Shortland Street Turns 15

New Zealand’s longest running and best-loved homegrown soap turned 15 on Friday.

Shortland Street began in 1992 and now airs in places as far flung as the United Kingdom, Sri Lanka and Finland.

Recently returned cast member Craig Parker says the show is a great platform for budding actors. The soaphas gone on to produce some of New Zealand’s best known acting talent such as Temuera Morrison, Greer Robson and Martin Henderson.

It has even featured Prime Minister Helen Clark – as herself.

One of the Street’s most quoted lines, ‘you’re not in Guatemala now, Dr Ropata’ has found its way into New Zealand’s history.

“It’s a terrible line, that’s why it’s memorable…I said it should have been cut because it’s so terrible and he [writer Gavin Strawhan] said ‘it’s so terrible we should leave it in’,” says Shortland Street producer Jason Daniel.

Daniel says the very first daily serial in any country usually has an advantage in its ability to win over audiences, but says the secret to Shortland Street’s success has been staying relevant.

“Staying…current, and always making sure that the mix of characters and the issues behind the stories are speaking to the nation in some way, and I think that’s what Shortland Street’s been really good at doing over the years,” he says.

Shortland Street and TV2 recently held a party to celebrate 15 successful years together which was attended by former and current cast, as well as other dignitaries including Clark and Minister of Broadcasting Steve Maharey.


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About the author

Kyle Wadsworth

Kyle Wadsworth is a trained multimedia journalist with a passion for film and television - notably Westside and Outrageous Fortune! Also known as TuiKiwi (the name of which has also featured on Outrageous Fortune as a guest-starring beer brand).
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  • Elmo

    Happy Birthday Shortland Street!!!!!

  • Tui

    lol to be honest, I’m sick of saying that lol because its been going on all month :p

  • Rachel

    Ben Mitchell is on Te Karere tonight and there will be a story on One News too.

  • mxpress

    Shame on TVNZ. The press release above should have also included the fact that Tui was there as well. ha ha.

  • Blondie

    I saw the segment on the news.