He was New Zealand’s answer to America’s singing cowboys. Young Johnny Granger toured New Zealand and Australia in the 1940’s, dubbed ‘The Yodelling Drover’. For Spectrum, he reminisces with David Steemson.
Storyteller Tanya Batt delights new entrants at Christchurch’s Discovery One school, and shares the philosophy behind her craft with Spectrum’s Deborah Nation.
For almost 100 years, Stratford hospital served the people of central Taranaki. After the hospital closed in 1998, its history was preserved in the Taranaki Pioneer Village. The memories flood back as former nurses show Spectrum’s Jack Perkins around the displays of old equipment.
Taxidermy isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but for Brian Staines, it’s become a second career. Spectrum’s Lisa Thompson spends the day with Brian and finds herself doing something she’d never imagined doing – helping to sew up a stoat!
Subantarctic voyager Henk Haazen ferries researchers down to the Antipodes Islands in preparation for the world’s largest mouse eradication campaign. Spectrum’s Deborah Nation boards research vessel Tiama prior to its 3 week voyage.
The massive demonstrations and wave of violence which swept the country during the Great Strike of 1913 made it the most disruptive industrial dispute in the country’s history. Guided by researchers Peter Clayworth, Sheena Hudson and Gavin Mickell, Spectrum’s Jack Perkins marks the centenary of the strike by visiting some of the key places in Wellington where strikers clashed with strike-breakers.
In 1963, Broadcasting House opened in Wellington. It was the nerve centre of the country's radio networks and home to the Capital's stations. Its Japanese-made technical equipment was state-of-the-art and its studios world-standard. It was demolished in 1997 to make way for an extension of parliament that never happened. In 1972, Spectrum's Jack Perkins recorded a day's activities in Broadcasting House. This re-broadcast of ‘Sound Around the Clock’ marks 50 years since the opening of Broadcasting House.
Spectrum’s Amelia Nurse marks 100 years of surf rescue along the shores of the Wellington coastal settlement of Paekakariki.
Former meat workers Roger Middlemass and Mike Farrell show Spectrum’s Jack Perkins around the now derelict Longburn freezing works near Palmerston North. The plant closed in 1986 but the skills and physical demands required of its workers are as fresh as ever for Roger and Mike as they relive life and work at Longburn.
When young widow Flora Thirkettle went fishing on the Kaipara Harbour to feed her seven children, the wives told their fishermen husbands not to talk to her. She says it took years from the thaw to set in.
Fifty three years later Flora still lives in her little green house by the Kaipara River and her boat ‘Olive’ floats nearby. She’s given up fishing, but 85-year old Flora makes nets, and sells her homemade shark liver oil to the locals.
Retired orchestral conductor Stephen Estall provides classical music for locals in The Porthole, a popular entertainment venue and watering hole in his home town of Lyttelton. Spectrum’s Deborah Nation drops in.
Wellington secondary school students hone their talents and try out art-related ideas in Fresh Horizons workshops supported by the Tautai Contemporary Pacific Arts Trust. Spectrum’s Jack Perkins drops in on the three days of workshops.
For every hour of any operatic performance, there are untold hours of preparation. Spectrum's Lisa Thompson goes behind the curtain to visit New Zealand Opera's Technical Centre in Auckland, to discover where a production is nurtured, crafted and polished.
Rachel Scott talks to Deborah Nation about the alchemy of bread making while actually creating a Marlborough salted chocolate in the French style.
Electric trams opened up Wellington’s suburbs from 1904 onwards and in 1964 large crowds gathered to witness the last trams to run and also the last trams in regular passenger service in any New Zealand city. The Kapiti Coast Tram Museum celebrates the era when tramcars were king and 87 year-old Noel Donaldson takes Spectrum’s Jack Perkins for a tram trip.
Auckland’s first purpose built Menzshed has just opened its doors in Glenfield. But two other Auckland sheds are following close behind. The Menzshed New Zealand Association has been formally established this year and it already has more than thirty five registered sheds. Glenfield’s shed has taken more than five years to build, with much of the work done by members themselves.
Sue Stewart has spent 30 years keeping wasps at bay in the Banks Peninsula township of Akaroa. Deborah Nation joins Sue as deals to the critters nesting in a hedge.
This Spectrum, first broadcast in 1976, marks the 150 anniversary of the settlement of Puhoi, north of Auckland, by pioneers from the central European kingdom of Bohemia. In the 1970s, descendants of the original settlers still retained their musical traditions and recounted stories reflecting a unique way of life and the severe hardships faced by the pioneers.
When he was fourteen, Keith Nicholson fell in love with the 75-foot long naval ships bought for harbour defence during World War Two. Now, fifty years later, he and partner Heather Reeve are the proud owners of one of them, Paea. Paea was one of sixteen bought by the navy and was in service till 1985. This year she’s celebrating her 70th birthday. David Steemson has been aboard.
‘Rekindle’ is an initiative started since the earthquakes in Canterbury which provides purposeful work for young people by giving them the opportunity to design and fashion furniture from waste wood. Spectrum’s Deborah Nation explores ‘Rekindle’.
Feilding Saleyards, one of the largest in the southern hemisphere, are located only two blocks from Feilding’s town square. 330 sheep pens and a computerized cattle rostrum turn over $ 2 million a week and are the lifeblood of this rural community, only 20 minutes from Palmerston North. In mid-May, at the end of the drought, Spectrum’s Jack Perkins attended the Friday sale where almost 20,000 sheep and 1400 head of cattle go under the auctioneer’s hammer.
Bespoke shoemaker Sue Engels says the first lesson she learnt was to ‘without a moment of hesitation…to encourage people to relax’ Sue has had over 20 years’ experience understanding the different needs of her clients. Spectrum’s Lisa Thompson put her best foot forward when she went to see Sue at her ‘shoe shed’ on Waiheke Island.
HMS Orpheus was a Royal Navy corvette that served as flagship of the Australian squadron. Orpheus sank off the west coast of Auckland on 7 February 1863. 189 crew out of the ship's complement of 259 died in the disaster. This programme marks the 150th anniversary of the worst maritime tragedy to occur in New Zealand waters. It was first broadcast in 1972.
Now semi-retired, Geoffrey Higgs tuned his first piano in 1948. His ear has lasted and he can still coax instruments to the right pitch. He can also persuade his stiffening fingers to pick out the old standards on his 107 year-old German piano while his wife Alison sings along. In his garage-cum-workshop, Geoff demonstrates his tuning tools to Spectrum's Jack Perkins but his pride and joy is a restored pianola, or pneumatic piano, dating from the 1920s and dozens of paper rolls containing hits of the day.
Sandringham Road shopping centre is known as Little India.The ever expanding plethora of India restaurants, spice shops and food stores vie for the last remaining spots where the family dry cleaner, shoe repair shop and corner dairies used to be. The Sandringham Community House has begun food and spice tours for Aucklanders and David Steemson joins twenty of them one Saturday afternoon.