TVNZ 6's blog

Engie Benjy Daily at 6.35am, 10.35am and 2.35pm

Step inside the vibrant and colourful world of Engie Benjy the engine doctor, and his very special team: Dan the Van and Jollop The Dog, in Engie Benjy, daily at 6.35am, 10.35am and 2.35pm on TVNZ Kidzone on TVNZ 6.

This super duper trio of engine-menders together turn the adult/child relationship upside down by helping all sorts of characters from bossy Dottie the Bus Driver, and cry-baby Pilot Pete, to mumbling Farmer Fred and nutty Fisherman Fin.
In Engie’s vibrant world, created through CGI and stop-motion animation, amazing things happen: planes creep out to have parties at night, buses get tired and need holidays, woodland trees leap into the sky to play with Space Ship, and Farmer Fred’s fruity fizz cloud waters the ice-lolly fields every day.

Communicating with pre-schoolers can be difficult – whether it’s getting them dressed in the morning, trying on new shoes, explaining the concept of right and wrong – or even hanging on for that last bit of broccoli to be eaten! But Engie Benjy can be used as a tool to help children understand situations.

The characters in Engie Benjy make mistakes, are sometimes naughty, and sometimes get angry. But through co-operation, solutions are found. By seeing the consequences of their action and the effect it has on their friends, lessons in behaviour are learned. When a first attempt doesn’t work, it’s found that creativity and persistence sometimes do.

Produced by Emmy and BAFTA award winning Cosgrove Hall Films in the UK, Engie Benjy is voiced by UK top telly duo “Ant and Dec” – Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly.

Engie Benjy fosters children’s imagination and creativity while also teaching them invaluable lessons about problem-solving, and teamwork.

The Montana World of WearableArt Awards 2007: Backstage Special Saturday, 10 November at 8:30pm

Described as “Mardi Gras meets Haute Couture at a Peter Gabriel concert directed by Salvador Dali” – there is nothing quite like the Montana WOW® Awards anywhere else in the world. The Montana World of WearableArt Awards 2007: Backstage Special gives you the ‘behind the scenes’ story of this incomparable event.

Commissioned by TVNZ for TVNZ 6, The Montana World of WearableArt Awards 2007: Backstage Special is presented by TV ONE’s Good Morning hosts Sarah Bradley and Brendon Pongia. The show brings viewers the highlights, finalists, and winners of the WOW® Awards for this year, as well as exclusive interviews with designers, models and performers.
The Backstage Special follows models/performers Ryan Mulcock and Halina Wolyncewicz, who have both been an integral part of the WOW cast for many years. Halina has a professional dance background and was a dancer in Footnote Company. Ryan, on the other hand, was discovered by WOW founders Suzie Moncrieff and Heather Palmer while working in catering – they thought he looked nice and tall and offered him a spot in the show!

The Montana World of WearableArt Awards are now an internationally-recognised brand.

Producer of the Backstage Special, Debra Kelleher, believes it is great to give viewers the opportunity to see one of the biggest events on New Zealand’s calendar, as well as a ‘behind the scenes’ insight into what makes this amazing event tick.

“We have entries from all over the world – WOW® is a major part of our arts and crafts culture now. It’s put us on the map in a unique and classic way. The Backstage Special gives viewers a more personal experience of the WOW® Awards – the chance to discover something different.”

Mirror, Mirror Sundays, 5pm

Excitement and suspense are at the heart of award-winning local teen drama Mirror, Mirror. When two 14-year-old girls, living in different eras, discover that they can not only see through the same antique mirror, but travel through it to one another’s time, an adventure begins which will not only change the present, but also threatens to alter the past. Mirror, Mirror plays 5pm Sundays, on TVNZ Family on TVNZ 6.

When Jo Tiegan goes shopping with her father in 1995, she comes home with more than just a beautiful, oval antique mirror – she comes home with a link between the present and the past. Jo discovers that the mirror is a gateway between 1995 and 1919, where a young girl Jo’s age, Louisa Iredale, lives in the same room, in the same house. By travelling between one another’s rooms, and eras, Jo and Louisa form an amazing friendship. The girls embark on an adventure that gets them caught up in a web of intrigue.
A 1996 co-production between Australia and New Zealand, Mirror, Mirror is the timeless story of perennial children’s favourites: time-travel, magic, adventure, and mystery.

The first series of Mirror, Mirror won Best Children’s Television Drama in the 1996 New Zealand Film and Television Awards. It was also a finalist in the Australian Film and Television Awards. Mirror, Mirror was then entered in the prestigious French competition Prix Jeunesse (which is considered the top Children’s competition in the world) and was selected as a finalist – the first New Zealand drama to be recognised for 15 years. Later that year, Mirror, Mirror won Gold at the World Television Festival in Houston.

Mirror, Mirror has an international fan-base. The first series was sold to well over fifty countries worldwide, including the UK’s Channel 5, Germany’s Nickelodeon, France’s Canal Plus, and TVE Spain.

Now a new generation of Kiwi kids and their families can relax on a Sunday evening and enjoy Mirror, Mirror on TVNZ Family on TVNZ 6.

The Adventures of Massey Ferguson Daily 6:45am, 10:45am, 2:45pm

New Zealand’s heartland is centre-screen for Kiwi kids to enjoy in homegrown animation series The Adventures of Massey Ferguson, daily on TVNZ Kidzone, on TVNZ 6.

Created by Jim Mora (from TV ONE’s Mucking In) and Brent Chambers (owner of award-winning production house Flux Animation), The Adventures of Massey Ferguson tells the story of a lively little red tractor on Ferguson Farm near the small New Zealand town of Kumara Cove. When the farm runs out of water, the magpies become unruly, or sheep are stolen; it’s Massey and his farm-machine mates who get things sorted.
The name ‘Massey Ferguson’ is synonymous with farming in New Zealand, and is a symbol of Kiwi pioneering toughness. Local hero Sir Edmund Hillary even took a Massey Ferguson to the South Pole!

Both Mora and Chambers are excited about bringing Kiwi-centric, local animation to New Zealand screens.

“We’ve tried to be true to farming life, while giving urban children an idea of the life that exists outside New Zealand’s cities,” says Mora.

“We’ve also tried to increase their awareness of our amazing environment and the importance of respecting it.”

“We don’t want to preach at children, but underpinning all the episodes are values – hard work, pluck, determination, kindness, generosity. If the world was like Ferguson Farm we would have no problems at all. Mind you, Beaut th’Ute is a problem – he loves looking at himself in the mirror, he’s vain and insecure. So we don’t totally ignore the real world!”

“In Massey himself, children can see outstanding achievements from a character who may seem ordinary, but who has a great attitude and good ideas – a lot like many of them, as a matter of fact!”

The Montana World Of WearableArt Awards 2007 Saturday, 3 November at 8:30pm

Step into a world where art and the human form combine, where dance, music and lighting tell a story of the body as a canvas; where the lines of fashion and art blur and merge as one…On Saturday 3 November at 8:30pm, TVNZ Showcase on TVNZ 6 takes you to The Montana World Of WearableArt Awards 2007.

A Montana WOW® Awards Show is difficult to describe, hard to define and impossible to forget. It combines theatre, dance, colour, movement and art to create a theatrical spectacle. The Montana World Of WearableArt Awards 2007 gives you the performances, highlights, and winners of this visual delight.
First shown in 1987, World of WearableArt began as a promotional event for a rural art gallery in Nelson. Sculptor Suzie Moncrieff had the vision to exhibit art in the form of a live theatrical show. That show developed over the years, receiving international acclaim and becoming a major New Zealand tourist attraction.

Now the WOW® event is one of the biggest on New Zealand’s calendar. Staged annually over two weeks in spring, it culminates in the Montana WOW® Awards – a two-hour extravaganza showcasing amazing garments, stunning sets, dance, music, lighting and choreography. Selectors choose around 150 garment entries, designed by an array of local and international artists, designers and inventors. WOW® “takes art off the wall and onto the moving body”™ and enables works of art to perform onstage in the ultimate arts competition.

Designers of WearableArt™ garments are challenged to create a garment that is completely original, has impact on a 40-metre stage, is impressive up close, is constructed to withstand the movement of individual choreography and has that overall ‘WOW Factor’.

The Montana WOW® Awards have been described as “Mardi Gras meets Haute Couture at a Peter Gabriel concert directed by Salvador Dali” – there is nothing quite like it around the world.

Girls in Love Mondays, 5pm

Why is the boy you get never the one you want? Do parents take lessons in being embarrassing? How can you be yourself, without being too different to everyone else? Adapted from Jacqueline Wilson’s best-selling books, Girls in Love reveals the trials and tribulations of being 14 years old, Mondays at 5pm on TVNZ Family, on TVNZ 6.

Girls in Love is seen through the eyes of Ellie Allard, a switched-on teenager with an over-active imagination. Along with her two best friends, Magda and Nadine, Ellie tackles the dilemmas, frustrations and growing pains that plague teenage life – it’s one big rollercoaster ride of cringe-worthy embarrassment, misery and major excitement that never slows down.
The new show kicks off at the start of Ellie’s Year Nine. Her friends return from summer vacation with tales of holiday romance – flirting, dating and even snogging! It’s all too much for Ellie – even her dad is in love with his new girlfriend. She decides there’s only one thing to do: if the perfect boy doesn’t show up, Ellie will just have to make him up!

And so begin the trials and tribulations of Ellie’s life as a 14 year old – struggling to find her identity in a world where fitting in is boring, but sticking out is the worst thing ever.

Jacqueline Wilson has been applauded for her literary accounts of teenage angst and has won numerous awards for her writing. In the poll conducted by the BBC in the UK, The Big Read, Girls in Love was placed in the Top 100, along with Wilson’s other titles Double Act, Vicky Angel and The Story of Tracy Beaker.

Girls in Love is a must-see survival guide for anyone trying to make it through the confusing wilderness of teenage life.

Kidzone Daily on TVNZ Kidzone

Kayne Peters and his puppet mate Zoe invite Kiwi kids to have fun, while learning about themselves and their community in new show Kidzone, playing daily on TVNZ Kidzone on TVNZ 6.

Kidzone plays in short segments in between programmes on TVNZ Kidzone. Each segment aims at helping children learn life skills: from cleaning their own teeth, to eating a variety of meals, or visiting Mum or Dad at work. The show uses the popular narrative style of one-on-one interaction with the presenter, and the repetition of rituals, such as chant or song, all of which combine to empower kids to try new things, both physically and verbally.
Parents can rest easy knowing that the Kidzone segments are produced, directed and written by early childhood experts. They are developmentally and age-appropriate and cover the early childhood curriculum, including mathematics, science and language, with a large helping of problem-solving.

Presenter Kayne Peters, who has Tuwharetoa and Tainui connections, is a performing arts graduate with significant experience as a drama tutor in schools. Originally from South Auckland, Kayne has relocated to Dunedin to work with Pickled Possum Productions on Kidzone.

“Coming from South Auckland, I have strong aroha for the young children of Aotearoa and want them to have role models who make a positive impact on their lives,” says Kayne.

“I want to encourage kids to give new stuff a go. We have heaps of opportunities on the show for viewers to meet lots of other children from different backgrounds who live in Aotearoa New Zealand. If I can show children that they are loved and respected, then I’ll be happy.”

Eric Clapton – Standing at the Crossroads Monday 29 October, 8.30pm

Hailed as one of the greatest guitarists of our time, called “God” by raving fans, rock legend Eric Clapton has had a life touched with greatness and tragedy. Standing at the Crossroads follows Clapton’s journey to the heights and depths of human experience, on TVNZ Showcase on TVNZ 6 at 8:30pm on Monday 29 October.

In an exclusive interview, and supported by unrivalled access to the Clapton archives, Standing at the Crossroads tells the story of this remarkable man, in his own words.
This documentary traces the music that helped shape a generation, as well as Clapton’s life-long battle with drug and alcohol addiction. His music is represented with performances of classic songs spanning his career, including Layla, White Room, Tears in Heaven, Change the World, and Badge.

There are also contributions from music legends who have shared the stage with Clapton, including Keith Richards, Robert Cray, John Lee Hooker, Mark Knopfler and Sting.

Standing at the Crossroads forms part of TVNZ Showcase’s music series at 8:30pm on Mondays.

Other titles to watch out for in coming weeks include Rediscovering Dave Brubeck, which traces the life of the jazz legend; and Joni Mitchell – Painting With Words and Pictures, which examines Mitchell’s artwork and songs.

Music lovers should watch out for TVNZ 6’s music specials during the week commencing Saturday 17 November, including programmes such as Johnny Cash – A Concert Behind Prison Walls, Ray Charles – Live in Edmonton, and What’s Going On? The Life and Death of Marvin Gaye.

Meet the Locals Daily, TVNZ Family

Some of New Zealand’s shyest, rarest and strangest inhabitants step into the limelight in Meet the Locals, a new series of bite-size documentaries showcasing our natural world, daily on TVNZ Family on TVNZ 6.

Commissioned by TVNZ in partnership with the Department of Conservation, Meet the Locals is an exciting series of four-minute shows featuring everything from electric fishing for our enigmatic native fish, to getting up close and personal with New Zealand’s mysterious short-tailed bats.
“Meet the Locals is designed to give New Zealand audiences a taste of the surprising and inspiring stories of their natural heritage and TVNZ is proud to present this special series for viewers of TVNZ 6, the first of our new digital channels,” says TVNZ Digital Commissioner Philippa Mossman.

“It is filmed throughout New Zealand, and showcases every aspect of conservation in New Zealand, including native wildlife, pest control, recreation opportunities and our cultural and historic heritage.”

Hosted by DOC’s Nicola Vallance, who regularly features on TV ONE’s Good Morning, Meet the Locals will showcase kiwi natives, local plants, local animals and the humans who love to look after them. The series features DOC staff, businesses, communities and individuals who are all involved in looking after our wildlife and wild places.

“This initiative is tremendous for DOC – allowing us to reach new audiences and grow awareness of just how easy it is to get into the wilds of New Zealand and see what millions of people travel here every year to experience,” says DOC Director-General, Al Morrison.

Travelling extensively throughout New Zealand, and filmed over four seasons, Meet the Locals will introduce viewers to New Zealand’s unique wild places, historic sites and native species.

George and Martha Daily, 9:30am and 1:30pm

Celebrated author/illustrator of children’s classic Where the Wild Things Are, Maurice Sendak, brings another delight to kids with George and Martha, showing daily at 9:30am and 1:30pm on TVNZ Kidzone, on TVNZ 6.

This animated series, produced by Sendak, is based on the popular books by Sendak’s friend and children’s author James Marshall. It is the story of two best friends – two ditzy, down-to-earth hippos who share an enduring friendship that is sometimes trying, sometimes touching, but always a lot of fun.
Sendak is not only well-known for his children’s books, but has earned recognition and praise throughout his career as a designer for ballet and opera, and as a developer of plays, musicals and films based on his books.

He was also involved in Children’s Television Workshop during the development stages of much-loved TV series Sesame Street.

In George and Martha, Sendak teams up with other highly-acclaimed creative professionals: the lovable hippos are voiced by Academy Award-winner Nathan Lane (The Birdcage) and Canadian actress/comedienne Andrea Martin (My Big Fat Greek Wedding).

Known for his quirky screen appearances, Lane is also fondly remembered as the voice of ‘Timon the meerkat’ in The Lion King, for which he teamed with Ernie Sabella (who voiced a warthog) on the movie’s extremely popular song Hakuna Matata.

Aside from playing Aunt Voula in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Martin’s many screen credits include Wag the Dog, All I Want for Christmas, and The Producers.

The George and Martha episodes focus on the hippos’ experiences with everyday events. Surrounded by other animal friends, George and Martha are always learning the meaning of compromise and camaraderie.