Alma Woods, MBE, founded Howick Little Theatre in 1954, soon after sailing from London. Occasional screen roles punctuated a long love affair with theatre. In the 60s she acted in two Pacific Films productions, then won a legion of fans voicing puppet mouse Willie McNab for TV's Chicaboom and Chic Chat. Her dramatic chops came to the fore in tele-films Hanlon: In Search of Minnie Deans and Mother Tongue. She died on 24 October 2005.
The consummate all-rounder, Murray Wood began arranging and performing music for television in the 1970s. Later he founded computer sales company MagnumMac, and spent seven years as managing director of Canterbury Television. Wood died in the collapse of the CTV building, in the earthquake of February 22 2011.
Irene Wood was showing her versatility from the early days of Kiwi television: by 1968 she had already been on screen presenting children's shows, singing, and playing Katherine Mansfield in TV play The White Gardenia. Since then Wood has acted in murder mystery Slipknot, Shortland Street, movie Rest for the Wicked, and won fans after playing Nan for five seasons of Go Girls.
After a stint at The NZ Herald, Susan Wood moved into television in the 1980s. There she would anchor the news and election coverage, present her own interview show (Today Live) and was one of the original hosts on Breakfast (alongside Mike Hosking). She was also the first Australian correspondent for One News. After Paul Holmes’ departure for Prime, Wood hosted prime time show Close Up for two years. In 2013 she began a stint as presenter of political show Q+A.
After working his way up through the ranks of TVNZ in the 80s, producer Gavin Wood travelled the world to work on reality game shows across 10 countries. Alongside work on the local versions of popular game shows such as Wheel of Fortune, he produced live coverage of the 2011 Rugby World Cup opening ceremony on the Auckland waterfront — which went live to 1.5 billion people worldwide.
The trademark warm, jangling sound of veteran Flying Nun band The Bats masks a Robert Scott lyric about emotional numbness on this song from their debut album Daddy's Highway. Director Jonathan Ogilvie's clip features a chainsaw of Damocles and the ventriloquist's dummy from the album cover — and a poignant Christchurch location. The distinctive, triangular ANZ Bank Chambers (where the band members play on the balconies) and surrounding buildings at the intersection of Manchester, High and Lichfield streets were devastated in the city's earthquakes.
The Great Unwashed were an eclectic spin-off of legendary band The Clean. 'Neck of the Woods' comes from the later, louder period of their short existence. The accompanying video has a touch of experimental film to it. Alongside trademark Flying Nun primitive animation, and stand-in guitarist Stuart Page wearing a loopy mask, the lyrical mentions of sun and moon are imbued by psychedelic lightshow effects, ala 2001: A Space Odyssey (although on a somewhat tighter budget). The video was allegedly shot at TVNZ Christchurch’s studios, on the Miss New Zealand set.
Television producer Gavin Wood has worked on some of New Zealand’s biggest game shows and live events. His first producing role saw him bring Sale of the Century to our screens, which was soon joined by Wheel of Fortune. His career path led him from TVNZ to TV3, then offshore working for FremantleMedia. Returning to New Zealand, Wood turned his producing talents to the third season of New Zealand Idol, TV coverage of the state funeral of Sir Paul Reeves, and the Pike River and Christchurch earthquake memorial services.
Susan Wood is one of New Zealand’s most experienced TV news and current affairs presenters. Beginning in print journalism, Wood soon moved to TVNZ, where she stayed for 20+ years. Wood has a number of firsts to her career, including first TVNZ foreign correspondent (Sydney); first host of Midday News; and first host (with Mike Hosking) of TV ONE’s Breakfast.
Irene Wood has played Katherine Mansfield, a nymphomaniac pensioner, and a gin-toting grandma to a Go Girl. Her screen career first got busy in the early days of NZ TV, as an actor, TV presenter, and musical performer. Years later she would snare what is probably her best-known role: as a hard-drinking grandma over five seasons of hit show Go Girls. Wood has also appeared on Shortland Street and in movies Rest for the Wicked and The Shirt.