Inside New Zealand

INSIDE NEW ZEALAND:
NZSAS: FIRST AMONG EQUALS
A world exclusive look inside the NZSAS training procedures
Thursday, May 24th at 8:30pm

Inside New Zealand: NZSAS: First Among Equals is a world first, exclusive documentary series about the inner workings of this country’s most famous fighting elite – the top 1% of the New Zealand Defence Force – better know as the NZSAS, screening Thursday, May 24th at 8:30pm.

For three years, award-winning filmmakers Desert Road enjoyed unprecedented and unparalleled access to this world-renowned but never-before-seen Special Force.

During this time, Desert Road’s cameras followed 50 hopefuls over many gruelling months, as they are moulded from raw soldiers into highly-skilled troopers of NZSAS calibre, ready to deploy overseas and participate in the Global War on Terror – at a moment’s notice.

The four-part documentary series reveals remarkable footage from life at the very heart of the unit’s head quarters, to the central North Island plateau and the sub-zero temperatures of the Southern Alps, from 12,000 feet above Auckland city, to the battlegrounds of Afghanistan.

Follow the small five man patrols as they train to expert levels in a multitude of skills, including parachuting, marksmanship, demolitions, infiltration, survival techniques and communications.

The trainees are pushed to their very limits as they perform tasks and exercises in every terrain and situation imaginable. They’re at the very pinnacle of physical fitness and mental aptitude.

Part one of the series follows the infamous ten day NZSAS selection course. Failure to complete one of the first day’s barrage of physical challenges in the allotted time means instant disqualification.

This includes a 60km open-country navigation with a full pack, enforced sleep and food deprivation.

The NZSAS demands these incredibly high standards because it knows that all of these hard mental, physical and emotional challenges have been faced by NZSAS soldiers on real missions; such as in the Malayan jungle in 1955.

This elite fighting Unit was developed in North Africa during WWII where Kiwis were part of the original SAS and Long Range Desert Group.

Tune in to this world first, exclusive, four-part documentary series about the inner workings of this country’s most famous fighting elite – Inside New Zealand: NZSAS: First Among Equals, screening Thursday, May 24th at 8:30pm.

For more information visit: tv3.co.nz/insidenz

INSIDE NEW ZEALAND: SEX WARS, PART FOUR
Have we gone too far?
Thursday, May 10th at 8:30pm

The final episode of Inside New Zealand: Sex Wars investigates whether we’re feminising, demonising and undervaluing New Zealand men, Thursday, May 10th at 8:30pm.

In the past, men held the political, social and economic power in New Zealand. Women on the other hand were under-represented, undermined and undervalued.

But over the last 40 years the balance of power has changed – and some people say this has come at men’s expense.

In New Zealand it’s easy to think women have taken over. But are high-profile women like Helen Clark and Teresa Gattung the exception rather than the rule? We look at perception versus reality when it comes to gender equity.

The reason women haven’t taken complete control is because of children. Having babies and raising kids is one of the biggest factors affecting gender equity in New Zealand. Juggling work and kids will always be a struggle for New Zealand women.

Inside New Zealand also asks if boys are being let down by our education system and if the lack of male teachers is really such a big a problem. What messages are we giving young boys in New Zealand?

Plus we also look at a new breed of man – the stay-at-home-dad, or househusband. Should men really be cleaning the toilet and looking after the kids? And in the most revealing experiment of the series, we ask if men can really be trusted with children.

So in these changing times are Kiwi blokes beginning to fight back? We go in search of the retrosexual – he’s not a metro-sexual or a househusband – he’s a real man.

This final episode of Inside New Zealand: Sex Wars is an enlightening and entertaining look at some serious issues facing Kiwi men and women in today’s society, screening Thursday, May 10th at 8:30pm.

INSIDE NEW ZEALAND: SEX WARS
Exploring the sexual politics in New Zealand society
Thursday, April 19th at 8:30pm

Inside New Zealand: Sex Wars is a four-part documentary series which explores whether men still hold all the power in society, and what sexual politics exist in New Zealand, screening Thursday, April 19th at 8:30pm.

Sex Wars interviews a range of Kiwis to provide accurate information about the attitudes of New Zealand men and women, past and present

Have women stolen men’s power, now that they’ve started acting in ways which were once typically male orientated behaviour – drinking, gadgets, and openly talking about sex?

It seems like the ideas about what are ‘typical’ female and male behaviour and attitudes have changed dramatically over the last few decades in New Zealand.

It has become increasingly possible for both women and men in New Zealand to be ‘feminine’ and ‘masculine’ in ways that are markedly different from previous generations – the lines are starting to blur.

It has been easy to fall into the trap of saying New Zealand is ‘A Man’s Country’, but in actual fact it is quite the opposite, and it is now too easy to look at women in their current positions of power.

Currently we have females in the following roles: the Prime Minister, Governor General, Chief Justice, Attorney General, speaker of the House of Representatives, and the head of the country’s largest company.

But as with any cultural revolution it’s a slow and perplexing process of change. In 2006 myths, stereotypes, and clichés about gender abound and people are constantly pushing boundaries, challenging the ‘norm’.

Even though the gender roles have changed, Sex Wars proves there are still traditional behaviour roles which we possess, such as sleeping on a certain side of the bed, or choosing a particular toy as a child.

Sex Wars lets the sexes speak for themselves, as men, women, children and animals are put to the test to challenge stereotypes and gender roles, as we look at just where gender relations are at in New Zealand.

Where have we come from? Where are we going? Who’s getting the better deal in the New Zealand Sex Wars?

The first episode looks at the physical differences between males and females – are we born with our gender – or are we taught it? Do boys really like trucks and balls and do girls really like dolls and tea-sets? Experts alongside Hilary Barry, Petra Bagust, Kim Adamson, Jeremy Corbett, and Robbie Magasiva (Doves of War) investigate what makes men and women different – is it nature or is it nurture?

What is the truth behind the stereotypes and clichés? Where do men and women sit in New Zealand’s sexual politics? Find out in the revealing Inside New Zealand: Sex Wars, screening Thursday, April 19th at 8:30pm.

For more information visit: tv3.co.nz/insidenz

INSIDE NEW ZEALAND:
WHAT’S YOUR VERDICT? – PETER ELLIS
A new jury discuss the guilt or innocence of Peter Ellis
Thursday, April 5th at 8:30pm

This week, Inside New Zealand: What’s Your Verdict? summons 12 people to assess the guilt or innocence of Peter Ellis, the man accused of sexually abusing children at the Christchurch Civic Childcare Centre, screening Thursday, April 5th at 8:30pm.

What’s Your Verdict? Is the innovative Inside New Zealand documentary series where a hand-picked jury examines old and new evidence presented in several of the country’s most notorious and controversial crime cases.

The series puts the New Zealand jury system to the test, as the treatment of an accused person by police, the media and the courts tells us a great deal about the state of the nation.

Our collective honesty, integrity and prejudices are never more exposed than during a big trial.

Following complaints from parents of children at Christchurch’s Civic Child Care Centre where Ellis worked, police launched an investigation into allegations of sexual abuse in 1991.

Four months later, Peter Ellis and four of his female co-workers were arrested on multiple charges.

The charges against the other crèche workers were eventually dropped, but despite his strenuous denials and questions about the reliability of the children’s evidence, Ellis was found guilty on 16 counts of abuse and sentenced to ten years imprisonment.

But with no adult eyewitnesses and no physical evidence, the convictions relied on the inconsistent and, at times, bizarre evidence from the children. Was this enough?

Ellis, now free, continues his fight to clear his name. He and his supporters see him as a victim of a modern day “witch-hunt”.

What does our new jury make of the evidence presented to them? Will their opinions be altered with new evidence which has come to hand after the court case?

Get an inside look at the jury procession on Inside New Zealand: What’s Your Verdict – Peter Ellis, screening Thursday, April 5th at 8:30pm.

For more information visit tv3.co.nz/insidenz

INSIDE NEW ZEALAND:
WHAT’S YOUR VERDICT? – TIMOTHY TAYLOR

A new jury discuss the guilt or innocence of Timothy Taylor
Thursday, March 29th at 8:30pm

This week, Inside New Zealand: What’s Your Verdict? looks at the evidence delivered against Timothy Taylor, the man convicted of killing hitchhiker Lisa Blakie, the girlfriend of a Timaru-based gang member, screening Thursday, March 29th at 8:30pm.

What’s Your Verdict? Is the innovative Inside New Zealand documentary series where a hand-picked jury examines old and new evidence presented in several of the country’s most notorious and controversial crime cases.

What happens when 12 people are called on to assess the guilt or innocence of Timothy Taylor, accused of the murder of hitchhiker Lisa Blakie in 2000?

On February 6th 2000, a young woman’s half-clothed body was found by fishermen in the Porter River in Canterbury.

Twenty-year-old, Lisa Blakie, had been stabbed, strangled and possibly sexually assaulted. Her body, weighed down by a 104kg boulder, was found lying face down in the river, near a layby beside the Arthur’s Pass highway.

Blakie came from an underworld of prostitution, gangs and drugs, and was the girlfriend of a Timaru-based gang member. A concerned Blakie had recently told friends she “knew too much” about the criminal dealings of the gang.

But instead of the gang, police turned their investigations to Timothy Taylor, a man who had picked Blakie up while she was hitchhiking. He denied any connection to her murder – saying he dropped her off safely at the layby.

But police told a different story, saying Taylor stabbed and strangled Blakie to death.

But witnesses threw the Crown case into doubt; the Crown Pathologist put Blakie’s death as most likely to have been two to three days after Taylor picked her up – at which time Taylor had a “cast-iron alibi”. Other witnesses said they had seen Blakie in the days after February 2nd.

What does our new jury make of the evidence presented to them? Will their opinions be altered with new evidence which has come to hand after the court case?

To make your decision tune in to Inside New Zealand: What’s Your Verdict? – Timothy Taylor, screening Thursday, March 29th at 8:30pm.

HIT PIC
INSIDE NEW ZEALAND:
WHAT’S YOUR VERDICT? – KEVIN HARMER
A new jury discuss the guilt or innocence of Kevin Harmer
Thursday, March 22nd at 8:30pm

This week, Inside New Zealand: What’s Your Verdict? looks at the evidence delivered in the high profile case of former District Council manager Kevin Harmer, convicted of killing his wife while having an affair with a high-priced escort, screening Thursday, March 22nd at 8:30pm.

What’s Your Verdict? Is the innovative Inside New Zealand documentary series where a hand-picked jury examines old and new evidence presented in several of the country’s most notorious and controversial crime cases.

What happens when 12 people are called on to assess the guilt or innocence of Kevin Harmer, accused of the murder of his wife Jill Thomas on their South Canterbury farm?

On October 4th, 1999, the tiny rural community of Dunsandel was shaken by the news that a freak farm accident had claimed the life of Jill Thomas, the second wife of Selwyn District Council manager Kevin Harmer.

Jill Thomas’ Land Rover had been engulfed by flames on the couple’s farm in the early evening of October 4th. Harmer claimed the fire was an accident – but a year later, after police grew increasingly suspicious about the fire and Harmer’s relationship with a high-priced escort, he was charged with his wife’s murder.

But with conflicting forensics and no eyewitnesses, could the conviction against Harmer ever be reliable? Harmer continues to protest his innocence from prison.

What does our new jury make of the evidence presented to them? Will their opinions be altered with new evidence which has come to hand after the court case?

To make up your mind, tune in to Inside New Zealand: What’s Your Verdict? – Kevin Harmer, screening Thursday, March 22nd at 8:30pm.

TV3 HIT PIC
INSIDE NEW ZEALAND:
WHAT’S YOUR VERDICT? – DAVID TAMIHERE

A new jury reassess the guilt or innocence of David Tamihere
Thursday, March 15th at 8:30pm

Inside New Zealand: What’s Your Verdict? Is the innovative Inside New Zealand documentary series where a hand-picked jury examines the evidence presented in four of the country’s most notorious and controversial crime cases, screening Thursday, March 15th at 8:30pm.

Using the same format as the popular one-off Inside New Zealand documentary What’s Your Verdict? – Mark Lundy, this new series features cases that have an underlying importance to the New Zealand justice system.

Crime and justice are a critical source of New Zealand stories – the treatment of an accused person by police, the media and the courts tells us a great deal about the state of the nation.

Our collective honesty, integrity and prejudices are never more exposed than during a big trial.

And what remains the cornerstone of our criminal justice system is the jury – 12 ordinary people called upon to decide the guilt or innocence of an accused. Behind closed doors they debate the evidence and draw on their conscience to deliver a verdict.

So what influences jurors and their decisions? What really goes on in the jury room? Which parties do they trust most?

In the first documentary, what happens when a new jury is called to reassess the guilt or innocence of David Tamihere, the man accused of the double murder of Swedish tourists Urban Hoglin and Heidi Paakkonen in 1989?

Nearly two years later David Tamihere, a man who admitted stealing the Swedes’ car, was convicted of their murders. At the time of Tamihere’s trial, the bodies were not found.

So, with no murder scene, limited forensics and no eyewitnesses, could the conviction against Tamihere ever be reliable?

Even after 15 years in prison, Tamihere and his family still claim he is innocent – alleging he was a victim of “trial by news media” orchestrated by police and the Crown Law Office, a scapegoat whose previous criminal record was leaked at a crucial point just before the trial.

The Prosecution’s use of secret witnesses was also hotly debated. And despite Hoglin’s body being found in 1991 at a location 70km from where police argued Tamihere committed the crime, Tamihere’s application to the Appeal Court was dismissed.

What does our new jury make of the evidence presented to them? Will their opinions be altered with new evidence which has come to hand after the court case?

Inside New Zealand: What’s Your Verdict? sparks necessary debate about what constitutes a fair investigation and trial, and whether every accused person gets one, with the controversial David Tamihere case screening Thursday, March 15th at 8:30pm.

LOST AT SEA – THE ROB HEWITT STORY
A first-hand account of this remarkable survival story
Thursday, March 1st at 8:30pm

The true story of one man’s perilous misadventure drifting alone in a cruel and lonely sea for four harsh days and three terrifying nights, on Inside New Zealand: Lost At Sea – The Rob Hewitt Story, screening Thursday, March 1st at 8:30pm.

On a bright summer day, ex-Royal New Zealand Navy diver Robert Hewitt joined friends for a recreational scuba dive off Mana Island, north of Wellington.

When a strong underwater current sweeps Rob far from the assigned diving area he loses the dive boat, and a massive search effort begins to find him.

The unpredictable currents carry Rob far northward of the rescue effort, and a Westpac helicopter, the Wellington Police Maritime Unit, Coast Guard and private boats converge on the area where Rob went missing and find no sign of him.

“[The helicopter] kept getting smaller and further and further away, and that realisation was one of loneliness and desperation,” says Hewitt.

As Rob is in the grip of Tangaroa, the Maori God of the sea, he begins to feel despair and suffers from dehydration and starvation.

He manages to survive four days and three nights of lonely isolation by drawing on his love of family, his navy training, and Maori warrior heritage.
On the morning of day four, Rob is close to death and suffering intense pain from skin infections, as sea lice are attaching themselves to his face. In despair and delusion, he gets rid of his wet suit and rolls over to die from hypothermia.

Last year, 3 screened an Inside New Zealand documentary called Made in Taiwan: Nathan and Oscar’s Excellent Adventure, about two young New Zealanders who go through DNA-tests to learn about their ancestors.

The documentary won top honours at the 4th Annual International Oceania Documentary Film Festival in Tahiti. New Zealand director Dan Salmon received both the jury’s Grand Prix and the Public’s Prize.

The nominated films came from Rapa Nui (Easter Island), Vanuatu, Australia, French Polynesia, Nauru, Hawaii and New Zealand.

Made In Taiwan was also a finalist at the Banff High Definition Documentary Festival in Canada last year.

Meanwhile, this week, find out how Rob Hewitt survived his four days and three nights lost in a cold and inhospitable sea? Inside New Zealand brings you the real story of his remarkable survival and rescue, screening Thursday, March 1st at 8:30pm.

For more information visit: http://www.tv3.co.nz/insidenz

Press Release: NZ Motoring Writers’ Guild

Last week’s much talked about television documentary on the dangers of four-wheel-drives highlighted an important issue, but glossed over many significant facts that are vital to our understanding of the pros and cons of such vehicles.

That is the view of the New Zealand Guild of Motoring Writers, the professional body representing journalists whose job it is drive and assess the vast majority of new vehicle models that go on sale in this country.

The basic tenet of the programme – which aired on TV3 last Thursday evening – was that SUVs are inherently more dangerous to other road users, to pedestrians, and to the general public, than conventional cars.

“While this may be true in very general terms, the documentary fell down in several key areas and so presented a picture that could be misleading to the public,” says Jacqui Madelin, Guild president.

“For example, it did not clearly differentiate between ‘conventional’ large off-road four-wheel-drives and smaller and very popular ‘lifestyle’ four-wheel-drives, many of which share their chassis and suspension design with conventional cars, and are accordingly far more car-like in both their handling and crash-test behaviour.”

“In addition, many of the statistics relating to four-wheel-drive vehicles were drawn from the United States, where such vehicles are often even larger than those we see in New Zealand, and where they interact with quite a different type of conventional passenger car fleet.”

The documentary did not give sufficient weight to the positive effect of recent technological developments such as sophisticated airbag systems (both in four-wheel-drives and conventional cars), traction and stability systems, and anti-lock brakes. Critical comments in respect of four-wheel-drive diesel emissions were similarly relevant more to older vehicles as opposed to the modern generation with contemporary diesel technology, and in any case could also be applied to older diesel cars as well as four-wheel-drives.

“All of this suggests that sensible advice in respect of four-wheel-drives is to by new or near-new vehicles rather than older used machines,” says Madelin. “This being the case, it was particularly disappointing that the documentary took at face value the opinions of some self-interested folk involved in the sale of older used four-wheel drives.”

“The statements in respect of used import vehicles versus New Zealand new machines were misleading at best, as was the claim made in the programme that four-wheel-drives are more dangerous in collisions with small cars than larger cars are.”

Madelin did endorse the programme’s call to bring imported four-wheel-drives into line with passenger cars by making both subject to the same frontal impact standards.

But she says the viewing public would have been better served had greater objectivity been brought to the show from a New Zealand perspective by consulting either the Motoring Writers’ Guild, or another reputable independent organisation such as the AA.

“Our Guild members, for example, are vastly experienced at analysing the handling performance and other characteristics of all manner of vehicles – from small cars to large four-wheel-drives – in New Zealand conditions.”

The final and perhaps most important point is that the vast majority of car accidents in this country would be avoided if motorists were better equipped with the skills to adjust their driving to different types of vehicles and conditions, and to pay due attention to their driving.

“At the end of the day, it is not four-wheel-drives that kill, but motorists driving them – and other vehicles – badly,” says Madelin. “This country’s motoring public needs to face up to the fact that the poor standard of our own driving, not different types of vehicles, is the underlying cause of our road toll.”

Thursday, February 22nd at 8:30pm

Part two of this gripping documentary reveals how Kiwi nurse Alana Cleland and her adopted son Iani have become trapped in a bureaucratic nightmare; and why Romanian authorities are panicking about inter-country adoptions, Inside New Zealand: The Rescue Of Iani, Part Two, screening Thursday, February 22nd at 8:30pm.

When Kiwi nurse Alan Cleland was ordered to return her adopted son Iani to the Romanian authorities early 2005 it appeared to be a human rights tragedy. This is a landmark case that has shocked New Zealand and made headlines in Romania.

It is of particular current interest since Alana and Iani are among several hundred families from around the world that have been devastated by Romania’s decision to end all international adoptions.

When New Zealand paediatric nurse Alana Cleland volunteered to work in a Romanian orphanage as a 22-year-old, she fell in love with ten month old gypsy baby, Iani Lingurar, and was determined to give him a new life in New Zealand.

Then, Romania suddenly slammed the doors on inter-country adoptions leaving Alana and Iani in limbo. Its government claimed Alana had stolen the boy and demanded Iani be returned.

Alana says she has met Iani’s birth mother – a Romanian gypsy who had given birth to possibly 11 children, nine left in hospitals or orphanages.

But the background even to seemingly straightforward adoptions is often complex and riddled with human rights abuses against Romanian parents – initiated during the reign of former Communist dictator Nicolae Ceaucescu.

Alana and Iani’s story will also help shed light on the greater tragedy, the Romanian orphanage system, and the reasons why Romania is closing its doors to international adoptions.

Tune in to the second part of Inside New Zealand: The Rescue Of Iani, screening Thursday, February 22nd at 8:30pm.