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Heartland - Haast Television – 1994 Popular Factual Documentary

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Heartland host Gary McCormick visits 'New Zealand's last frontier' - Haast on the West Coast. It's whitebait season, and Haast's population has increased five-fold. McCormick talks to whitebaiters on the Arawata River and a Department of Conservation Ranger, visits a "secret whitebaiters' town" and helps local residents prepare for the annual Whitebaiters' Ball. When McCormick asks what the best line for getting a girl to dance is, one of the locals tells him to say, "I've got a Valiant". The programme also touches on the tensions between some residents and conservationists.

Key Cast & Crew

Initially I believe it was called Camp Runamuck and over the years people have gradually adopted the word "kwitcha". And each hut is individually named Kwitchabitchin, Kwitchayappin, Kwitchasnoring, Kwitchabrewing... Collectively of course it's known as Kwitchatown.
– Ray Egan, on the curious whitebaiters' town of Kwitchatown on the Arawata river

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Anson Grieve Productions

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Anson grieve logo

Anson Grieve Productions

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Acknowledgements

Made with funding from NZ On Air