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Telecom One New Zealand Challenge

4 October, 1999
JOINT MEDIA RELEASE
TELECOM and TVNZ

TELECOM ONE NEW ZEALAND CHALLENGE


New Zealand’s leading broadcaster and New Zealand’s leading telecommunications company have joined together in a programme designed to put every New Zealander on screen for the Millennium.

Called THE TELECOM ONE NEW ZEALAND CHALLENGE, it will involve giving 3.8 million New Zealanders the opportunity to become involved in a 30 hour programme reflecting New Zealand celebrating the arrival of the new Millennium.

From 6pm on New Year’s Eve to midnight on 1 January, TV ONE cameras will, at some stage, be in almost every city, town and hamlet in New Zealand giving the people of this country an opportunity to share in the celebrations of fellow New Zealanders. In addition the programme will be screening the contributions of New Zealanders prepared over the next three months and sent in for screening on the programme.

TVNZ Chief Executive, Rick Ellis said the aim of the Challenge is to get as many New Zealanders on television as possible in a broadcast which will chart that moment in time as a nation moves from one millennium to the next.

“This is something that could only happen in New Zealand. We have the technology, the capability, the support of Telecom and a small enough population to make it feasible. All we need now is to tap into the spirit of this country as New Zealanders realise that they have the opportunity to participate in what will be an absolutely unique experience.

“While THE TELECOM ONE NEW ZEALAND CHALLENGE will cover all the official events, such as the sunrise at the Chathams and the Millennium concert, this concept is designed not so much to reflect New Zealand to the outside world as to reflect New Zealand to New Zealanders.

Theresa Gattung, Chief Executive of Telecom hoped all New Zealanders would realise what a wonderful opportunity this is.

“I would love to see every New Zealander take this chance to see their own experience on air,” she said.

“Whether it’s a school in Kaitaia recording its millennium song: a family in Christchurch in their living room saying who they are and their dreams for the future, or a staff social club from a factory in Petone performing a dance, it is all reflective of who we are and where we are at the end of the Millennium.

“This is a concept with soul.

“It is also a demonstration of the technological capability of both organisations delivering two streams of programming via television as well as live and on demand via Telecom’s Internet service Xtra. This is the largest ever application in New Zealand of this leading edge web technology.

“For the first time ever new Zealanders around the world will be able to see fellow Kiwis celebrating the new Millennium live and on demand.”

“This innovative technology will create a visual time capsule for future generations of New Zealanders to treasure.”

The broadcast will require hundreds of people from both TV ONE and Telecom, and will be the biggest live broadcast ever produced in this country.

ends



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