By 1968 Ian Johnsone had spent five years as a broadcaster with the NZBC. An Anglo-Scot, he came to New Zealand in 1961 after working in Britain and Zambia. During his broadcasting career, he was an announcer, interviewer and newsreader on radio and television, before joining the current affairs television unit which produced the first series of Compass. As reporter and finally producer for the programme. He presented reports on many aspects of New Zealand life, from light hearted explorations of the North Island’s thermal pools, to serious documentaries on political issues. Married, with three children. Ian Johnstone was Professional Officer with the New Zealand Institute of Architects, but retained a keen and concerned interest in radio and television. and still doing some broadcasting.
His work for the small screen in New Zealand includes:
- Compass (1964 - 69)
- Crimewatch (1987-96)
- Dialogue (196?)
- From the Ocean to The Sky (1979)
- Kidset (1970)
- Shark in the Park (1989-91)
- Survey (1971-75)
- Tomb of the Unknown Warrior (2004)
- Town and Around (1965-70)
WNTV1 Ian Johnstone - A roving commentator at home
From the New Zealand TV Weekly. January 9, 1967
Probably one of the most thoroughly likeable commentators on New Zealand television, Ian Johnstone has been seen by viewers who followed the top-quality Compass programme. In this picture we show Ian off-duty reading a story to two of his children, Antony and Mairead sitting on the lap of Angela ]ohn- stone. The Johnstone’s have a third child, Grace who is ﬁve. She was not present when the photographer called. Ian met and married his wife in Zambia. She is an Irish girl who speaks with a warm, rich brogue.
Before I came to New Zealand I was district oﬂicer in Zambia, and Angela, who is a nurse, was running the hospital in which I was D.O. Both Ian and Angela Johnstone retain fond memories of their service in Zambia, one of Africa’s new emergent
Ian uses an animal horn as a novel rack to hold his collection of pipes. The pipe-rack was originally designed to be a ﬂower vase, but lan decided if he bored some extra holes in it he could make it into something even more useful (for himself. Though he is not fond of strong tobacco, it can be said that this commentator has a strong fondness for pipes, especially when he settles down in the week-end with a good book.
In his spare time Ian Johnstone writes radio talks at home and he looks on this as a sort of hobby.
But I suppose my hobby these days is clearing a section where we are going to build next year, he says.
Pouring coffee for his wife, Angela, is one of the few domestic tasks that he performs reasonably well. He cooks as a last resort and admits to being a
One of many highlights of his career was the 1984 Leaders debate.