TVNZ 6's blog

Sundays and Saturdays at 8pm

TVNZ Family is delighted to bring New Zealanders a new family television series for people passionate about animals – Animal Academy. Hosted by Olympic Gold Medallist Sarah Ulmer and Willowbank Wildlife Park Head Ranger Jeremy Maguire, Animal Academy screens on TVNZ Family on TVNZ 6 on Sundays at 8pm.

New Zealand is a country of Animal Lovers. With nearly 800,000 dogs and 1.5 million felines, we have one of the highest pet ownership rates in the world. New Zealanders spend millions of dollars every year feeding and caring for their animals. Most people own an animal or two; they are considered part of the family bringing fun and joy to our lives.
This week on Animal Academy Sarah Ulmer gets to hang out with her favourite breed of dog as she and Jeremy meet boxers Carter and CJ. Canine Operations Officer Courtney Moore and Beagle Kelso sniff out security breeches at Auckland International Airport and Bug Expert Brian Lawton shows us his collection – from Avondale Spiders to lively lizards. Plus Resident Vet Deborah talks about arthritis, a common problem for dogs and Jeremy meets a feisty old dinosaur – 110 year old Henry the Tuatara.

Starts Sunday 3 August at 5.30pm

In BeTWEEN is a new local issues-based series for tweens presented by Julia Wright and Jeremy Hollis in front of a live studio audience. The show deals with all the hard stuff that tweens want to know about but don’t know who to ask.

Topics include dating, bullying, sport, sex, friends, music, and parents. In BeTWEEN questions tweens about their feelings and knowledge on the topics and also includes interviews with well-known Kiwis such as Temepara George, Anna Fitzpatrick, Carena West and Junior from Nesian Mystic, Hayley Holt and Lani Purkis from Elemeno P.
Julia Wright and Jeremy Hollis were delighted to land roles on the informative series.

“I was involved with the show from the very first stage so have been excited about it for a long time now!” says Wright.

“I’m glad I get to be one of the people talking about stuff that hasn’t been talked about before – especially because all of the issues we focus on are so real and so big for our audience.”

Both believe that In BeTWEEN is an important show.

“When I was a tween, it was tough,” says Hollis. “Not only are you going through all the body changes, but you’re learning how to deal with your own emotions, with other people, and girls! A show like this where tweens get to hear from others who are going through the same thing can realise that they’re not alone, and even get some tips on how to best deal with everything!”

Wright agrees. “No one has done it before but it is so needed. Tweens really love that game ‘Chinese Whispers’ and information can get very twisted. So we are here telling it like it is and finding out the truth about the issues they are facing.” Wright believes that the bullying episode will have a big impact.

“It is such a massive issue, so serious and I hate it so much. It is completely ruining young peoples’ lives and I get passionate about bringing that into the light. Also letting victims know that they are not alone and that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.”

Hollis particularly enjoyed making the music episode as he plays bass in a band called The Gaze, but the show he thought was the most relevant was the one on divorce.

“Neither Jules’ or my parents are still together, and it’s an issue that affects so many children. I went to an all-boys boarding school where most of the boys came from broken homes and know first-hand the huge effect that kind of change can have on people, and it’s not nice mostly. What I liked most about this episode was that we really explored how things get better – though it does take a bit of time.”

In the first episode of In BeTWEEN, it’s all about body, there are top tips for surviving puberty with your dignity intact, one brave tween gets ‘pierced’ for your viewing pleasure and Rachel Henderson – one of New Zealand’s top skiers who hasn’t let having one arm keep her off the medal podium – joins Julia and Jeremy on the couch.

Saturday 26 July at 8.30pm

In 2004, New Zealand’s only household-name historian, Michael King, agreed to take part in a documentary about his life and work. Sadly, only a matter of weeks later, King and his wife Maria Jungowska were both tragically killed in a road accident. History Man takes a journey through the life and work of New Zealand’s most popular historian, screening on TVNZ 6 Showcase on Saturday 26 July at 8.30pm.

Over more than three decades, King had become one of New Zealand’s most beloved writers, feeding New Zealand an extraordinary run of books about us and our past. The Penguin History of New Zealand, a publishing sensation, knocked the usual book-chart-topping sports biographies and cookery volumes flying with its runaway popularity, which has seen its sales top the 100,000 mark.
After studying history at university in the 1960s, King joined the Waikato Times as a reporter and was assigned to cover Maori issues. Despite his white skin and outsider status, King quickly immersed himself in Maori life, history and protocol and when he turned to writing books, Maori topics dominated.

And when, a few years later, he turned to Maori biography – as he did with Te Puea and Whina – his definitive studies of the two great women leaders – he found himself wearing the unexpected mantle of popular author.

Without King, average Kiwis would have known little of the lives and achievements of these legendary women. And without King too, we’d be poorer in our knowledge of Frank Sargeson, Janet Frame and the Moriori, all of whom were subjects of popular books by King. And, in television, his 1970s series Tangata Whenua still stands as a landmark look at ourselves.

Even being Pakeha became a topic for study when King – responding to criticism of a white man telling Maori stories – pulled away from championing Maori figures and culture to put his own ethnicity in focus with the book Being Pakeha.

King also wrote a wide range of popular histories and guides, worked with photographers Robin Morrison and Marti Friedlander and established himself on our horizon as a storyteller and guide to our past.

History Man follows the steps of Michael King on a journey through his own past – to childhood places where the sense of New Zealand and his patriotism first struck him, and to the places his work steered him towards and some of the people he met along the way.

Sunday 27 July at 8.30pm

Talk Talk is back! A nosy and entertaining talk show series filled with conversation, music and a determination to probe into the lives of those New Zealanders, Talk Talk screens on TVNZ 6 Showcase Sundays and Wednesdays at 8.30pm.

Tonight on Talk Talk host Finlay Macdonald talks to Kiwi music sensation Scribe, poet and novelist Kapka Kassabova, and the Jubilation Choir performs.
Scribe is undoubtedly the shining star of New Zealand’s much celebrated young hip-hop scene. Following his outstanding guest appearances on P-Money’s Big Things album, Scribe released his debut album The Crusader in both New Zealand and Australia to much acclaim. Scribe’s second studio album titled Rhyme Book was released in Australasia last year. Notably Rhyme Book features a collaboration with New York hip hop artist Talib Kweli (of Reflection Eternal and Black Star fame) on the track “Be Alright”.

Talk Talk’s second guest Kapka Kassabova was born in Bulgaria in 1973, domiciled in Auckland and is now based in Edinburgh. Kapka Kassabova is among the most prominent of the younger New Zealand poets and novelists, and is rapidly acquiring the international reputation she deserves. Her main collection of poetry is Someone Else’s Life, published in Britain by Bloodaxe and in New Zealand by the Auckland University Press. A new collection, Geography for the Lost, was published in March, 2007 by Bloodaxe. She has a significant publishing event coming up in 2008: Street Without a Name: Childhood and Other Misadventures in Bulgaria, a prose travel memoir.

Talk Talk’s musical act tonight is the Jubilation Choir. Formed in the year 2000, Jubiliation is a gospel choir based in Auckland. They are not affiliated to any church but simply get together every Tuesday night because they love to sing the music. Even though the membership of 30-plus singers includes professional musicians and actors, including Jackie Clarke, Rick Bryant, Amanda Billing, Jean McAllister, Fiona Samuel, and Jennifer Ward-Lealand, that is not a requirement. In fact, many of the members don’t read music. But, regardless of background, the aim is for the Jubilation Choir to achieve professional standards of performance and recording (there is a CD on the way).

Sunday 27 July at 8pm

TVNZ Family is delighted to bring New Zealanders a brand new family television series for people passionate about animals – Animal Academy. Hosted by Olympic Gold Medallist Sarah Ulmer and Willowbank Wildlife Park Head Ranger Jeremy Maguire, Animal Academy screens on TVNZ 6 Family on Sundays at 8pm.

New Zealand is a country of Animal Lovers. With nearly 800,000 dogs and 1.5 million felines, we have one of the highest pet ownership rates in the world. New Zealanders spend millions of dollars every year feeding and caring for their animals. Most people own an animal or two; they are considered part of the family bringing fun and joy to our lives.
Each episode of Animal Academy brings together and reflects on New Zealand’s huge array of animal life. Vets and pets, tame and wild; from working with animals daily to rare encounters – Animal Academy has something for everyone.

In tonight’s episode, Sarah and Jeremy and Paris the cocker spaniel present meet Krista Johnson who runs Barkley Manor, New Zealand’s premiere doggy day care centre; Peter Hooper who has a herd of rabbits; resident vet Deborah performs a dog dental check and Jeremy gets short man complex next to the world’s tallest animal – the Giraffe.

Daily at 8:35am and 12:35pm

The colourful characters in Party Animals are back on TVNZ 6 with new tricks up their sleeves. They use a magical “Faraway Findascope” that allows them to observe nature and special locations – including an aquarium, a park and playground, the Zoo, a beach, and a farm. Party Animals plays daily at 8:35am and 12:35pm on TVNZ Kidzone on TVNZ 6.

In each episode, the animals are given some mystery objects to solve and discover things like letters, numbers, colours and time. Once they’ve found the answer to the objects and their functions, it’s time to party!
“I want the Party Animals to be an enjoyable experience for children where they learn in a fun and safe environment,” says producer Bettina Hollings.

“We’ve made a special effort to include some special Kiwi locations in this series, so New Zealand kids really feel like this is their show.”

Party Animals encourages the natural curiosity of children by developing exploration and problem solving skills, with the help of five cute colourful characters, each focused on one of the senses.

Tippy has a magic touch, Buddy has a taste of the action, Snuffles has a nose for everything, Chopper is there with his great big ears and Poppy has got eagle eyes. And the Party Animals are helped by their special friend, Alphapet.

Party Animals is aligned to the New Zealand Early Childhood Curriculum, Te Whariki, highlighting the concepts of empowerment, holistic development, relationships and family and community.

Monday 21 July at 8.30pm

Coined ‘the greatest Rock and Roll Band in the world,’ the Rolling Stones’ ongoing career stretches back to 1962 when they took London’s Marquee Club by storm. Rolling Stones – Truth and Lies takes viewers on a journey from the band’s formation to the start of their Forty Licks tour in 2002.

The Rolling Stones have produced scores of hits, played hundreds of stadiums worldwide and spawned an army of fans, imitators and detractors. They have inspired wild yells from musical millions and gasps of horror from the establishment.
In this lively programme viewers hear from their contemporaries, fans and critics about the songs, the scandals, the crises and the excesses of this famous band. Including news footage and interviews, viewers see that after over 40 years, 24 albums and 437 songs, the Rolling Stones are still both the most famous and most infamous band of all.

Starts Monday 21 July 2008 at 7.30pm

This original and highly topical documentary series from the Sundance Channel examines some of the most important environmental concerns facing humanity. Big Ideas for a Small Planet starts Monday 21 July at 7:30pm, on TVNZ 6 Family.

Each week a different issue is put under the microscope. Expert commentators, from activists, scientists and writers, through to environmental personalities, show viewers how each week’s issue fits into the bigger environmental picture. New green products and alternative ideas are put forward to transform the impact that humans have on the world.
Big Ideas for a Small Planet starts by looking at fuel. Joel Woolf, alternative-fuel enthusiast and investor of Veg Powered Systems, drag races his truck fuelled by the vegetable oil from a fried-chicken tailgate party. Colette Brooks, a fanatic for muscle cars and Prada shoes, leads a bio-diesel PR campaign that hooks up clients with diesel cars around the country. And Indy Racing League’s Jeff Simmons prepares for his next season by test-driving a car that runs on 100% ethanol.

The second episode of the programme looks at building. Visionary architect Michelle Kaufmann builds a Glidehouse, an ultra-sustainable modular prefab dream home, for a couple looking to enjoy life off the grid. Architect Carlton Brown defies all odds and builds a low-income sustainable housing project in Harlem. And MIT genius Mitchell Joachim demonstrates his Fab Tree Hab living house made from intertwined trees, creating a spectacular living space of the future.

The following episodes look at other topics, including furnishings, eating, paper and plastics, and working, and consider environmentally-friendly ways to act and live.

Big Ideas for a Small Planet is an original, new documentary series that provides ideas that may transform our everyday lives.

Daily during TVNZ 6 Kidzone

Kayne Peters invites Kiwi kids to have fun, while learning about themselves and their community in all new episodes of Kidzone, playing daily on TVNZ 6 Kidzone.

Kidzone plays in short segments in between programmes on TVNZ 6 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 the viewer 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 early 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.”

Sundays and Wednesdays at 8.30pm

Talk Talk is back! A nosy and entertaining talk show series filled with conversation, music and a determination to probe into the lives of those New Zealanders, Talk Talk returns to TVNZ 6 Showcase for a second series, screening Sundays and Wednesdays at 8.30pm.

The first episode of Talk Talk features Bic Runga and Sam Neill.
Born Briolette Kah Bic Runga, Bic Runga is a New Zealand singer-songwriter whose first solo album, Drive, debuted at number one in the New Zealand charts, and has since become one of the highest-selling New Zealand artists of all time. Runga has also found success internationally in Australia, the Republic of Ireland and to some extent in the UK.

Regarding the pronunciation of her name, Runga says “you say it Bec, rather than Bic. It’s Chinese, it’s a strange vowel sound which doesn’t seem to translate in Australia. It means the colour of jade, which I suppose is just green.”

Both Elton John and Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page can be counted amongst her fans. In 2006, Runga was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the annual New Zealand Honours List.

Runga’s uniquely phrased pop songs and hauntingly beautiful melodies have already earned her a special place in the pantheon of New Zealand song. Her third album Birds was released in New Zealand on 28 November 2005, and has had subsequent releases in Australia and the UK.

On Talk Talk, Bic gives the first performance of her new song ‘Real and Imagined’ from her forthcoming album.

World famous actor Sam Neill has had a number of high-profile roles including: the lead in Reilly, Ace of Spies, the adult Damien in Omen III: The Final Conflict, Merlin in the miniseries Merlin, and palaeontologist Doctor Alan Grant in the Jurassic Park series. Most recently he played Cardinal Wolsey in the Showtime production The Tudors.

But Neill’s hobby is running a vineyard, the Two Paddocks winery in Central Otago on New Zealand’s South Island.

“I’d like the vineyard to support me but I’m afraid it is the other way round. It is not a very economic business”, say Neill. “It is a ridiculously time and money-consuming business. I would not do it if it was not so satisfying and fun.”

About Talk Talk

Fronted by former Listener editor, broadcaster and award-winning Sunday Star-Times columnist Finlay Macdonald, the series follows a classic talk show format, but with a twist – two lengthy interviews and a song from a New Zealand artist.

Producer Colin Hogg wanted to make a show that would celebrate New Zealand’s creative community.

“We thought it would be nice to get conversation back on television, and with interesting people – artists. People who’ve actually got something interesting to say.”

Hogg says that the focus of the interviews is more on the artists talking about their lives and less on asking them to dissect their art.

“We talk to artists, not about art, but about their lives, how they got there,” says Hogg.

“I’ve talked to a lot of artists in my life. They’re always interesting. Something’s usually happened in their life to turn them in that direction and make them artists.” “We include a musical act too to tap into the people who don’t usually get clips made – covering the range – rock, jazz, classical, country. We’ll have a variety of musicians perform.”

In line with 3rd Party’s trademark style, there is big emphasis on the look and style of the show. The Talk Talk set, redesigned for this second series, is an art work in itself, with 3rd Party constructing an art deco-style room – complete with bar, chandelier and pool table – within TVNZ’s biggest studio.

Gifted local composer/arranger Victoria Kelly was commissioned to write the lush atmospheric theme music which drives the series’ distinctive opening title sequence.

Talk Talk starts Sunday 20 July at 8.30pm on TVNZ 6 Showcase.