Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 

Once Upon A Time In Northland

Thanks to Taika Waititi’s recent Oscar win, the New Zealand film industry is getting more and more attention, and a group of Northlanders are planning to get themselves quite literally, in, on all the action.

With funding and support from Northland DHB and Te Hau Āwhiowhio ō Otangarei Trust, a group of 11 people ranging in age from 15 to 60 years completed their second stunt workshop with Dayna Grant from New Zealand Stunt School (NZSS) last week. Their next goal is to hit the ground running working as extras or stunt performers in the industry as soon as they can.

The majority of the group are part of the Rākau Rangatira programme which helps beneficiaries or those who have experienced difficulties with alcohol, drugs or mental health obtain skills and resources to gain employment.

Northland DHB employment specialist Lee Colvin who works alongside the Trust arranged for NZSS to come up and work with the group after unemployed 20 year old Hamuera Henare-Neho told her he was interested in acting.

Lee swiftly approached Dayna, who has been in the industry for over 20 years, working as a stunt coordinator and double for Hollywood stars like Charlize Theron, Tilda Swinton and Gwyneth Paltrow. Dayna said when Lee got in contact and gave her some background about the group, she said she could fully relate to their situation and was keen to work with them.

“I was there once – I was kicked out of school, had ADHD and couldn’t sit in an office. But, because of my background in gymnastics, horse riding and dancing, someone at my gym suggested I go for a stunt double job.

“I got it – but only because someone gave me a chance.”

Since their first workshop in December, the group have been meeting fortnightly to train at the Trust’s gym in Otangarei and keep regular contact through a private Facebook page, which has helped cement their bond as a group. They coined themselves Team 19 and blew Lee and Dayna away with the commitment they have made to getting fit in preparation for the two day workshop last week.

Dayna said the whole team have the makings of good stunt performers because they are quick to pick everything up, are well-coordinated and naturally good at doing stunts.

“It’s been incredible. They have all come out of the shell since the first workshop - and are more confident, fitter and healthier. It seems to have changed them a lot.

“What we do as stunt performers is jump off waterfalls on set – these guys do that already. You don’t need to go to a high diving pool to learn that. Most of these guys ride horses, and they’re good in the water.”

She said a good stunt performer is an all-rounder, a team player and someone with guts who is excited about learning new skills.

Seeing the group’s progress has proven to her that they are worthy candidates to put forward for roles and she is prepared to support them all the way because they are so eager.

“I love being able to teach people who want to learn – these guys have a lot of drive, and I’ve got all the time in the world for people like that.”

Dayna has already arranged for six of the group to work as extras on Avatar 2 in Wellington in the coming months and is confident that they will do well. She said the stunt industry is more than just performing – there is action acting, rigging for those who are good with heights and knots, stunt driving and horse riding.

“Because it’s such a small industry once they get a step in the door and people get to know them, there will be plenty of work ahead.”

Group leader Toby Kaipo who also works for the Trust says Team 19 are determined to make the most of this opportunity and get themselves noticed on set in the hope it will lead on to more work.

“We will go to set early, offer to help clean up and spend our days off observing Dayna. She has shown faith in us, and it’s inspired us all to work harder.”

Three of the original workshop attendees have already gone on to get permanent work since December. Two of whom had been unemployed for over 15 years. Lee said this proves if you throw people into a job just for the sake of it – it won’t make a difference. If you find out what they’re interested in, that is when they get motivated.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Why Big Spenders Are Not Our Tourism Salvation


Covid and climate change have been changing the face of tourism. That’s why it seemed oddly premature last week for Tourism Minister Stuart to announce that New Zealand isn’t interested in mass tourism any more, or in attracting the sort of budget visitors who “travel around our country on $10 a day eating two-minute noodles.” Instead, New Zealand aims to focus its marketing efforts on attracting wealthy, big spending tourists. “In terms of targeting our marketing spin,” Nash said, “it is unashamedly going to be at … High-quality tourists.” Really? The comments have raised a few eyebrows overseas, and a few hackles here at home. Nash’s comments have also been something of a gift to an Opposition adept at portraying the Ardern government as a bunch of liberal elitists out of touch with ordinary people...
More>>




 
 

National: Surgical Wait List Hits New Record
A new record has been set for New Zealanders waiting more than four months for surgery, National’s Health spokesperson Dr Shane Reti says... More>>


School Strike 4 Climate: Intergenerational Climate Strike On September 23rd
Once again School Strike for climate Ōtautahi (Christchurch) is asking all students to unite in a call to all council candidates to #voteclimate. Happening on Friday 23rd of September... More>>

Privacy Commissioner: Public Input Sought To Inform Privacy Rules For Biometrics
Privacy Commissioner Michael Webster is encouraging New Zealanders to have their say on the use of biometric information in Aotearoa New Zealand... More>>


Government: Wage Growth Best On Record
Workers’ have experienced their biggest pay hike on record, outstripping inflation. Stats NZ figures show median weekly earnings from wages and salaries jumped by 8.8 percent in the June year... More>>

Human Rights Commission: Urgent Government Action Needed To Support Renters’ Human Rights
An immediate freeze on rent increases could give renters some reprieve during the cost-of-living crisis says Te Kahui Tika Tangata, the Human Rights Commission... More>>


Government: Creating Sustainable Public Transport For All
Workers and public transport users are at the heart of the new Sustainable Public Transport Framework, Transport Minister Michael Wood announced today... More>>


 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels