Adventure show for kids based on the high seas.

Series 1

Three boys spend their summer holidays sailing and fishing the Hauraki Gulf.
Hape - Jason Pirihi 
Nik - Huru Rake 
Peter - Freddie Hemara 
Gabrielle - Rachel Weston 
Sharkey - Roy Billing 
Gripper - Ian Watkin 
Hervey - John Bach 
Scungie - Brian Allpress 
Captain - Derek Hardwick 
Uncle Roger - Ian Mune 
Auntie Mihi - Esther Davis 
Grannie - Rua Nia-Nia 
Big Jim - Dennis Hansen 
Writer: Julian Dickon
Producer: John Whitwell
Director: Mark Defriest

1) Outward Bound (28 September 1981)
Grandfather's death has meant the boys are on their own, with their grandfather's four metre dinghy, "Kina".  and their own adventures.

2) Lose A Few (5 October 1981)
Strange sounds are heard in the night. Nik is caught and the boys discover the boatshed carving is missing. Captain Peter, First Mate Nik and Able Seaman Hape plan its recovery.

3) Getting It Together (12 October 1981)
Gripper and Sharkey are still after the boys and Harvey tells his two henchmen to "get rid of the rubbish".

4) Last Laugh  (19 October 1981)
Gabrielle has become a member of the Sea Urchins crew. Her stepfather, Harvey is determined to remove the young urchins once and for all.

Series 2

The "Kina" (grandfather's fourteen foot sailing dinghy) and our adventurers Peter, Hik and Hape have returned to the Hauraki Gulf for another summer holiday. 
Nape - Jason Pirihi 
Nik - Huru Rakete 
Peter - Freddie Hernara 
Hank Heighton - Ken Blackburn 
Eddie Apples - Martyn Sanderson 
Hammer - Laurie Dee 
Bernie - Alistair Douglas 
Capt Seehall - Chic Littlewood 
Cmmdr Dempsey - Richard Moss 
Lt McBride - Sean Duffy 
Uncle Ken - Robin Ruakere
Auntie Mihi - Esther Davis
Grannie - Ruiha Mia-Mia
Big Jim - Dennis Haneen
Ex O - Bill Ewens
Director: Wayne Tourell
Producer: John Whitwell
Writer: Julian Dickon

1) 1 September 1982
There's a lot of activity on the waters of the gulf this year. HMNZS "Rotoiti" and "The Viper" seem to be looking for something. Hape thinks that it is treasure.

2) 8 September 1982
Nik has a plan and the boys discover that Hank, Eddie Apples, Bernie and Hammer could really be pirates, just as Hape suggested.

3) 15 September 1982
the Navy has become very interested in the whereabouts of the American Hank Heighton. Eddie Apples and his crew have also.

4) 22 September 1982
 Peter and Hank have discovered more than they set out to find and when Nik and Hape suggest that it's a job for the Navy Hank decides otherwise.

Bruce Allpress as Man in the white suit
Martyn Sanderson as Man in the white suit

Navy stars in new Sea Urchins series

By Rachel Stace 
The Press, 4 May 1982

Wide-ranging Royal New Zealand Navy involvement provides spectacular film highlights in the forthcoming Television New Zealand series "Sea Urchins." Viewers will see the Navy in a multitude of roles giving some graphic demonstrations of its peacetime capabilities.

"Sea Urchins" is currently in production for a second four-part series which is expected to go to air in September. For “Sea Urchins." the Navy's full co-operation was readily forthcoming and production staff were surprised by the rapid response to a multitude of requests and the service's ability to overcome a seemingly never-ending series of problems. "The Navy was magnificent,” said the producer. John Whitwell. “We must have taxed their patience to the limits but even our biggest demands seemed no problem for them. Without the Navy. 'Sea Urchins’ just couldn't have been made." The Navy, however, had to sail cautiously in at least one

area. Hefty Government-im-posed fuel restrictions precluded ships or helicopters being made available, for specially staged shooting so all sea-going activity was filmed during . routine scheduled operations. While not apparent in the series, many of the scenes "at sea" werli in fact shot while the ships were alongside Devonport Naval Base. Television crews were nothing new to the sailors, who had had more than their share of electronic- media exposure in newcasts and documentaries over the years. But "Sea Urchins" heralded the service’s entry into the world of television drama and gave the sailors a fascinating insight into something completely different. Television New Zealand’s demands for authenticity in the nautical spheres were welcomed by the navel hierarchy. Script changes were made on the advice of naval experts to ensure dialogue (complete with the service’s unique jargon) was accurate and realistic. Uniforms were made to measure by a Navy tailor and a number of "extras" were sailors acting out their normal roles. One scene involving a frigate captain was played by the commanding officer of the frigate H.M.N.Z.S. Taranaki. Commander John Peddie.

The Navy even solved TVNZ’s problem of securing the appropriate boat to provide a sea-going operations base for the villianous quartet that gives the young heroes such a torrid time. Meola. an old general-pur-pose work boat which the Navy inherited -from the . Ministry of Works, caught the eye of the director. Wayne Tourell. during a visit to the naval base. “It was as if she’d been built for the role,” he recalled. Renamed Viper for the occasion, the ugly duckling proved to be just what the script ordered. Navy stars of the series are the members of the renowned Operational Diving Team — an elite group of sailors who are the most highly-trained specialists in their . field. They were in heavy demand for a variety of tasks ranging from helping position an old Hudson bomber fuselage to setting underwater explosives for a spectacular blast scene. “Much of the work even provided a good training spin-off," grinned the team leader. Lieutenant Gary Collier. An underwater fight scene between the sailors vanquishing two of their number playing the roles of the villians is a highlight of the series.

Series 3

A five part children's television series about three boys who spend their summer holidays sailing and fishing in the Marlborough Sounds. 
Peter - Freddie Hemara 
Nik - Hunt Rakete 
Nape - Jason Pirthi 
Karen - Rebecca Gibney 
Brendan - Peter Hambleton 
Kehu - Lani Tupu 
Carl - Jeremy Stephens
Col - Guy Boyce
Dan Smart - Kevin Wilson
Customs Officer - Roger Cloudesley
Director: Les Hansen
Producer: John Whitwell
Writer: Julian Dickon

1) 5 August 1984
Peter, Nik and Hape have taken their grandfather's sailing dinghy to the Marlborough Sounds for a camping, sailing, fishing holiday. They meet Brendan and his gang of spoilt rich kids who are only interested in stealing radios and radars from moored yachts, and chasing each other in high speed inflatables.

2) 12 August 1984
Brendan's gang enjoys bullying the urchins. In an attempt to recapture their stolen oars, Nik and Hape discover the gang's main aim.

3) 19 August 1984
With Karen caught, Nik and Hape argue whether or not they should release the birds and animals. Peter wants only to release Karen.

4) 2 September 1984
Carl and the gang are all set. It's to be the largest collection of native birds and tuataras they've ever smuggled out of the country at one time. Karen tells Dan all she knows about the gangs activities.

5) 9 September 1984
Karen and Kehu, along with Dan Smart and his Customs officers set out to save the "Sea Urchins".

TVNZ takes care over dangerous stunts

Sophisticated and often dangerous stunt work will be done in the third series of “Sea Urchins," which is now in production, says TVNZ.  

This year, the children’s action-adventure series is set in and around Picton, Queen Charlotte Sound and Kenepuru Sound. 

In a production such as this, where high-speed boat chases, collisions, explosions and capsizing are part of the story, an emergency could occur at any time. 

The New Zealand Water Safety Council has noted that in 1983, 152 people drowned in New Zealand waters. Of these drownings, 38 were from boating accidents, 15 in harbours, 20 from beaches and three from fishing off rocks. 

The “Sea Urchins” cast and crew do not want to add to this year’s statistics. With this in mind, and also the thought that the public might see filming in progress, and eventually see the Urchins’ boating techniques on screen, the producer, John Whitwell, decided that a responsible and knowledgeable attitude must be taken by every member of his production team. 

To ensure this, members of the cast and crew completed a special water safety and first-aid course. Run over a three-day period, the course was designed specifically for the filming needs of “Sea Urchins” and any foreseeable difficulty that might occur. 

The course was centred at the Sea Rescue Headquarters in Evans Bay, Wellington, and everything from rope work to sea sickness and the recovery of persons from the water was covered, bringing home to everyone involved that filming “Sea Urchins” was not going to be a boating holiday. 

Full of enthusiasm, a St John Ambulance instructor gave comprehensive lectures, reminding the TVNZ team that disasters “just might happen.” With picturesque descriptions, the instructor demonstrated with half-gallon jars of red water how much blood one could lose from various wounds sustained by fish hooks or miscellaneous sailing paraphernalia. 

In the casual classroom setting with Wellington’s howling wind adding to the general scene, crew members alternately watched gory films and learned about the seemingly endless possibilities of triangular calico slings. 

In the back row of the classroom an injury was already apparent. A bandaged hand covered burns sustained while using a distress flare during “afloat” exercises the day before. No doubt the injured person and all concerned learned particularly well that day the correct procedures when igniting and using flares. 

A day and a half of the course was devoted to real on-the-water practice, looking at such things as stability, anchoring, lifejackets and other buoyancy aids. 

Weather and tides were also covered, as well as the “rule of the road” as it applies to the sea, chart deciphering and basic navigation. 

In this year’s production, one customs craft, one yacht, an old fishing boat, a sailing dinghy (the Kina), a float-plane and three inflatables are the main vessels to be used. 

Off-screen will be boats for camera personnel, sound, producer and director, props, costume and make-up along with various other transport boats for cast and crew. 

With up to 10 craft on the water at one time, co-ordi-nation and boating skills are essential. “Sea Urchins” is a coproduction from Television New Zealand and Limelight Productions Ltd, and is due to be screened later this year.

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