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RNZ To Launch Dynamic Web Series And Podcast 'The Citizen's Handbook' Featuring Top Kiwi Comedians

RNZ have today announced a brand-new web series and podcast titled The Citizen’s Handbook. The ten-part comedy and civics class from the creators of popular satire White Man Behind a Desk will launch on Thursday 16th April. All episodes will be available to view and listen to on RNZ’s website. 

Co-created by the award-winning duo Robbie Nicol and Finnius Teppett, The Citizen’s Handbook tackles the important issues of New Zealand history and today, teaching Kiwis how to be a good citizen. The innovative web series and podcast covers five topics in a fun and accessible way: history, politics, law, economics and international relations.

A host of well-known comedians and actors feature in each episode of The Citizen’s Handbook, including Tom Sainsbury, Eli Matthewson, Kura Forrester, Jamaine Ross, Brynley Stent, Shavaughn Ruakere and more.

The Citizen’s Handbook podcast sees Robbie Nicol competing against a comedian in explaining New Zealand civics, told in fact and fiction.

Co-creator and host Robbie Nicol commented: “We want to tell people how New Zealand came to be and how it works, so they know that if the current system isn't working for them - they can change it. We talked to a bunch of smart people to make sure we got our facts right, and brought in New Zealand’s best comedians to make it the funniest it could be. We’re really proud of it, and hopefully it’s the combination of light entertainment and community spirit that we’re looking for in this weird time.”

Finnius Teppett, co-creator, added: “Researching and writing this series made us angry, frustrated, sad, hopeful, bewildered, and grateful. But mostly just really, really bewildered. So many urgently important stories leapt out at us, and so many unbelievable jokes just wrote themselves. We cover a lot of ground in the series, and we get to be quite naughty and silly, but hopefully it’s enough to get our audience to start looking at our country in a new, more critical way.”

RNZ Head of Commissioning, Kay Ellmers commented: “We’re committed to keeping Aotearoa informed, connected and entertained during these uncertain times. The Citizen’s Handbook empowers audiences with the knowledge of how our country came to be, how it currently works, and how we can face the challenges that lie ahead.”

Produced by Kevin & Co, The Citizen’s Handbook puts the focus onto the actions of people, and by highlighting the power of human action in creating the present, the series demonstrates that New Zealanders actions can have a powerful impact on the future.

In addition to the web series and podcast, a virtual event for The Citizen’s Handbook is planned for Thursday 16th April. A kaupapa will be led by co-creators Robbie Nicol and Finnius Teppet to connect audiences from the comfort of their own homes. More information to follow soon.

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