Play

00:00

/

00:00

Full screen
Video quality

Low 0 MB

High 0 MB

HD 0 MB

Captions
Volume
Volume

After School - Māorimind (Episode)

Television (Full Length Episode) – 1981

A perspective

After School was a links programme for children on weekday afternoons, hosted by Olly Ohlson.  It linked local programmes such as Video Dispatch and W3 as well as imported children’s programmes.

Ohlson was New Zealand’s first Māori presenter to front his own children’s programme. He was also the first to incorporate te reo Māori and sign language in a meaningful way into a New Zealand television programme. His catch phrase 'keep cool til After School' with accompanying sign language, became a well known phrase and part of the Kiwi vernacular.

After School was created by producer Ian Cumming, who gave Ohlson the freedom to research and write his own scripts. This gave Ohlson confidence in his material, and allowed for a natural on-screen persona, “the way I spoke was the way I wrote” recalls Ohlson.

The key to Ohlson’s natural delivery on air was to pretend that he was talking to his daughters, Kiri and Jodie, who used to watch the show. “I wanted the kids to think I was talking to them as individuals, not just to ‘you guys out there’.”

After School was on air during a time that pressure was mounting on Television New Zealand. It was to provide a positive male role model to cater for increasing number of children from single parent families, and to produce a minimum 12% of Māori content on air. A native speaker of Māori (he is Ngāti Whare/Tuhoe), Ohlson was in a position to use a significant level of te reo Māori in the programme.  

Ohlson recalls that the response from viewers was overwhelmingly positive. In a programme called Kupu he asked young viewers “to research their street name or the name of the hill near their house, so they might find out a bit about their Māori history”. The show was flooded with mail. As a result After School set up a Projects Corner called Kupu (‘word’ in Māori). Kupu featured children’s artwork, stories, letters etc. and it became very popular. Extra production staff had to be taken on to deal with the influx of mail created by Kupu.

After School had its own resident veterinarian, and its own dog. Abbie was a Cairn Terrier who lived with Ohlson and went to work with him each day. But After School is famous for the birth of a creature far more eccentric. A huge egg sat in the studio for a few weeks until the day it began to hatch. The birth of Thingee was one of the most dramatic and memorable episodes of After School. Thingee, the odd-looking puppet with the bulbous nose and nasal voice (played by Alan Henderson) went on to become a children’s TV star in his own right.

With new producer Bryan Allpress in 1987, After School got a revamp with a new presenter, Richard Evans and co-presenter Annie Roach. In 1988 Annie continued for a short time with a new presenter – Jason Gunn, before Jason flew solo under producer Michelanne Forster. After School ended in 1989.

If you liked this, you might also like...

Series

After School

After School was a hosted links format...

Collection

The Matariki Collection

A selection of iconic Māori TV, film and music video for...

Collection

Top 40 NZ TV Classics

This Kiwi TV collection brings together 40 local TV...

Collection

Classic TV Catchphrases

Classic moments where a few choice words become the...

Collection

Kids Classics

"Keep cool till after school" with this collection of...

What Now? - 1991 Christmas Special

Another classic NZ children's show

Te Karere - Waitangi Day 1984

News programme in Te Reo Māori

Play School - Presenter Compilation

Another classic kids show

Ready to Roll - Nice One Stu excerpts

Another classic kids show

The Simon Eliot Show

A modern kids TV show

Blackhearted Barney Blackfoot

A short fantasy film for children

Nice One - Christmas Show

More classic children's television

After School - Thingee

Another excerpt from After School

Series

Spot On

Another classic kids show

The W Three Show - 1980 Final

A quiz show for intermediate age kids

Network New Zealand

Olly Ohlson features in this doco

Weekly Review No. 324 - Māori School

Earlier Māori education

Let My Whakapapa Speak

A doco on the Kohanga Reo movement

What Now? - Te Reo Episode

More te reo on kids TV

It's in the Bag - Opunake (Series Four, Episode Six)

Another bilingual quiz show

The Video Dispatch - 15 December 1983

More after school TV from the era

Here's Andy

Another legendary children's TV presenter

Mai FM - It's Cool to Kōrero

More te reo broadcasting

Tahi

More pioneering TV te reo

Kōrero Mai - Series Five, Episode One

More reo for young people

Studio 2 Live - Bloopers (Series Seven)

A later TVNZ after school show

Pūkana - 2015 Episode

More reo for rangatahi