Inside New Zealand

Thursday, February 15th 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. The first part of this two-part Inside New Zealand documentary reveals the story behind the headlines, screening Thursday, February 15th at 8:30pm.

This is a landmark case that has shocked New Zealand and made headlines in Romania. The must-see documentary reveals how Alana and Iani have become trapped in a bureaucratic nightmare; and why Romanian authorities are panicking about inter-country adoptions.

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.

Twenty families are currently trapped within Romania, caught up in the bureaucracy that won’t grant them the children they have fostered. Their story will sound warning bells for any New Zealander considering an international adoption.

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.

She fostered Iani, taking him out of the orphanage and for nearly two years worked to go through the official adoption process when they left the country for New Zealand and a holiday together.

On arrival in New Zealand she discovered she could continue the adoption process from afar. Iani started school and to all intents and purposes, became a Kiwi kid. He spoke only English and called Alana “mum”.

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.

Despite the shocking turn of events, attempts by the New Zealand Government at diplomatic intervention proved futile.

And so they left New Zealand, heartbroken, Alana ready to battle bureaucracy face-to-face. Alana was told her chances of adopting Iani are remote, but she insists Iani is her son and she will fight to the end for him.

This is their story on Inside New Zealand: The Rescue Of Iani, Part One, screening Thursday, February 15th at 8:30pm.

3’s premier, award-winning documentary series Inside New Zealand returns for its 16th season with stories that affect ordinary New Zealanders, screening Thursday, February 8th at 8.30pm on 3.

The new series explores a combination of personal and informative issues that promise to entertain, elucidate and inspire, says 3’s Head of Factual, Sue Woofield.

“I am always overwhelmed with the generosity of New Zealanders sharing their most personal stories with us. Without them, we would never have Inside New Zealand. The stories in 2007 range from issues which affect us all, to revealing personal dilemmas; it promises riveting viewing.”

Inside New Zealand kicks off 2007 with a hard-hitting investigation into the safety record of 4WDs, from road crashes to driveway accidents, as well as air pollution and fuel consumption.

While 4WDs have continued to climb in popularity over the last ten years, there have been increasing calls for them not to be used as standard vehicles in cities and suburbs. The statistics on 4WD accidents on our roads and in our driveways are irrefutable and scary – even the Minister for Transport Safety, Harry Duynhoven, joins the chorus of people recommending that 4WDs not be used in the cities unless for commercial use.

Inside New Zealand: 4WDs: Danger on the Road is an eye-opening look at the real cost for our cities and the nation, because of our love-affair with 4WD vehicles.

Later in the year is a four-part Inside New Zealand series entitled What’s Your Verdict, where a hand-picked jury examines the evidence presented in four of the country’s most notorious and controversial crime cases.

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.

In the meantime, tune in to the first episode of Inside New Zealand 2007, as it premieres on Thursday, February 8th at 8.30pm with an intriguing investigation into the safety record of 4WDs.