Neighbours At War proves that from the top of the country to the bottom, average Kiwis are falling out with alarming regularity. The producers have filmed disputes of both epic and inconsequential proportions; from driveway hassles and dogs barking, to unruly trees, dodgy fences, covert filming, and crazy grandmothers. Where Police, city councils, lawyers and offensive language may have failed, Neighbours At War gingerly steps in to assist with a variety of well-intentioned mediators… and with mixed results.
“This show is a real insight into how people can behave towards each other when they’re put in close proximity, and how a simple spat with a neighbour can completely dominate someone’s life,” says series researcher Kim Trueman. “And it’s so scarily common there is probably some sort of dispute going on in your own street right now!”
Embracing the adage that ‘there are two sides to every story’, Neighbours At War goes behind-the-scenes in New Zealand’s seemingly peaceful streets, visiting disgruntled residents who are at their wits’ end and helping them tell their stories to the nation. As well as providing a compelling insight into the things that really, really tick people off, Neighbours At War is laden with useful information for viewers at home – keep a pen and paper handy!
“We get community disputes out in the open,” says director Bill Kerton. “It’s almost like a 10 week, nationwide hui – the title of the show is a little misleading because we’ve seen so much love.”
Producer Sophie Dungate adds; “Bringing about a cease-fire in an acrimonious situation where both parties have ceased to have any sense of perspective is challenging at best. However we have had some excellent mediators this series, and against the odds I think we’ve achieved some excellent resolutions.”
7.30pm every Thursday on TV2.