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Uniquely New Zealand

21 May 2004

Uniquely New Zealand

NZ On Air has given the funding nod to two television projects that will portray New Zealand stories in two remarkably different ways, the agency announced today.

Chief Executive Jo Tyndall said the two widely diverse productions will offer insights into events that could only happen in New Zealand – one through the eyes of an experienced documentary team, and the other with an irreverent, humorous approach.

“The Kaipara Affair is a documentary project that we’ve seen develop over quite a few months,” Ms Tyndall said. “It first came to in the wake of the documentary symposium we held last year.

“It’s a 90 minute programme that is particularly timely, in that it examines a community solution to the conflict that can arise when lifestyle sub-divisions begin to encroach on traditionally held New Zealand land.”

The Kaipara Affair focuses on the community of Tinopai on the Kaipara harbour, and the ownership issues surrounding the development of land in that area.

“Interviews – in both Mâori and English – will tease out the issues, from a variety of people with vested interest,” said Ms Tyndall. “The programme will endeavour to show all sides of the story, and demonstrate how a close-knit community is dealing with the situation. It’s a fascinating story.”

In a more light-hearted vein, a series from the team responsible for TV2’s Eating Media Lunch has also been given the go-ahead.

“I know I’m plagiarising Monty Python’s Flying Circus,” Jo Tyndall said, “but I have to begin by saying, ‘And now for something completely different’. The Unauthorised History of New Zealand is a clever new comedy series that takes a look at New Zealand history with an accent on trying to see the funny side.

“It is presented by Jeremy Wells from Eating Media Lunch, and will feature events from our recent – and not so recent – past, using some archive footage, and following a ‘theme’ to connect the events through each discrete episode.

“We’ll be seeing appalling television moments, great Kiwi achievements, distinguished visitors, and a host of other uniquely New Zealand moments, with a commentary that is bound to provide a lot of laughs,” she said.

Funding details:

The Kaipara Affair

$130,000 1 x 1½ hour Broadcaster: TVNZ (TV ONE) Producer: Don Selwyn He Taonga Films

The Unauthorised History of New Zealand

$281,378 7 x ½ hour Broadcaster: TVNZ (TV2) Producer: Paul Casserly Great Southern Television

ENDS

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