. Frontman Russell Brown and a team of panellists analyse how certain issues are presented. In front of a live studio audience they cover traditional outlets (TV, radio and newspapers) and also look at the internet, advertising, PR and new technology. The show began life as Media7 on digital channel TVNZ 7; it shifted networks to TV3 after TVNZ 7's 2012 shut down, and was reborn on Māori Television as Media Take in 2014.
Created by Gavin Strawhan and Rachel Lang, Jackson’s Wharf was set in a fictional coastal town and revolved around a sibling rivalry between brothers Frank (the town cop) and Ben Jackson (a big smoke lawyer). Returning with his family, golden boy Ben has controversially inherited the local pub from his recently deceased father. Produced by South Pacific Pictures, the one hour popular drama screened for two seasons. Writer James Griffin and director Niki Caro worked on the show, alongside much of the talent who would later create Mercy Peak and Outrageous Fortune.
A TV network hires actor Kevin Smith to front a documentary about a town divided by an unusual discovery. Gooey Duck — a shellfish with reputed aphrodisiac qualities — has appeared off Ureroa. The quota is owned by a local couple but the rest of the town, big business, the government and the local iwi all have their own ideas. Smith's involvement gets complicated when he innocently consumes the mollusk while watching Prime Minister Jenny Shipley on TV. Writer Stephen Sinclair satiries television, celebrity, gender, politicis, small town New Zealand and penises.
This documentary explores the 1970s/80s protest movement through six key activists and their children. Green MP Sue Bradford's daughter Katie protested with her mother at age six. Te Whenua Harawira, born during the 1978 Bastion Point occupation, led the 2004 Foreshore and Seabed hikoi. Also: Che Fu, son of Polynesian Panthers founder Tigilau Ness; Toi Iti, son of Tuhoe activist Tame Iti; and Joseph Minto, whose Dad John organised protests against the Springbok Tour. It won Best Māori Language Programme at the 2008 Qantas Film and TV Awards.
Laurie Clarke began his career in 1983, as an editor for Australia’s ABC. Back home for the birth of TV3, he later spent nine years directing and producing for news show 20/20. Clarke is currently a company director at Top Shelf Productions; his list of credits includes Target, What's Really in Our Food, Making New Zealand, Heritage Rescue, and long-running media commentary show Media Take.
After time as a music journalist and a London OE, media commentator Russell Brown founded pioneering NZ online community Public Address (he writes their Hard News blog). Brown is known on screen for Media Take (co-hosted with Toi Iti), which dissects contemporary media. The show began in 2008 as Media7 before moving to TV3, then Māori Television. Brown is a long-serving board member of NZ On Screen.
Hone Kouka studied English Literature at Otago University, then acting at Toi Whakaari. A leading figure in Māori theatre, Kouka is an acclaimed playwright (including The Prophet, which was filmed for TV in 2012). He has also written for the screen; he studied screenwriting at Amsterdam's Binger Institute, and co-wrote dance movie Born to Dance and NZ TV Award-winning Treaty of Waitangi drama Ngā Tohu: Signatures. In the mid 2000s Kouka executive produced a run of successful short films (Nature’s Way, Run) and worked in development at the NZ Film Commission, advising on films like Boy and The Orator.