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.
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.
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 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.
'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.
David Steemson visits Tiritiri Matangi in the Hauraki Gulf to talk to founders of a Supporters group who have helped replant well over half the island in native flora.
Jack Perkins discovers an Aladdin’s cave of oriental rugs and carpets in the central Wellington workshop of Anna Williams. Anna has been repairing these exotic floor coverings and wall hangings for over 20 years. She’s worked in Turkish back streets and lived with nomads in southern Iran, all in pursuit of improving her repair skills.
In a few small rooms packed to the ceiling with storage boxes, Robert Johnson and Lisa Young make sure the music happens for the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra. It’s their job to find that obscure piece of music or to handwrite notations into dozens of scores - and then rub them all out again after the performance. All this in an office space so overflowing with boxes that simply walking through it is an adventure. For Spectrum, Justin Gregory joins Robert and Lisa as they wash-up after one concert and also prepare for the next.
Alwyn Owen explores the lighter side of New Zealand’s poetry of patriotism which was fashionable during the latter half of the 19 century and the early 20th. Our patriotic versifiers were eclectic. They praised the 1840s Wakefield Settlement Scheme, the 1924 All Blacks and many things in between.' For Zealandia and God' is narrated by Bill Toft (first broadcast in January 1973).