Spectrum Index

There are 465 audio items dating back to 01 Jan, 1975 in the Spectrum library.


Beyond Punch and Judy

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.


Port Waikato Sunset

Saving the Falcon

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.

Catch of the Day

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.

The Silver Horsemen

When Tuppence Bought the World

‘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.

Paddy Burgin Luthier

Roses and Razor Wire

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.

Russian School

Marlborough’s Milkmaids

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.


Hope Unlimited Soup Truck

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.

No Title

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.

King of the Perch

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.

Jak the Ratter

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.

Bikers Bit of a Do

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.

Men, Mines, and Maritime Museums

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.

The Martyrs of Ripa

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.

Days of the REAP

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.



Orpheus Beaumont was named after New Zealand’s worst maritime disaster, the sinking of the HMS Orpheus on the Manukau Harbour Bar 151 years ago. It was thought her teenage brother, Henry Newman, was on board and presumed drowned. However, he survived and Orpheus’ mother rejoicing at the news, named her daughter after the ship.

The sea claimed the life of another of Orpheus’ brothers and when the ‘unsinkable’ Titanic struck disaster, Orpheus answered a call to design a functioning lifejacket better than the cork ones then in use.

Her design for the Salvus Kapok Lifejacket was accepted and an order from Britain was issued for 30,000. The design became a worldwide standard for many years. Spectrum hears the tale of one New Zealand woman’s struggle against the sea and how her determination saved countless lives.

St John's Archivists

Every Wednesday Guy and Noeline Marks open the doors of the St John Ambulance archives in Ellerslie, much as they’ve done for the last 17-years.These days though they’re joined by eight other volunteers to sort through a mass of material accumulated by St John during its almost 130-years in New Zealand. For Spectrum, David Steemson visits the cheerful little band, and finds stories of gallantry and tales of early days of the Order of St John in New Zealand.

Vincent Aspey Times Two.

Vincent Aspey was a key figure in the development of music in New Zealand in the middle of last century. For 20 years he was leader of the National Orchestra formed in 1946 (later re-named the NZ Symphony Orchestra) as well as being an outstanding concert violinist. Vincent Aspey’s son, Vince Aspey junior, also a fine violinist, recalls his father in conversation with Jack Perkins.

And the Band Plays On

'Brass banding is a great relaxation,' says Bill Rimmer, a Soprano Cornet player with The Band of the Royal Regiment of New Zealand Artillery, 'We all come from different walks of life…and we’re all brought together by music.'

The 'Arty' Band, as it’s affectionately known, has been bringing its members together for the past 149 years, making it the oldest band in New Zealand with a continuous playing history. Established in 1864, the Band has played on through two World Wars, the Great Depression and at least 35 New Zealand Premiers and Prime Ministers.

On the eve of the band’s 150 Anniversary celebrations, Spectrum’s Lisa Thompson hears how its members are still marching on.