Maori Television’s captivating new documentary series follows two teenage boys as they attempt to get a job in the risky but lucrative deep sea fishing industry.
He Kupenga Hou (The New Fishing Net) premieres on Friday, September 7 at 8.00pm.
The 13-part series follows teenage friends Joseph and Timoti on their journey through the Westport Deep Sea Fishing School as they learn the skills needed to make it in the industry.
The pair, from Wairoa in the Hawke’s Bay, along with a group of other young men are pushed to their limits as they learn everything from knot-tying and knife-handling, to weighing and packing – and how to stay alive at sea.
The gruelling training will prepare them for six weeks’ work experience, where they hope to land a job at the end – but can they make it?
He Kupenga Hou is produced by Adrenalin Group, which previously created a string of successful series for Maori Television that followed recruits through the Army, Police, Navy and Fire Service.
Producer Bradley Walker says the deep sea fishing industry appealed as an idea for a follow-on series because of its connection to Maori.
“We tried to find something that had a Maori feel. Seventy to 80 per cent of the recruits are Maori. Maori are heavily involved in fishing and they have a vested interest. Maori have always had an affinity with the sea and fishing.’’
Walker says the training, which has a strict no drugs or alcohol policy, was challenging for the boys, who grew up over the course of the series.
“A highlight is the transformation. You do see a change… they learn new skills… they go from boys to men. It’s a tough job.’’
Tune in to He Kupenga Hou, premiering Friday, September 7 at 8.00pm.