From the New Zealand TV Weekly. March 27, 1967


Suggestion that there is discrimination against Maoris in TV commercial work seems valid-but only if one is prepared to go along with the anti-Kiwi premise that Maoris are a race apart. However, first firm to whip in with a Maori cast commercial could pick up a quick publicity bonanza (The wider issue at the time.). . . . . Austrailian made The Ten Again series may look okay abroad, but won't win many friends here the way the local scene is shabbily depicited . . . . . Possible purchases by the Australian Broadcasting Commission: C'mon! and Te Ao Hou, Auckland's entry for the current festival of children's TV shows in Japan. ABC purchasing office, David Stone, will be spending some time viewing tapes of these shows . . . . . Question of the moment for a lot of aspiring TV comperes (or comeres): Who is going to get the local women's programme berth? . . . . . Local newscasts tending to dig deeper into topical subjects, which should be to the good, provided the pitfall of editorial comment is avoided . . . . . Switch of producers and performers for the Theatre Company's production of Poor Bites at Auckland University. Producer was Town and Around reporter, Tom Finlayson, and cast included AKTV2 producers Michael Devine and David Hardy (who did the prestige Te Ao Hau job). Contract announcer, Michael Noonan, at one time a Dunedin TV newsreader, also on-stage . . . . . Town and Around continues to be somewhat curate's egg, but nothing ever seems to ruffle the imperturbable Keith Bracey.


Perhaps to spite one of New Zealand's Sunday papers (where are you, Lord Thomson?) which had predicted that the NZBC would not revive its prestige documentary programme Compass, the corporation announced one Sunday night late in February that Compass would be on screen again early in April, with former front man, Ian Johnstone, standing in as producer. Shooting of the new series began the second week in March. Tentative subjects lined up included such topicalities as the balance of payments problem, electricity needs, tourist industry and homosexuality. Ian took the producing job reluctantly, because he says he loves the reporting part, travelling, and talking to people. Now, he will be a bit more desk-bound. Those who know him are convinced he will make a success of what is a difficult assignment. Nevertheless, it is to be hoped that we will continue to see him in front of the camera in future. He says he will lean toward the Alan Martin style of documentary technique. Obviously, he has a great admiration for the NZBC's former chief producer, who was Compass's first producer. But he hopes to evolve his own style. As this was being written, no decision had been made on who would front the new series. Tony Asshenden, the young Victoria University tutor who did so well on the election night round-up, may do some reporting. But as his occasional appearances on Town and Around have shown, he still has a good deal to learn in the way of interviewing technique. It's a pity that NZBC continues to use people in the wrong roles. Tony's talent is obviously for comment, rather than reporting.


Production of Sixty Seconds Please, David Pumphrey's discussion panel series began. at the end of March, and there will be another production session in May. Pumphrey has been using the OB unit for this series at Christchurch's Girl Guide Hall. Programmes will be of 30 minutes' duration, panels will be switched to give panellists a rest and viewers a change. Pumphrey feels that the series should make good winter viewing. Coincidentally, one of the advisory committees had suggested a programme of this nature, but after CHTV3 had swung into action. . . . . Remember that excellent documentary, S.A.R. for Short, on the Search and Rescue Organisation and produced by Associated Film Makers? Well, now the company, working in conjunction with the NZBC, is doing a dozen documentaries, each of 30 minutes, about life in New Zealand today. Executive producer will be Bob Lapresele of Associated, but he will be working with producers from each channel. Actually, each channel will be responsible for three programmes. CHTV3's share will be handled by Bill Taylor, David Pumphrey and Brian McDermott. Taylor's production will deal with life on the South Island's West Coast, while Pumphrey will be doling his documentary on mountaineering and rock-climbing, something he knows a lot about from practical experience. No decision has been made on the McDermott film. Actually the first in the series for New Zealand will be made by CHTV3 next month.


These days World of Sport is springing unusual optical effects on DNTV2 viewers. The sports commentator appears in cameo towards the-corner of the screen, which is otherwise occupied with a scene of outdoor sporting activity. Even if the commentator sometimes appears as though he were talking from a hole in the ground, it is good to see new methods of presentation being tried out. . . . . . . . . Many people in broadcasting recognise that the Sports Section is one of the most efficiently run departments of the Corporation. DNTV2's compact sports team, headed by Ian Richards as sports producer, who comes from Wellington and thinks Dunedin is MARVELLOUS, has as his production secretary Marie Choie and can call on Wayne Andrews, Michael Crichton and Peter Sellers for assistance. They chase up sporting fixtures from Invercargill to the Waitaki River. Ian Richards is a man game for anything. He covered a boat race on Lake Benmore in an aeroplane, directing his cameramen dotted about the lake shore, by walkie-talkie. . . . . Town and Around is now well off the ground and is being introduced by Noel Robson, who takes a no-nonsense approach to his job. He might look unexciting, but he has interesting potential as many viewers will know if they saw the gag he played on the phlegmatic Dunedin public when, on park benches and at city bus stops, he answered a ringing telephone from the inside pocket of his raincoat.

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