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On the death of Shirley Maddock, ONZM

11 October 2001 Media Statement

On the death of Shirley Maddock, ONZM,
New Zealand broadcasting pioneer and author

Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Judith Tizard today expressed her sadness at the death of Shirley Maddock, and paid tribute to the significant role she played in bringing New Zealand's social history into the public arena.

Shirley Frances Whitley Maddock Easther died on 10 October, aged 72. She was made an officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 1999 for services to broadcasting and New Zealand historical literature.

"Shirley Maddock was a trailblazer in New Zealand broadcasting. With a background in theatre, radio and American television, she became New Zealand's first woman television producer. She wrote the first television news script broadcast in New Zealand and conducted the first television interview," said Judith Tizard.

"Shirley Maddock produced several major documentary series, including 'Islands of the Gulf' which was followed by a successful book of the same name. She researched and wrote several non-fiction works on early New Zealand social history, as well as the novel 'With Gently Smiling Jaws'.

"She was also a great talent-spotter, launching the radio and television career of the 'galloping gourmet' Graham Kerr.

"Shirley Maddock's contribution to broadcasting and literature has increased our self-confidence as a nation, by presenting New Zealand's social history in an accessible way.

"My sympathy goes out to Shirley's husband, Dr Michael Easther, and her three children at this sad time."

ENDS

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