Extraordinary Kiwis

SUNDAY 1st February

In this New Zealand documentary series Clarke Gayford meets extraordinary Kiwis all around the world.

This week it is the turn of scientist Dr. Victoria Metcalf. She sees fish as canaries in a coal-mine. Just like the old time miners used canaries to warn them of poison gases, Victoria says fish can warn us about the dangers of global warming.

Not that it’s at all warm where she works – in Antarctica. She’s studying how fish manage to survive in water so cold it should freeze their blood. Swimming under the Antarctic ice shelf, they live in water as cold as 1.75 degrees Celsius below freezing

Clarke travels to Antarctica to find out exactly what Dr. Metcalf is getting up, and to try out her job.

A keen fisherman himself, Clarke couldn’t wait to dangle a line through a hole in the 5 meter thick ice and start catching samples for Victoria’s experiments. What he hadn’t reckoned on was the effort required to drill through five meters of sea ice!

The documentary brings into sharp focus the challenges of living in such an extreme climate, for animals and humans alike, and the effect global warming is having on the planet. It also showcases a highly successful young woman achieving great things in the scientific world which tends to be rather male-dominated.

Stunt Star
Saturday 4 August, 5.30pm

Zoe Bell’s first job as a stunt double was jumping out of a car in ‘Shortland Street’. These days she works alongside Hollywood names such as Uma Thurman (‘Kill Bill’), and Sharon Stone (‘Catwoman’). Bell has worked her way to the top of her profession, and now she’s taking an unusual step for a stunt double – she is about to star as herself in director Quentin Tarantino’s latest action movie, ‘Death Proof’. ‘Stunt Star’, today at 5.30pm on TV ONE, follows the story of the Zoe Bell.

“Honestly, I can’t get my head around the fact that I may be making the transition into being a full-time actor”, says Bell.
Starting out as a keen young gymnast with a taste for martial arts, Bell always hoped there might be a way she could make money out of the things she loved doing. She got her first big break doubling for Lucy Lawless on ‘Xena’.

“‘Xena’ was like my tertiary education in stunting.” For three years, while all her friends were at university she learnt “all that stuff you can’t learn out of a book”, and followed the path to where she is today.

Now, hanging out with stars at awards ceremonies, and directors at film premieres, Bell is still a stunt-double at heart.

She says “If I was watching some other woman learning my fight beats and they weren’t teaching them to me, or learning my rigs and I wasn’t, I would find that really infuriating…when it’s my job I’m up for doing it all.”

Despite all the glamour and the pampering that comes with starring in a Tarantino movie, documentary producer Virginia Wright found Bell’s feet still firmly on the ground.

“At the same time as she is being flown around the United States in a private jet, when she’s in New Zealand she’s answering her cell phone from the six-hour bus ride she’s taking with her brother to visit her parents in Kaitaia. ”

Hollywood film director Quentin Tarantino is in no doubt that Bell has a big future in the movies. “To actually do an action (film) without Zoe as one of my leads just seems kind of foolhardy. Because I can just do anything with her. I can just shoot it like crazy and she’s wonderful in the film and you love her.”

Bell’s approach is more down to earth: “I love being a stuntwoman, but I’m enjoying this acting thing and it pays pretty well and I’ve been coming home far less bruised and battered. I mean I don’t want to be 50 and accepting money to fall on my head. It just seems it’s a bit mean to myself somehow. Disrespectful to me or something. So if I can make a transition somehow through this that keeps me happy and keeps me satisfied and excited then why not?”

Watch today’s ‘Extraordinary Kiwis’ documentary ‘Stunt Star’ to see Bell’s progress from stunt person to film star.

Stunt Star Saturday 4 August, 5.30pm

Zoe Bell’s first job as a stunt double was jumping out of a car in ‘Shortland Street’. These days she works alongside Hollywood names such as Uma Thurman (‘Kill Bill’), and Sharon Stone (‘Catwoman’). Bell has worked her way to the top of her profession, and now she’s taking an unusual step for a stunt double – she is about to star as herself in director Quentin Tarantino’s latest action movie, ‘Death Proof’. ‘Stunt Star’, today at 5.30pm on TV ONE, follows the story of the Zoe Bell.

“Honestly, I can’t get my head around the fact that I may be making the transition into being a full-time actor”, says Bell.
Starting out as a keen young gymnast with a taste for martial arts, Bell always hoped there might be a way she could make money out of the things she loved doing. She got her first big break doubling for Lucy Lawless on ‘Xena’.

“‘Xena’ was like my tertiary education in stunting.” For three years, while all her friends were at university she learnt “all that stuff you can’t learn out of a book”, and followed the path to where she is today.

Now, hanging out with stars at awards ceremonies, and directors at film premieres, Bell is still a stunt-double at heart.

She says “If I was watching some other woman learning my fight beats and they weren’t teaching them to me, or learning my rigs and I wasn’t, I would find that really infuriating…when it’s my job I’m up for doing it all.”

Despite all the glamour and the pampering that comes with starring in a Tarantino movie, documentary producer Virginia Wright found Bell’s feet still firmly on the ground.

“At the same time as she is being flown around the United States in a private jet, when she’s in New Zealand she’s answering her cell phone from the six-hour bus ride she’s taking with her brother to visit her parents in Kaitaia. ”

Hollywood film director Quentin Tarantino is in no doubt that Bell has a big future in the movies. “To actually do an action (film) without Zoe as one of my leads just seems kind of foolhardy. Because I can just do anything with her. I can just shoot it like crazy and she’s wonderful in the film and you love her.”

Bell’s approach is more down to earth: “I love being a stuntwoman, but I’m enjoying this acting thing and it pays pretty well and I’ve been coming home far less bruised and battered. I mean I don’t want to be 50 and accepting money to fall on my head. It just seems it’s a bit mean to myself somehow. Disrespectful to me or something. So if I can make a transition somehow through this that keeps me happy and keeps me satisfied and excited then why not?”

Watch today’s ‘Extraordinary Kiwis’ documentary ‘Stunt Star’ to see Bell’s progress from stunt person to film star.

Heart Of The North Saturday 28 July, 5.30pm

Depending on who is talking, Ricky Houghton is either a saint or pure trouble – the tall Maori with a broad smile and a ton of cheek has a vision to transform the lives of poor Maori in rural Northland – and he’s a long way down the track to achieving that.

‘Heart Of The North’ follows the story of Ricky Houghton (today at 5.30pm on TV ONE). Deeply moved by the poverty traps enveloping his people, Houghton set up an organisation in central Kaitaia, He Korowai Trust, to assist with numerous problems. The results have been impressive – nearly 170 homes rescued from mortgagee sales, families back on the land, crops sprouting, small businesses started, scores of previously dysfunctional people on the road to independence.
A father at 14, and a grandfather of eight at 45, Houghton spent much of his early life in foster homes and was shunned by his peers because of his mother’s serious mental illness. But Houghton’s hard early life shaped him into a resilient man. He’s one of those guys who has a new idea every five minutes and has a genuine dream for his people. Houghton is passionate about moving Maori people from dependence to independence – so far his ideas seem to be working.

Walk down the streets of Kaitaia with Houghton and just about everyone seems to like and admire him. Government departments in the north rate him highly as someone who may have created a formula for helping Maori truly engage in some self-determination.

Houghton gives his dream more than just a token effort. Although supported recently with funding from a Vodafone ‘World of Difference’ grant, Houghton needs to go looking for money to run the He Korowai Trust each year. He even mortgaged his own home near Kaitaia to underpin the trust.

When asked how he’ll manage, he smiles broadly and tells stories like the time he was photographed by a newspaper outside the Auckland District Court. They confused Houghton with a notorious gang member but he walked away with a cheque from the newspaper for well into six figures. Even then he gave most of the money away, says his wife Rose.

Today’s ‘Extraordinary Kiwis’ documentary, ‘Heart of the North’, meets Houghton, his long-suffering family and the people he’s helped.

SATURDAY 21 JULY
EXTRAORDINARY KIWIS
DOCUMENTARY

This documentary series celebrates a unique mix of not only household names, but those New Zealanders who live interesting lives. Tonight the PRIME crew profiles heli- ski guide Hugh Barnard who splits his time between Wanaka and the northern hemisphere where he works as a guide. Cameras follow Hugh and clients on a spring day in the mountains behind Wanaka to see what it takes to keep a heli-skiing operation running smoothly. Avalanche danger is an ever present risk, and everyone has to wear a transmitter/receiver to help find them if they do become buried under snow. Hugh shows why New Zealand is one of the most popular countries in the world for heli-skiing.

EXTRAORDINARY KIWIS: Hugh Barnard, Saturday 21st July at 7:00pm

Russia’s Forgotten Children Saturday 7 July, 5.25pm

On Christmas Eve 1997, 27-year-old Kiwi Rachael Hughes was changing money in downtown Vladivostok. She’d travelled to this harsh Russian city to teach English for a few months. As Rachael reached to put her wallet into her back pocket, she felt a small hand. She turned, ready to deal with the person trying to steal from her, only to find herself starting into the enormous sad eyes of an eight-year-old boy. She questioned him and discovered he lived on the streets. It was minus-20 degrees Celsius.

Hughes bought him some food and as she stood there, watching him eat, she realised that something had to be done about Russia’s forgotten children – the kids that live on the streets. “It was his eyes. They broke my heart. And I had never, ever seen anyone so hungry before,” says Hughes.

The following day – Christmas Day – she made sandwiches, and travelling back to the city by bus, began handing out food. Within a month she was feeding 30 hungry children aged between 8 and 15 years old on a daily basis. And so begins the story of Rachael Hughes – the ordinary young New Zealander who has changed the life of hundreds of Russian children through the charity ‘Living Hope’.

This ‘Extraordinary Kiwis‘ documentary, ‘Russia’s Forgotten Children’, shows Hughes’ story – and how hard work and perseverance can make dreams come true (today at 5.25pm on TV ONE). Today, ‘Living Hope’ is a recognised Russian charity. Hughes’ dream is to build a self-contained self-sufficient village to provide social structure and support for street kids – and she is well on her way to achieving that dream.

Hughes says when she first started meeting the kids on the street, the biggest shock was the way society viewed them. She explains how she was sitting in a bus stop, near a bunch of children and saw an old lady come out of an apartment with a bowl of leftovers.

“I thought ‘oh that’s great she’s coming down to feed these kids with a bowl of soup, and one of the little boys ran to her saying ‘babushka babushka’, like ‘grandmother grandmother, please give me something to eat’, and she picked up her cane and pushed him away with it. She then put the bowl of soup down for the stray dogs.” In that moment, Hughes realised that in the old woman’s eyes, the stray dogs were worth more than the obviously hungry children.

From its modest beginnings in downtown Vladivostok, ‘Living Hope’ is now providing basic needs and social support to hundreds of street kids. It has full-time staff manning a drop-in day centre, a cafeteria and a mobile soup kitchen. It employs a full-time psychologist who works with the kids, with the aim of getting them off the streets and into school and training centres. Twice a year, they run two 10-day rehabilitation camps for their children. Of the 10 young prostitutes aged between 12 and 16 at the last camp, eight are now in full-time education.

All the projects that ‘Living Hope’ is involved in have one common goal – the rehabilitation of suffering children.

‘Russia’s Forgotten Children’ is this week’s ‘Extraordinary Kiwis’ documentary, today at 5.25pm on TV ONE.

Kia Kaha – A Love Affair
Saturday 30 June, 5.30pm

Self-taught designer Charmaine Love is the creative heart of Kia Kaha clothing – a unique whanau-owned business that uses three distinct fashion ranges to showcase Maori art and design to the world, and which is the subject of ‘Kia Kaha – A Love Affair’, today at 5.30pm on TV ONE.

Charmaine joined Kia Kaha aged just 17, when she met future husband Dan Love who, along with his brother Matene, ran the company part-time from the family garage. Charmaine’s designs have helped transform the ‘hobby’ into a thriving multi-million dollar business – and all without any formal fashion or graphic design training.
Charmaine confesses that in the early days she ‘fell into’ designing: “I really just became involved by fluke really. I’ve always been a huge fan of beautiful Maori art and design so it was just something that really appealed to me on a personal level and I just started playing around with it. It became the joke of everyone around. I’d be sitting with a pad and pen just mucking around and drawing funny little pictures and then Dan would sort of come over my shoulder and say, ‘oh I like that'”.

Dan says Charmaine became the sole designer across all three of their clothing ranges (Kia Kaha, Cambo and Charmaine Love) when the brothers put her designs on a few shirts: “They sold well and it kind of snowballed from there…”

In 2003, Charmaine decided to try her hand at fashion design and entered the Westfield Style Pasifika competition, where she was a finalist in several categories. In her second outing in 2004, she won two categories and the supreme award. A Westfield Style Pasifika business scholarship in 2005 assisted Charmaine in the launch of her own fashion label, Charmaine Love, which debuted at NZ Fashion week in 2005.

Another huge milestone for the company was the signing of Michael Campbell.

In December 2003, Campbell’s manager approached Kia Kaha about developing a range of clothing and in a whirlwind of activity Charmaine and Dan Love worked closely with Michael and his wife Julie to develop the Cambo range in time to launch at the NZ Golf Open in January 2004.

Michael’s US Open win in 2005 brought international recognition to the company’s distinctive Maori apparel and Michael Campbell believes that wearing Maori designs contributed to his success: “My culture is my strength…the Mango Pare symbolises never giving up and I remember wearing that on my back in the last 18 holes of the US Open and that gave me strength. Wearing my Maori designs connects me with my tupuna – my ancestors up there looking down on me – and it’s really helped me to become a champion golfer.”

Underpinning the Loves’ entrepreneurial success is a belief that Maori must take charge of their own economic futures.

“I think lecturing in business and Maori business in particular has given me the idea that it’s very important that Maori are masters of our own destiny and business enables us to do that,” says Dan Love.

However, the couple are determined to not let the business dominate family life and this documentary is also about how they balance the demands of their busy and successful business with providing a stable family life for their three children: seven-year-old twins Joshua and Isaac and five-year-old daughter Danni.

Dan Love: “We’d like to leave it to them in a good state and hopefully they can prosper from it and carry it on for future generations as well.”

‘Kia Kaha – A Love Affair’ is this week’s ‘Extraordinary Kiwis’ documentary, today at 5.30pm on TV ONE.

Extraordinary Kiwis: Saving The World
Saturday 23 June, 5.30pm

A garage in an Auckland suburb is an unlikely laboratory for a 57-year-old millionaire with a passion to change the world – but Ray Avery is anything but typical.

The ‘Extraordinary Kiwis’ documentary, ‘Saving The World’, follows Avery’s story (today at 5.30pm on TV ONE). He is a charismatic Kiwi with a no-nonsense attitude and a No. 8 wire approach to life – who has taken a horrific childhood, combined it with a passion and prodigious aptitude for science and turned it into a motivation to change the world. Avery now runs ‘Medicine Mondiale’, a non-profit aid organisation dedicated to doing things differently.
“When I was seven years old in an orphanage, I dreamed of having my own lightswitch. Now, I have the knowledge and tenacity to make the world a better place,” Avery says.

‘Medicine Mondiale’ is based from his home – no high infrastructure costs here – and his garage has been converted into high-tech lab. Here, Avery designs and develops simple and sustainable medical solutions for the many health problems in the developing world.

People can make a difference, he says: “I believe that one person can change the world for the better and in the act of trying can create a groundswell of support that makes anything possible.” Using his contacts and charisma, he enlists the help of other scientists and experts to work on specific projects with him. New Zealand companies support him, and somehow everyone finds themselves donating their time and knowledge for free – and they are rewarded by making a difference.

“I ask people to contribute much more than money. I show them how they can use their secular skills to make the world a better place and, in doing so, rekindle and nurture their human spirit.”

Avery dragged himself up by the bootstraps, from a childhood in orphanages and on the streets of London to become a scientist, businessman and self-made millionaire. “I was lucky to have such a challenging start to life. It made me fearless and fostered a social responsibility that is given to very few.”

After coming to New Zealand, a chance meeting with world-renowned eye surgeon Fred Hollows set him on a path to Eritrea and Nepal to build lens factories for the ‘Fred Hollows Foundation’. Exposure to the raw and real shortcomings of healthcare in these regions made him determined to use his knowledge of pharmaceuticals, science, project management, design and development to tackle the issues at a very practical level.

His particular brand of scientific know-how, combined with a practical can-do approach, is what has attracted fellow Kiwis to support him.

Avery says he is certainly not a saint – he is a man who values and celebrates life, has a commonsense attitude and mixes a great deal of humanity with a wicked sense of humour.

Watch TV ONE’s ‘Extraordinary Kiwis: Saving the World’, Saturday June 23, at 5.30pm to see Ray Avery’s story.

SATURDAY 7 JULY

EXTRAORDINARY KIWIS
DOCUMENTARY

This documentary series celebrates a unique mix of not only household names, but those New Zealanders who live interesting lives. Tonight we profile world champion golfer Michael Campbell. The PRIME crew tags along with our champion golfer for the three days immediately prior to the New Zealand Open capturing a rare glimpse into life behind the headlines for the boy from Titahi Bay. Despite his international fame and acclaim, Michael has never forgotten his roots, and back home is constantly running into old friends and acquaintances, and obliging his fans with photo ops and signatures.

EXTRAORDINARY KIWIS: Michael Campbell, Saturday 7 July at 7:00pm

SATURDAY 30 JUNE

EXTRAORDINARY KIWIS

DOCUMENTARY
This documentary series celebrates a unique mix of not only household names, but those New Zealanders who live interesting lives. Tonight we profile Auckland DJ Jay Jay Feeney, a household name for many radio listeners but few have seen her away from the studio. Cameras follow Jay-Jay as she starts her day at the ungodly hour of 4.00am. On the agenda this day is a stunt pulled on the owner of her station, The Edge, CanWest’s Brent Impey and a toe-sucking contest which takes a most unexpected twist. Jay-Jay lives up to her radio persona and provides a rare glimpse of life behind the microphone.
EXTRAORDINARY KIWIS: Jay-Jay Feeney, Saturday 30 June at 7:00pm