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Border Patrol Achieved Most Watched Programme

9 July 2002

Border Patrol Television Series Achieved Most Watched Programme In New Zealand

The success of TV series Border Patrol has exceeded the expectations of New Zealand's key border agencies - New Zealand Customs Service and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) Quarantine Service.

Comptroller of Customs Robin Dare says the series has been tremendously successful in giving New Zealanders an insight to some of the behind the scenes work performed at the border by both Customs and MAF.

"Our services work in the interests of all New Zealanders, but most have never seen what we do on their behalf. Border Patrol has allowed us to open the doors, and it appears New Zealanders like what they see. We’ve had a lot of positive comment about the professionalism of our staff and the way they manage difficult situations.

Viewer ratings show the just completed 10 week run of the documentary TV series has struck a chord with the New Zealand public, says biosecurity awareness programme manager Melissa Wilson.

"Since first airing in May Border Patrol topped the weekly ratings five times, making it the most watched programme in New Zealand in those weeks. The fact this has coincided with our awareness programme and with Protect New Zealand Week has been a happy coincidence and has certainly resulted in heightening the public's appreciation of the daunting task border agency staff deal with day in and day out," says Melissa.

The ratings, measuring the viewing audience, climbed each week. The first episode rated 45.7 percent in the 5+audience share, and that increased to 54.5 percent. Border Patrol also rated well in the 18-year age bracket reaching 43.2 percent of the viewing population.

Given the groundswell of genuine interest, production of a second series by independent television production company, Cream TV, is likely. “They’ve done a great job of telling our stories in a way that New Zealanders can relate to," says Robin Dare.

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