Accent on Kiwi

Thus linguistic spotlight takes a look at sux pieces of fentestic New Zealand television that focus on the Kiwi ecceent. It includes a compilation that compresses 21 years of local TV news reading into four minutes, the inimitable Karyn Hay — who dared to front Radio With Pictures speaking in her own accent — classic Kiwi put-down “Jeez, Wayne”, and John Clarke Face to Face with Kim Hill, remembering archetypal Kiwi bloke Fred Dagg. Beaut!

 

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New Zild - The Story of New Zealand English

Television, 2005 (Documentary, Captioned)

Oft-derided across the dutch for its vowel-mangling pronunciation (sex fush'n'chups anyone?) and too fast-paced for tourists and Elton John to understand, is New Zealand's unique accent. Presented by Jim Mora, New Zild follows the evolution of New Zealand English, from the "colonial twang" to Billy T. Linguist Elizabeth Gordon explains the infamous HRT (High Rising Terminal) ending our sentences, and Mora interprets such phrases as 'air gun' (how are you going?). Features Lyn of Tawa in an accent face-off with Sam Neill and Judy Bailey.

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Reading the News

Television, 1966 - 1987 (Documentary)

This archival compendium of Kiwi newsreaders in the hot seat compresses 21 years of footage into four minutes. Sixties BBC-style newsreader Bill Toft tells viewers about a court trial involving pirate station Radio Hauraki; Philip Sherry covers the 1970 shooting of four students at Ohio's Kent State University; and pioneering female newsreader Jennie Goodwin talks weather matters, using graphics and a roller-door style arrangement that now looks sweetly low-tech. The footage also includes the late Angela D'Audney, and long-serving news team Richard Long and Judy Bailey.

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Radio with Pictures - Live at Mainstreet montage

Television, 1983 (Music)

Dressed as a 1920's flapper bride, Karyn Hay introduces highlights from the TVNZ rock show’s televised concerts at the now demolished Mainstreet Cabaret on Auckland's Queen Street. The songs are Dance Exponents' 'All I Can Do' (with a sweaty Jordan Luck), an impassioned 'Billy Bold' from Graham Brazier's Legionnaires, Hip Singles' 'After the Party' (with snappy high kicks from Dick Driver), a brassy 'Outlook for Thursday' from Dave Dobbyn's DD Smash, a rocking 'Look the Other Way' from The Narcs and Coconut Rough's moment in the sun 'Sierra Leone'.

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Lyn of Tawa - In Search of the Great New Zealand Male

Television, 1994 (Documentary)

Kiwi icon Lyn of Tawa (Ginette McDonald) — she of mangled vowel fame — goes on the prowl in search of the ultimate Kiwi bloke. The girl-from-the-suburb's mission takes in the gamut of masculine mythology, from Man Alone to mateship, as Lyn provides manthropological reflections ("can a woman ever be a mate?"). Made when the good keen man was facing up to the challenge from SNAGs, the documentary travels from the West Coast (for sex education) to a men's club, from rugby scrums to rabbit culls, and meets hunters, lawyers, students and gay ten-pin bowlers.

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Face to Face with Kim Hill - John Clarke

Television, 2004 (News/Current Affairs)

Kim Hill interviews comedy legend John Clarke at his home in Melbourne. In this excerpt, Clarke talks about influences — both famous, and less so — how easily humour travels, and the birth of his iconic Fred Dagg character in the early 70s, with his black singlet, a hat given to Clarke by his sister, and some torn-off trousers from television's wardrobe department. Clarke talks about New Zealand being far from alone in claiming to have a laconic, understated style of humour, and how he thinks the country is seen overseas. 

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A Week of It - First Episode

Television, 1977 (Comedy)

A Week of It was a pioneering satire series that entertained and often outraged audiences from 1977 to 1979, with its irreverent take at topical issues. This first episode opens with a literal investigation into what Labour politician Bill Rowling is like in bed, and then Prime Minister Muldoon gets a lei (!). McPhail launches his famous Muldoon impression, Annie Whittle does Nana Mouskouri; and the Nixon Frost interview is reprised as a pop song: "Let's rip the whole world off". The well-known Gluepot Tavern skit wraps the show: "Jeez Wayne".