24 Jul 2016

Forty-four years ain't bad

From Spectrum, 12:15 pm on 24 July 2016

spectrum ˈspɛktrəm/

noun: spectrum; plural noun: spectra; plural noun: spectrums

1.a band of colours, as seen in a rainbow, produced by separation of the components of light by their different degrees of refraction according to wavelength.

Spectrum brings together multiple perspectives from a collection of everyday New Zealanders

Spectrum brings together multiple perspectives from a collection of everyday New Zealanders Photo: Public Domain

Forty-four years isn't a bad run for a programme that has brought listeners into the lives, homes and hearts of everyday New Zealanders. Spectrum is a programme about people and relationships, reflecting on experiences that weave our sense of history and place of belonging into an authentic reality. These stories are told by people whose memories and narratives speak of life as it was, and as it is, and the hopes and wishes for what life might become.

Although Spectrum is coming to an end, the collection is an important catalogue of the human experience that has built a vibrant rainbow of New Zealand perspectives, showcasing the quirks of our human condition; including our frailties, victories and longings—it is a place where New Zealanders can revel in being themselves, where ordinary becomes extraordinary.

The Spectrum team 1980s Jerome Cvitanovich, Jack Perkins and Alwyn Owens

The Spectrum team 1980s Jerome Cvitanovich, Jack Perkins and Alwyn Owens Photo: RNZ

There are many stories that have been produced over the years by a raft of talented producers. Justin Gregory presents and collates some of the most memorable in this commemorative and final episode of Spectrum, which includes an historic recreation of a battle fought at Gate Pa; a helicopter rescue; taggers on Wellington streets, and the state of homelessness after the 2011 Christchurch earthquakes.

Listen to the full episodes below:

All the Queen's Men: A documentary produced by Jack Perkins that recreates the battle fought at Gate Pa and its aftermath,Tauranga,1864.

The Stan Graham Murders: In 1941, 12 miles from Hokitika, 41-year-old Stan Graham brought anguish to a tightly knit community, shooting six men and wounding one.

Scene_outside_Stan_Graham's_house_at_Koiterangi_Evening_Post_13_October_1941_

Scene outside Stan Graham's house at Koiterangi from the Evening Post 13 October,1941. Credit: Alexander Turnbull Library Photo: Alexander_Turnbull_Library

How are your lungs today?: David Steemson heads out on a bush walk with a Titirangi woman who is experiencing the feeling of fresh air in her new lungs after lung donation.

An Alcoholics Christmas: There are approximately 2 million people around the world who belong to Alcoholics Anonymous and many members attend AA even on Christmas day. David Steemson meets participants who share their intimate experiences of the daily battles and the underlying issues that have turned them to alcohol abuse.

“I’m grateful to be safe, sane and sober...I might not be that way tomorrow, so I’m grateful for this day” - AA member

The Morris: Justin Gregory takes a candid look inside Morris Dancing and learns some funny tips and tricks along the way, including a move called bashing the Bishop (with a bit of swinging and swapping partners thrown into the mix).

Men with sticks take to Morris dancing

Men with sticks take to Morris dancing Photo: Justin Gregory

“You dance, because the things that made it fun back then still apply. It’s a vigorous form of dancing and you’re doing it with your mates -there is a bond there” - David, Morris Dancer

The Subliminal Life: A homeless Christchurch man shares his world with Spectrum after the February Christchurch earthquake. It’s just days before Christmas, in a wasteland near the central city outside of the patrolled red-zone, when Producer, Deb Nation, heads into an abandoned house on a deserted street to meet "James".

Homelessness is an issue for people after the Christchurch earthquakes

Homelessness is an issue for people after the Christchurch earthquakes Photo: Public Domain

“Nobody has been into this place since God knows when. I’ve seen the alcohol addiction, the drug addiction, mental abuse and physical abuse, it’s lots of homeless and transient people…you wouldn’t want to go in there weak and people take advantage of the weak”- James

Long Haul: Katy Gosset meets Marty Bowers to hear his first-hand account of an horrific accident.

Paramedic Doug Flett has worked for the Otago Helicopter Rescue Trust for 21 years.

Paramedic Doug Flett has worked for the Otago Helicopter Rescue Trust for 21 years. Photo: RNZKaty Gosset

“Time seemed to just go forever...I knew Otago rescue choppers were coming, and I never thought I’d see them hovering above the ship to pick me up" - Marty Bowers

The Taxpayer's Artist:  Lucy Smith goes inside the hidden world of taggers on the streets of Wellington.

Lucy Smith investigates the underground world of tagging

Lucy Smith investigates the underground world of tagging Photo: Lucy Smith

Ketty shakes a can and starts spraying a “throw up”- a simple outline of her letters that she tags on the streets.

“I usually choose a route and then I just hit up tags everywhere as I walk. I first got into graffiti when I was 15 and properly started tagging when I was 16" - Ketty

Silent Cries: Sonia Sly investigates the proliferation of child abuse and neglect in New Zealand beyond the high profile cases that hit the media headlines.

"We need to be outraged every day" - Heather Henare, Skylight 

Life is isolating and lonely for victims of child abuse and neglect

Life is isolating and lonely for victims of child abuse and neglect Photo: public domain