Inside New Zealand

Viewers will have another chance to watch Inside New Zealand: Inside Child Poverty – A Special Report when it has a second screening this Sunday (November 27) at 1pm on TV3. 

The Bryan Bruce-helmed documentary was watched by 385,900 New Zealanders* when it premiered on TV3 last night, and has generated a strong reaction.   Since the Tuesday screening more than 14,600 people have watched the programme online via TV3’s On Demand service.**

The documentary has earned high praise from health professionals, including Prof Innes Asher, Senior Paediatrician at Auckland Starship Hospital, who described it as “compulsory viewing for all New Zealanders.”

The documentary saw Bruce examine almost 100 years of child welfare in New Zealand, across the political spectrum, revealed how child health in New Zealand has deteriorated in recent years, and offered solutions.

Bruce says he is delighted that the documentary was watched by so many.  While he is pleased that it has helped put the issue of child wellbeing back on the agenda of most parties, Bruce says that his programme is apolitical.

“The responsibility of the State for the health of our children is a moral and ethical question,” he says. “It ought not to be a political one.”

Bruce says he wants all parties to commit now to holding cross-party talks on the issue after Saturday’s general election.

“We can’t beat child poverty with a poverty of ideas” he says. “I’d like all the political leaders to agree now to sit down and come up with a long term plan for our kids that takes it out of the political arena.”

“I encourage all voters to ask their candidates if they are willing to hold such talks, and if not why not.”

There has been a strong reaction to the TV3 documentary last night that looked into child poverty in this country.

The Bryan Bruce-fronted Inside New Zealand: Inside Child Poverty documentary examined the last 100 years of child welfare in NZ, showing how children’s health has deteriorated over the years.

The Child Poverty Action Group labelled the documentary “compulsory viewing”.

“New Zealand has betrayed its proud history as a good place to bring up children. We should hang our collective heads in shame at our poor record for child health,” the group said today.

Diane Robertson of Auckland City Mission said: Here at the mission, we are seeing more and more families coming to us in desperate need, with children who are not being fed, clothed or housed adequately, and who are not receiving adequate medical care.

“While successive governments have said they will do everything they can to address the issue, nothing much has changed. While they are talking and not acting, more and more children are going hungry, suffering from preventable third-world diseases and well on the way towards becoming dysfunctional adults.”

The documentary has also been a talking point among the political parties, with many criticising National for not resolving the issue.

Source: Herald

7:30pm – Tuesday, November 22 on TV 3

Leading up to this week’s Election, TV3 is screening a shocking report on the state of child health by award winning director Bryan Bruce. Inside New Zealand: Inside Child Poverty – A Special Report screens on Tuesday, November 22 nd at 7:30pm on 3. Bryan Bruce has spent the last six months investigating why the current state of child health in New Zealand is so bad and what we can do about it.

“I’m a baby boomer,” says Bruce. “I went to primary school in the late 50’s when they gave us free milk, free health care and a free education. In those days, Kiwi’s were able to boast that New Zealand was a great place to bring up kids. So when I learned that we’d dropped to number 28 on the list of 30 OECD countries for child well being, with just Mexico and Turkey behind us, I decided to find out what’s gone wrong and what we have to do to fix it.”

Bruce begins his journey in East Porirua, just 15km from Parliament, it has the highest rate of rheumatic fever in the country – a disease of poverty. After interviewing teachers, parents and local doctors, Bruce discovers what the free market economy has done to the health of children living in lower income families. Skin infections and respiratory illnesses he found are rife. “And it’s not because their parents don’t care. They do. They’re just poor. Typically they can’t afford heating so they huddle together in one room and in large families that’s how diseases such as tuberculosis, meningitis and rheumatic fever are spread,” he explains. Bruce then travels to Sweden to find out why the Swedes are second for child health and New Zealand is third from the bottom.

“What I discovered is that they work smarter,” says Bruce. “They know that for every dollar they spend on prevention they save about $4 on cure. They have a completely free health care system for children up to the age of 18”.

“Every school has a fulltime nurse and a doctor visits twice a week so they catch and treat symptoms early and save on huge hospital bills.”

“They also feed every child a healthy lunch everyday free of charge.” Make sure not to miss this thought provoking documentary when Inside New Zealand: Inside Child Poverty – A Special Report screens on Tuesday, November 22nd at 7:30pm on 3.

8:30pm – Wednesday, July 27 on TV 3

This week 3’s fascinating Inside New Zealand documentary series continues with The Nip Tuck Trip, a brutally honest look at three ordinary New Zealanders on a cosmetic surgery holiday to Kuala Lumpur. Inside New Zealand: The Nip Tuck Trip screens on Wednesday, July 27 th at 8:30pm on 3. Cosmetic surgery is no longer the exclusive domain of the rich and famous. Now more then ever anyone with a computer, credit card, and the will to change what nature gave them can book their procedures online, get on a plane, and be under the knife in less than 48 hours. In order to get to the heart of what’s driving so many New Zealanders to want to look younger, slimmer, smoother and tighter, The Nip Tuck Trip follows Deidre, Leanne and Darrin on their international elective surgeries trips.

During the trip, director, Slavko Martinov, will interview plastic surgeon Dr. Jalil about everything from his experiences, to the changes in surgery trends, and New Zealand’s role in the global explosion of cosmetic surgery.

As well as this, The Nip Tuck Trip will also see Slavko put some hard questions to Howard Klein (the head of the New Zealand Plastic Surgeon’s Association) and Dr. Meredith Jones.

Make sure not to miss all this when Inside New Zealand: The Nip Tuck Trip exposes the real price of plastic surgery on Wednesday, July 27 th at 8:30pm on 3.

8:30pm – Wednesday, July 20 on TV 3

This week sees the fascinating Inside New Zealand series continuing with A Drunken State, a documentary taking an up-close and personal look at the harsh reality of New Zealand’s drinking culture. Inside New Zealand: A Drunken State screens on Wednesday, July 20 th at 8:30pm on 3. Everybody knows that New Zealand has one of the highest rates of binge drinking in the world, but the statistics are meaningless unless we know someone affected by alcohol. Now A Drunken State puts faces to the figures, putting drinking behaviour into the context of real Kiwi lives.

“Being drunk made me feel ecstatic and comfy and the room was spinning which most people, normal people, don’t like, and I loved it,” journalist, retired talk-back host and parliamentarian Pam Corkery explains in the documentary.

But over the years Pam’s drinking got worse, to the point where she became an alcoholic. “Good, close friends wouldn’t let me go around for fear of how I’d behave in front of their children,” she adds. As well as Pam’s story, A Drunken State also follows 25-year-old Lukas as he goes out for a night with his friends. “You gotta go out, have a good time, get horsed. If you don’t get horsed, well what’s the point?,” Lukas explains.

The documentary will also meet Kerri and her female mates who play drinking games before heading out for the night. “We all like to get a little bit tipsy before we go out…to make us feel a little bit better,” Kerri explains. These stories are all set against the backdrop of the proposed changes to New Zealand’s liquor legislation.

Make sure not to miss them when Inside New Zealand: A Drunken State screens on Wednesday, July 20 th at 8:30pm on 3.

8:30pm – Wednesday, July 13 on TV 3

Inside New Zealand: High Time?, screening on Wednesday, July 13 th at 8.30pm on 3, investigates the facts and fallacies surrounding cannabis use in New Zealand and asks whether it’s time we made cannabis legal. Central to the story is Dakta Green, formerly known as Ken Morgan, who was an electorate chairman for the National Party and campaigner for Saturday Trading and Casinos before becoming an advocate for cannabis law reform. He is leading the charge for cannabis to be legalised and has set up “The Daktory”, a warehouse in West Auckland that operates as a club for cannabis users where they can purchase and smoke the drug, as an example of how legalisation might work in the future. “The purpose of this club is to show my fellow New Zealanders that you have absolutely nothing to fear from people who are part of the cannabis culture,” says Green.

Warren Young from the Law Commission has been involved in a recent review of our Drugs Laws and he also supports changes to our cannabis laws: “I think simply carrying as we’re carrying on at the moment doesn’t really work,” he says.

In New Zealand, there are also people using cannabis who have a legitimate need – for some people it offers pain relief or therapeutic benefits that they can’t get from prescription medicines.

However, under current legislation these people are being charged and convicted. “I’ve had to deal with all of the fall out from police, the courts lawyers corrections and my life’s just completely changed,” says one such user, Dawn. Inside New Zealand: High Time? explores the pros, cons, costs and risks of taking a more liberal approach to cannabis when it screens on Wednesday, July 13 th at 8.30pm on 3.

8:30pm – Wednesday, July 6 on TV 3

This week sees the Inside New Zealand documentary series continuing with Dying For A Smoke, screening on Wednesday, July 6 th at 8:30pm on 3. Inside New Zealand: Dying For A Smoke investigates New Zealand’s smoking problem, specifically focusing on smoking among Maori, but also looking at trends within the wider community. The documentary features personal stories of smokers – people like Natasha who started smoking when she was very young.

“I started smoking Port Royal at 11,” Natasha explains about her addiction. “I’m still smoking it.” And now she can’t give up… even though she’s pregnant. “When I got pregnant I started smoking more, a lot more… I was worried about how it would affect the baby, but I still can’t give up.”

What’s most alarming about Natasha’s story is that it’s not an unusual one. In order to understand the reasons behind this, Dying For A Smoke looks at how tobacco is marketed – seeking comments from industry experts like Jeffrey Wigand – the subject of the film The Insider. He says many problems with tobacco can be tracked back to the marketing strategies of the tobacco companies.

“The industry goes after children, it goes after females, it goes after indigenous groups…It goes after people that are less educated so they’re always looking to prey on the easy ones,” Wigand explains.

Dying For A Smoke also looks at how tobacco companies get into the psyche of young people through subtle but highly influential ways of making tobacco accessible and desirable.

Make sure not to miss this when Inside New Zealand: Dying For A Smoke screens on Wednesday, July 6 th at 8:30pm on 3.

8:30pm – Wednesday, June 29 on TV 3

The Inside New Zealand documentary series continues this week with The Banker, The Escorts and The $18 Million, which tells the incredible story of Stephen Versalko – the ASB fraudster who stole almost $18m of his clients’ money to lead an audacious double life of sex, lies and betrayal, including spending around $3.4m on prostitutes. Inside New Zealand: The Banker, The Escorts and The $18 Million screens on Wednesday, June 29 th at 8:30pm on 3. The Banker, The Escorts and The $18 Million tells the story of New Zealand’s biggest ever single employee fraudster, Stephen Versalko – the man who defrauded a high-profile bank and his clients for almost a decade. Stephen Gerard Versalko was sentenced in 2010 to six years imprisonment, with a minimum non-parole period of four years, after siphoning $17,763,110.19 off 26 sets of wealthy clients from the ASB Bank where he worked as an investment advisor. Outside of buying property ($3.9m), his biggest spend was on sex – including $3.34m on just two Auckland prostitutes with whom he had long-term relationships. One received $2.5m and later reached a confidential settlement with the ASB, which pursued her in court to get the money back. The other received $791,181 – though both women also say they received large cash payments. Additional money was also spent at various escort agencies around the city.

Featuring candid interviews with key Serious Fraud Office investigators, former clients and the first ever and exclusive interview with the $791,181 prostitute who Versalko later accused of blackmailing him, the Versalko story is laid bare in this stunning docudrama.

Make sure not to miss it when Inside New Zealand: The Banker, The Escorts and The $18 Million screens on Wednesday, June 29 th at 8:30pm on 3.

TV3’s award-winning documentary strand Inside New Zealand returns with a compelling new line-up of insightful programmes on Wednesday, 1 June at 8.30pm.

TV3’s Head of Factual, Sue Woodfield, says: “This new Inside New Zealand line-up features fascinating new documentaries from some of our best factual storytellers. It’s just a great watch.

“The programmes explore many of the big questions facing New Zealand today:  Is our crime rate better or worse here than in other countries? Do our police have enough support? What drives Kiwis to seek cut-price plastic surgery?  What are the ramifications of smoking, alcohol and cannabis for our society? Do we want to change things – and if so, how?

“Each documentary brings together riveting footage, expert knowledge and a unique New Zealand perspective on the issues that shape how we live.”

Inside NZ kicks off with 24 Hours: POLICE, a three-part documentary series that compares crime and policing methods in four major international cities – Auckland, Perth, San Francisco and Oslo – to find out how New Zealand stacks up.  Is crime in New Zealand worse than in other countries? What can learn from how other police forces work?

Documentary crews spent 24 hours filming on the streets with each of the forces, starting at 8am Saturday morning, through to 8am Sunday morning.  The revealing footage is woven through the three-episode series, which is arranged into chronological order: episode one deals with the daylight hours; episode two covers the period from 8pm to 2am; and episode three looks at the early morning – from 2am to 8am.

Cameras travelled in police cars, went on the beat with foot patrols, filming everything from the mundane through to the dangerous – from theft, drunk and disorderly behaviour to armed incidents and an attempted homicide.  

24 Hours: Police compares the prevalence and nature of crime, paying particular attention to resourcing, whether the forces are routinely armed (two are, two are not), violent offending rates and the prevalence of alcohol and drug-fuelled crime. Experts in each city, including police chiefs, criminologists and crime journalists, offer their views on crime and policing methods in their own cities – what’s working and what isn’t.

Following 24 Hours: Police, is a hot-off-the-press, one-off commentary that recreates one of the most intriguing news stories of recent times. In The Banker, The Escorts and the $18 Million, Inside New Zealand tells the inside story of former ASB banker, Stephen Versalko, who led an audacious double life of theft, sex and betrayal, funded by the proceeds of New Zealand’s biggest ever single employee fraud.

Upcoming documentaries in the series include Dying for a Smoke, which looks at how the tobacco industry sells us smoking, and The Nip Tuck Trip, which follows New Zealanders who have opted for cut-price plastic surgery abroad.

The latest series of TV3’s award-winning Inside New Zealand premieres on Wednesday 1 June at 8.30pm with 24 Hours: Police (Part One – The Frontline Force: 8am-8pm)

9:30pm – Wednesday, September 22 on TV 3

Pauli O’Halloran is just the 96th person in New Zealand to have received a lung transplant. Of those 96, only 37 are still alive. His gruelling and heart-wrenching battle is caught on camera by his film-maker wife in the deeply intimate documentary Inside New Zealand: Life, Death and a Lung Transplant, screening on Wednesday, September 22nd at 9:30pm on 3.

At 44 years old, Pauli’s lifelong battle with Cystic Fibrosis made him one of New Zealand’s oldest survivors of CF, living well past the average life expectancy of 31 for a male. In the lead up to his operation, every day was a constant struggle to breathe, and the older he got, the sicker he became. His only hope of survival lay in new lungs.

For those needing an organ transplant, the struggle is a tricky one. Recipients need to get sick enough so that they qualify to get on the active waiting list, while remaining healthy enough to be able to survive the operation.

And a lung transplant especially is not an easy operation. Only around 15 are performed each year, and they come with a long, painful and mentally and physically tough recovery. Although survival chances start at 85% at one month, they quickly plummet to 70% at one year, and 50% at three years.

“You wouldn’t do it if you had a choice,” says Pauli. “You’d only choose a lung transplant if your other choice was death. Lucky old me. What a choice.”

Inside New Zealand: Life, Death and a Lung Transplant follows Pauli’s battle through the story told by his wife Rachel Jean. With unlimited, 24-hour access to our subject, this piece documents Pauli’s five-year struggle to get on the waiting list, hope for new lungs, and face the very real possibility of leaving behind a wife and two young children who will not be able to remember their father.

“If it was just me on my own, I probably wouldn’t have bothered. But life is more complicated than that. I’m basically doing it for Rachel and Frankie and Violet. I just don’t want to leave them. I want to see the kids grow up… and they need a dad.”

Tune in for the rollercoaster of emotions that is Inside New Zealand: Life, Death and a Lung Transplant, screening Wednesday, September 22nd at 9:30pm on 3.