Operation Hero

4:00pm Sunday, October 28 on TV2

It’s the season finale of Operation Hero and the six Kiwi kids reflect on the 18 huge challenges they’ve completed based on the deeds of real-life heroes.

This season’s challenges have included emulating Huria Matenga’s amazing deep sea rescue, Johnny Pohe’s incredible escape from a World War II prison camp and emulating the many heroes who helped to save lives after the Christchurch earthquake.

But before the champion can be crowned there’s one final challenge. Who has what it takes to be the ultimate hero?

4:00pm Sunday, August 26 on TV2

Kiwi kids kick into action when the brand new season of Operation Hero returns.

Hosted by Dayna Vawdrey (Studio 2), six 12 and 13-year-olds set out on the adventure of a lifetime. Each week players are told of the deeds of a real-life new Zealand hero and must compete in two huge challenges inspired by the hero’s actions and courage.

This week, the kids are to complete a challenge inspired by the real life escape stories of Kiwi solider Sandy Thomas, a hero from World War II. First the players have to collect items to explode their way out of a prison camp, echoing Sandy’s daring escape. Then the young players need to make their way to freedom across a lake and devour a plateful of disgusting food.

Other episodes feature stories of heroes such as James Christie who raced to get help when his friend was trapped under debris from a lahar on Mt Ruapehu; Huria Matenga who saved a crew of sailors caught in a storm off the coast of Nelson in 1863; and 10-year-old Wairarapa boy Harry McCoy who performed CPR on his own father and saved his life.

The series also features an episode dedicated to the many heroes from the 2011 Christchurch earthquake.

5:00pm Sunday, October 16 on TV2

A courageous act during a shark attack provides the inspiration for this week’s episode of the action-adventure show, Operation Hero on TV2.

Hosted by Dayna Vawdrey (Studio 2), Operation Hero sees Kiwi kids compete in challenges inspired by the bravery of real New Zealand heroes.

Today’s challenges are inspired by Jacinda Amey who, at age 23 in 1992, helped to save the life of a friend who was attacked by a shark in the waters off Campbell Island, 600km south of Invercargill.

This week, teams have to work together to tow a dummy over open water at the Devonport Naval Base. Then they come face to face with sharks in the shark tank at Kelly Tarlton’s.

Missed an episode of Operation Hero? Full episodes are available online. Go to tvnz.co.nz and click the Ondemand link.

5:00pm Sunday, September 18 on TV2

The action adventure continues this week in TV2’s new local series, Operation Hero where Kiwi kids compete in challenges inspired by the bravery of real New Zealand heroes.

The 10-part series, hosted by Dayna Vawdrey (Studio 2), features six 12-year-olds on the adventure of a lifetime.

The players are told of the deeds of a real-life hero and then must compete in two huge challenges inspired by the hero’s actions and courage.

Today’s challenges are inspired by stories from Bernard Freyberg’s time during WW1. Players must ferry explosives over open water and set off a flare on the shore.

The second challenge is a cooking challenge, where players must make a WW1-style meal and then deliver it via a muddy trench.

5:00pm Sunday, September 11 on TV2

The action adventure continues this week in TV2’s new local series Operation Hero, where Kiwi kids compete in challenges inspired by the bravery of real New Zealand heroes.

The 10-part series, hosted by Dayna Vawdrey (Studio 2), features six 12-year-olds on the adventure of a lifetime.

The players are told of the deeds of a real-life hero and then must compete in two huge challenges inspired by the hero’s actions and courage.

This week’s challenges are inspired by mountain rescuer Brian Pickering, who saved the lives of a father and son lost in the bush.

Players are winched by Iroquois into the bush and have to build a shelter for their teams, where players Chris (from Upper Hutt) and Poppy (formerly of Rotorua, now living in Auckland) come to blows.

Then, they’re given hand-held GPS devices and have to find their way out to the helicopter pick-up zone.

5:00pm Sunday, August 21 on TV2

Settle into Sunday evening with TV2’s brand new local series Operation Hero, an action-adventure show where Kiwi kids compete in challenges inspired by the bravery of real New Zealand heroes.

Hosted by Dayna Vawdrey (Studio 2), Operation Hero features six 12-year-olds on the adventure of a lifetime. The players are told of the deeds of a real-life hero and then must compete in two huge challenges inspired by the hero’s actions and courage.

The series looks at the heroic feats of New Zealanders including Rob Hewitt, who survived three days lost at sea, Victoria Cross recipient Corporal Willie Apiata who saved a wounded comrade in battle, a group of Gisborne lifeguards who rescued passengers trapped in a submerged van and Jacinda Amey who rescued a friend attacked by a shark.

Competing in different teams each week, the players quickly get to know each other’s strengths and weaknesses. The teams win points for winning and completing challenges, but at the end of each episode the team points are transferred to each player. A leader board keeps track of which player has the most points, so by the end of the series there will be an Operation Hero champion.

But it’s not all about winning challenges and points. The daunting reality-style challenges test the players’ physical and mental abilities, not to mention challenges their approach to teamwork, communication and courage.

This week’s premiere episode features challenges inspired by the legendary Nancy Wake, a New Zealand-born WW2 French Resistance fighter.

First, the players parachute from 12,000 feet, echoing Nancy’s daring night drop into occupied France. Twelve-year-old Devon from Porirua had to face his fears in this challenge:

“Doing the sky diving was a huge challenge for me. I found it really difficult because I’m scared of heights.”

After their parachute landing the players must rendezvous and crack a code, inspired by the work Nancy did with the underground resistance. Then they embark on a gruelling bike relay to set up a state-of-the-art communications hub.