When motorcyclists get together, there's usually a fair bit of noise involved, both on and off the track, and when their annual Sound of Thunder racing series mounts a tribute to the renowned New Zealand motorbike designer, John Brittten, there's even more to talk about. Katy Gosset joins competitors and the Britten family for a day at the BEARS (British, European and American Racing Series.)
In January 1993, publican Paddy Feaney claimed to have sighted a large Moa near Lake Brunner on the South Island West Coast. Paddy’s sighting of what was thought to be a long extinct native bird, sparked off Moa Mania and was picked up by press, radio and television around the world, not to mention Moa hysteria in the tiny Lake Brunner settlement of Moana. Spectrum’s Jack Perkins compiled a special report on Moa Mania. (first broadcast in January 1993).
The Karekare Beach races had been an annual fundraising event for the tiny beachside community for nearly 30 years, but due to dwindling numbers, time was called in 2013.
But with the local surf club celebrating its 80th anniversary, locals saw the opportunity to bring back the races. Join Spectrum’s Lisa Thompson for a day at the races beach-style.
Little Dog Barking Theatre, directed by Peter Wilson, creates endearing tales for children using puppetry and clever props. Spectrum’s Jack Perkins drops in on a rehearsal of ‘Guji Guji’ by acclaimed Chinese author Chi-Yuan Chen. Involving crocodiles and ducks, this nature versus nurture story demonstrates how traditional Chinese puppetry goes far beyond the crude antics of the English Punch and Judy shows.
The New Zealand native falcon (karearea) is severely threatened with fewer than 6000 left. The Marlborough Falcon Trust (supported by Brancott Wines) is determined to save this beautiful bird by a programme of captive breeding. But MFT also recognizes the importance of educating the public and gaining their support. Spectrum’s Jack Perkins drops in on MFT.
Every time Auckland couple Sue and Scott Tindale throw their fishing lines over the side, they are trying to hook yet another record. And with over 200 approved and pending world records to their names, the Tindales’ have certainly proved their angling prowess.
Spectrum’s Lisa Thompson meets the Tindales and learns how their passion is now providing crucial scientific information about New Zealand fish species.
60,000 soldiers were trained at the Featherston Military Training Camp from 1916 to 1918. It was built in under a year by 1000 workers, driven by World War One’s urgent need for men to fill the trenches of the Western Front. The camp was more like a small town but today, a few foundations and walls are all that’s left. John Hodder and Derek Hallett show Spectrum’s Jack Perkins around the camp remains and re-create the life and times there.
‘When Tuppence Bought the World’
A fond look back to the time when the comic book was king. Written by Alwyn Owen and first broadcast in July 1974.
In 1993 the doors closed for the final time on Napier Prison, New Zealand’s oldest penal complex, ending over a century of incarceration for inmates which included Te Kooti and Mr Asia drug syndicate boss Terry Clark.
Join Spectrum’s Lisa Thompson as she meets the prison’s current care-takers and learns about some of the darker aspects of New Zealand’s history.
A team of Marlborough women – and one bloke – take turns hand-milking Daffodil at 3pm each day. From the Jersey cow’s milk they process a variety of goodies from cultured butter and cream to cheeses and have also come to appreciate the skills involved in the age-old practice of hand-milking.
Napier’s homeless have been thrown a lifeline by one local family, determined to try and help through the common language of food.
Kiri and Kevin Swannell, along with their children, spend every Monday evening in the central city doling out not only a hot meal but support to those struggling on the streets.
Spectrum’s Lisa Thompson finds out what prompted the Swannells not to look the other way.
Unitech Communication students use multi-media to better understand New Zealand as it was 100 years ago. The exhibition was devised by Unitech Communications programme Leader Dr Sara Donaghy, and an Auckland Council Oral Historian Sue Berman, to get students to look at what was happening back home in this country, while many of the men were away at the ‘war to end all wars’.
Lifelong innovator and ideas man Lee Bennett has created a workshop space where he and assistant Wolf Hatch encourage young and old to experiment with technology, think like entrepreneurs and sow the seeds for future Kiwi businesses.
Mac Armstrong has been breeding and racing pigeons for over 60 years.
These days, 84-year-old Mac trains his birds specifically for the annual Invercargill to Auckland long-distance pigeon race, a distance of over 1,200 kilometres and a premier event in the racing calendar. Spectrum’s Lisa Thompson joins Mac in the lead up to this year’s race and learns what it takes to be king of the perch.
Meet Jak the border terrier/fox terrier cross. Now thirteen years old, and still looking pretty sprightly despite one missing leg. He’s given the Department of Conservation almost 90 of his years as its chief rodent dog. But now he’s had to retire, at his farewell party, a couple of months ago, Jak was hailed as a hero by his peers. Now he has a new life at Waihi beach.
Scores of bikers ride their BSAs and Nortons, Indians, Harley Davidsons, Ducatis – you name it – to the Boyle Kawasaki shop in the Wellington suburb of Newtown. As well as the bikes, beards (mostly grey tinged) and black leather are prominent but so are the laughter and the stories at this ‘Bikers Bit of a Do’. Spectrum’s Jack Perkins drops in on what turns out to be something of a street party.
Devonport’s Torpedo Bay has seen moa hunting and been a launch site for floating mines. Spectrum’s Justin Gregory signs on for a sail through Torpedo Bay’s history.
In June 1913, William Massey's government clamped down on youths who were avoiding recently introduced military training. When a dozen or so young conscientious objectors were incarcerated in Fort Jervois on Ripapa Island in Lyttelton Harbour (also known as Ripa island) - the controversy erupted country-wide.
A look at the Rural Education Activities Programme (REAP ) - an innovative education initiative launched in New Zealand in 1979. This unique ‘cradle to the grave’ education programme was set up to meet the wide and varied needs of those living in remote rural communities.Spectrum meets some of the community education officers of this programme at recent reunion in Wellington.