TVNZ6's blog

The 20 Winning Films from The Outlook for Someday sustainability film challenge for 2010 will be broadcast by TVNZ 6 in programmes screening every night from Monday 13 to Friday 17 December at 6.30pm and 8.30pm.

The programmes offer varied and innovative points of view from young people on the state of our planet. The winning film-makers come from throughout New Zealand and range in ages from 7 to 23.

Viewers will be encouraged in each programme by presenter Wendy Douglas to vote for their favourite from among the 20 Winning Films. The maker(s) of the film which wins the vote will receive a laptop computer and 10 randomly-chosen voters will win vouchers for The Body Shop.

The vote for Audience Favourite, which closes at 5pm on Sunday 19 December, is at The Outlook for Someday website www.theoutlookforsomeday.net.

TVNZ 6 Presents The Outlook for Someday 2010 will be broadcast on Freeview/TiVo (channel 6) and SKY/Telstra (channel 16).

Now in its fourth year, The Outlook for Someday challenge is to make a short sustainability-related film, any genre, filmed with any camera and any length up to 5 minutes. Anyone up to the age of 24 can enter, either individually or in a team.

In mid-November makers of 20 Winning Films received prizes and eight Special Awards were announced at The Outlook for Someday Awards ceremony at TVNZ with special guests the Minister of Broadcasting, Hon Dr Jonathan Coleman and Mayor of Auckland, Len Brown.

A call for entries to the 2011 challenge will be made early in the New Year.

Entries come from individuals and teams from primary, intermediate and secondary schools and tertiary institutions. They are assessed by judges from the worlds of media, education, government and business.

7:30pm Tuesday, October 6 on TVNZ 6

TVNZ6′s new quirky consumer series, Use As Directed, sees host, Simon Morton, give guidance and ideas on how to be consumer-savvy and get by on a little less.

Use As Directed is a manual for our modern world. Love it or hate it we live in a consumer society where we cannot avoid buying, acquiring and using stuff! The series is family-friendly viewing, with demonstrations and stories that will interest and entertain and leave viewers knowing a bit more about the stuff we use in daily lives.

Tonight’s episode is themed around cars and all things automotive. The team looks at tricks of the trade to avoid buying a lemon, we meet the ‘Pitchix’ founder who’s teaching women how to love what’s under the bonnet, and do you really need that $500 GPS or will a good old map book do?

If you have missed an episode check your guide for extra opportunities to view. Full episodes of Use As Directed will also be available free online after the show has aired on TVNZ 6. Go to tvnz.co.nz/useasdirected and click the ‘watch episode’ button.

The exciting and educational series, Meet The Locals, is heading to the classroom. TVNZ6 is proud to be funding these teaching tools that take some of our natural heritage into the classroom, to enrich the minds of New Zealand’s children.

The set of DVDs and PDF resources are divided into 16 episodes across 4 subjects and suit the curriculum of Years 7 – 9, but can also suit younger levels too.

The topics included in the DVDs are NZ Biology – Reptiles and Insects; NZ Biology – Birds; NZ History; and NZ Geography. Each episode is under 5 minutes in length, so can easily slot into any lesson plan.

Series host, Nic Vallance, and The Department of Conservation are thrilled to see Meet The Locals distributed in schools.

“It’s so exciting to see Meet The Locals going to schools to inspire our kids about New Zealand’s amazing natural heritage,” says Vallance.

Many of the Meet The Locals episodes feature New Zealand children doing their bit to protect our native wildlife which is an inspiring element to consider.

“It’s great to know that Kiwi kids are already tuned into nature, and I hope these episodes help motivate them further,” says Vallance.

Even John Key is on board. He introduces the series with why he sees this venture vital in shaping the New Zealand of tomorrow.

Teachers are asked to simply register their details at www.tvnz.co.nz/meetthelocals by clicking on the ‘Meet The Locals Education Resource’ tile.

Registrations close on Friday 30 October at 5pm, with DVDs to be sent out in mid November. The accompanying PDF resources will be available for download from the TVNZ6 site from mid November.

For more info on the Meet The Locals series head to www.tvnz.co.nz/meetthelocals.

7:30pm Sunday, October 4 on TVNZ 6

Presented by Olympic Gold Medallist Sarah Ulmer and Wildlife Park Ranger Jeremy Maguire, Animal Academy continues to entertain and delight animal lovers.

Rudi, the big soft Rottweiler, joins Sarah Ulmer and Jeremy Maguire on this week’s episode of Animal Academy as we meet Rennie Bishop who explains what a vivarium, aquarium and field technician does. Deborah’s dog, Kane, gets a heart scan, and Jeremy heads into Marlborough Sounds to meet some rare and endangered takahe.

If you have missed an episode check your guide for extra opportunities to view. Full episodes of Animal Academy will also be available free online after the show has aired on TVNZ 6. Go to tvnz.co.nz/animalacademy and click the ‘watch episode’ button.

7:30pm Tuesday, September 29 on TVNZ 6

TVNZ6 welcomes Use As Directed to its line-up, a new consumer series unlike any other hosted by Simon Morton and produced by Razor TV (makers of the Politically Incorrect Parenting Show and Why We Buy.)

Use As Directed is a manual for our modern world. Love it or hate it we live in a consumer society where we cannot avoid buying, acquiring and using stuff! The series is family friendly viewing, with demonstrations and stories that will interest and entertain and leave viewers knowing a bit more about the stuff we use in daily lives.

Producer, Jill Graham, attests that the series shows, in a light-hearted tone, you don’t have to be a mindless consumer with our day-to-day transactions:

“Some of things we uncover are a bit silly, like does the Lynx effect work? Can the way a man smells really attract a woman? But others unveil useful information on how to buy kids shoes, or comparing cheap and expensive versions of products to see if there is much difference.”

Accompanied by field reporter, Dean Cornish (one of the creative geniuses behind Intrepid Journeys), Morton looks at how products are made, how they are sold to us, investigates myths, shows ways to save money, and how to do stuff like buy a secondhand car, put in a vege garden, or calm the fiery burn of a chili meal!

Morton relished being part of the exciting elements that make up the series, which have a similar tone to his weekly Radio NZ show, This Way Up.

“I learnt how to buy a car, feed my cat, get rid of garlic breath, create power from tomatoes and take the sting out of chilies, and that was all before I tasted some gourmet cat food and stroked a bearded dragon!” says Morton.

A regular component of the series is The Cheap Life, an experiment where a normal suburban family is put through an extreme cost cutting boot camp under the watchful eye of coach Justin Newcombe.

The series launches with an episode themed around innovation. Tune in as the team visits a sensory lab where new foods are tested and investigates how our sense of taste actually works. Cornish hits the road and profiles a new world-beating sports technology born out of Palmerston North (if you’re a cricket or hockey player your head will thank you for watching this story!) Also, the modern day Rubik’s cube that is putting together your new shelving unit is tested – most new furniture comes in a box with a label saying ‘easy to assemble’, but is it really?

If you have missed an episode, full episodes of Use As Directed will be available free online after the show has aired on TVNZ 6. Go to tvnz.co.nz/useasdirected and click the ‘watch episode’ button.

7:30pm Sunday, September 27 on TVNZ 6

Presented by Olympic Gold Medallist Sarah Ulmer and Wildlife Park Ranger Jeremy Maguire, Animal Academy continues to entertain and delight animal lovers.

In tonight’s episode of Animal Academy Sarah Ulmer and Jeremy Maguire meet Abbie the lovely Labrador. The team goes behind the scenes of the Thames Butterfly and Orchid Garden, and Elder and Marilyn Jenks share their quest to save Kaimanawa horses. Resident Vet, Deborah, takes us through surgery on a young dog that had a run in with a car, and Jeremy heads south to visit our only White Heron Colony.

If you have missed an episode, full episodes of Animal Academy will be available free online after the show has aired on TVNZ 6. Go to tvnz.co.nz/animalacademy and click the ‘watch episode’ button.

7:30pm Sunday, September 20 on TVNZ 6

Presented by Olympic Gold Medallist Sarah Ulmer and Wildlife Park Ranger Jeremy Maguire, Animal Academy continues to entertain and delight animal lovers.

This week Sarah Ulmer and Jeremy Maguire bring you an episode of Animal Academy accompanied by Louise, the Hungarian Puli, crowned New Zealand’s ‘Best in Show’ dog. Meet Andrew Wilson who cares for marine life, and passionate Guinea Pig breeder, Margaret Stockwell, who has over fifty years experience in breeding prized cavies. Topping off the pet assortment, Alfie, the allergic Bichon Frise, gets a doggy skin test, and Jeremy tries his hand at Polo.

If you have missed an episode, full episodes of Animal Academy will be available free online after the show has aired on TVNZ 6. Go to tvnz.co.nz/animalacademy and click the ‘watch episode’ button.

Every night at 7pm on TVNZ 6

TVNZ 6 pays homage to a special conservation warrior in the new series Ben’s Zoo. Ben Mee, a man with no previous animal care experience, spends his family’s life savings in an attempt to save the zoo animals from death row.

The Dartmoor Wildlife Park in Devon, UK, was preparing itself for the worst. Closed to the public and desperate for new investment, a skeleton staff of dedicated workers remained, some spending their own money to buy food and much needed drugs for the animals.

The keepers knew that the chance of re-housing mature big cats, monkeys and wolves in other zoos was minimal. Unless someone could scrape together the $2 million needed to buy the zoo, their beloved creatures were just weeks away from being destroyed.

At the eleventh hour, they heard the news. Against all the odds, Ben Mee, a writer and DIY expert, and his family had been crazy enough to buy the zoo.

Tune in to this exciting story of Ben, his family, the animals, and the struggle to save the zoo animals from death row and re-open it to the public.

6:30pm Sunday, September 13 on TVNZ 6

Prepare to be impressed by the number of New Zealanders who do their bit and get stuck into conservation projects, in TVNZ 6′s Meet the Locals special, produced to mark Conservation Week.

Join Nic Vallance and the rest of the Meet The Locals team as they showcase three incredible natural heritage stories which cover the length of the country.

2009 marked a significant milestone for the world’s largest parrot, and one of New Zealand’s iconic and most endangered species. For the first time ever, the kakapo, perched on the edge of extinction, is experiencing some positive growth, which astounds host Vallance: “The 33 chicks that have survived this season, have increased the kakapo numbers to 124 and will help turn the tide for kakapo survival into the future.”

This is largely thanks to the work of the volunteers on the tiny island of Whenua Hou who are profiled in this special. Their dedication is remarkable as they camp out next to kakapo every night, and watch over the chicks from the safety of a nearby net through a high-tech baby monitor.

“Being part of the team returning some of the captive-reared kakapo chicks to the wild on Whenua Hou was an absolute privilege,” says Vallance.

The Kaimanawas wild horses have been part of the Tongariro landscape for over one hundred years and have been the centre of great controversy. The Meet The Locals team take to the skies, fly in tandem with the musterers, and get a bird’s eye view of what has become a significant New Zealand conservation event.

Vallance was thrilled that they got to meet the new owners of these orphaned horses, and watch them as they begin to forge the bonds of a life-long relationship with them: “They are a bit of a conservation conundrum – big beautiful pests, but the fact that most of them found homes this year was heartening,” explains Vallance. “The day was amazing, and it ran like clockwork thanks to the many people involved in mustering, vet checking and the welfare of the animals.”

The final component in the mix is a school camp of a different kind on the Tiritiri Matangi Island in the Gulf. Local children from Mangere Central Primary get the chance to spend the night on this special island where they learn to radio-track kiwis, listen for the call of the kokako, find giant weta, top up the hihi sugar water feeders, learn the names of the native trees, and most importantly, absorb our natural heritage.

Bringing these unique wildlife stories to life on television is a great passion of Vallance’s and an adventure she has relished over the last two years: “Filming Meet the Locals, and getting to visit New Zealand’s wildest places, wildlife and people has been the experience of a lifetime and the thing I’m most proud of being involved with.”

If you have missed this episode, check your guides for extra opportunities to view. This special episode of Meet The Locals will be available free online after the show has aired on TVNZ 6. Go to tvnz.co.nz/meetthelocals and click the ‘watch episode’ button.

7:00pm Wednesday, September 9 on TVNZ 6

People have long been fascinated with the idea that life exists elsewhere in the universe. Is There Life On Mars? poses the perennial question, and follows scientists as they seek signs of life on Earth’s closest planetary neighbour.

After four decades of fly-by probes, orbiters, landers, and rovers, the quest for life on Mars is as tantalising as ever. This Nova Special goes behind the scenes of the latest NASA missions to the Red Planet, to reveal new clues and challenges to answering this ultimate question – that Mars once or maybe even still harbours some form of life?

Whether there was ever life on this wetter, more Earth-like Mars is harder to say. Mars eludes us. Even as this planet surrenders its secrets, it remains stubbornly guarded about one, the question we have come in pursuit of, above all others. Key insight in this special is offered by planetary scientist Christopher McKay of the NASA Ames Research Centre:

“The geology is fascinating, and the climate is interesting in terms of atmospheric science,” informs McKay. “There is any number of things that you can study about the planet, but, to me, what makes Mars special is its potential as an abode for life.”

Nova also seeks opinion from palaeontologist, Andrew Knoll, of Harvard University, who contends that the possibility for life on Mars, past or present, is looking less and less likely:

“Let’s think about the requirements of life. Almost all of life on Earth exists within a fairly narrow band of environmental conditions.”

With the issue still up in the air, both sides feel all the more compelled to get to the bottom of this momentous question, which can only be answered by more missions and new discoveries on this enigmatic world. McKay fervently believes that definitive signs of life will eventually turn up:

“There’s a real distinct link between early Mars and early Earth. There’s a strong parallel there that strengthens the case for there being life, having been life on Mars.”

A recent theory proposes that Mars once captured an asteroid into orbit around the planet, generating a strong magnetic field in the process and resulting in a thicker atmosphere and surface water. The object later crashed into Mars, creating the dramatic contrast between northern and southern terrain, and also rendering the planet the arid place it is today. This sums up McKay’s argument:

“If it happened twice, right here in our own solar system, then we would have, for the first time, a good answer to the question, ‘is the universe full of life?’ The answer would be yes.”