Something Old, Something New …

NZ On Air has greenlit a raft of documentaries and the return of Three staples 7 Days, Match Fit, Paddy Gower: On … and Guy Montgomery’s Guy-Mont Spelling Bee.

As well as a new strand of Documentary NZ instalments, there will be a series about family possessions that unlock secrets of the past, a reality newcomer set in Middlemore Hospital and a docudrama about the survivors of abuse at a prestigious boys’ school.

Here’s the media release:

Lifting the lid on Aotearoa New Zealand – more stories to engage audiences 

New content to engage and inform local audiences will be lifting the lid on a range of topics including historic abuse in care, family mysteries and the lives of young medical professionals in our hospital system.

The first funding round of the new financial year has supported a wide slate of new and popular returning content across a number of local platforms.

NZ On Air Head of Funding Amie Mills says the round received a high volume of exceptional applications.

“Local audiences consistently express high interest in non-fiction content. The latest round of funding encompasses both beloved returning shows and an impressive line-up of innovative and new storytelling,” she continues.

Heading up the list is a docudrama to screen on TVNZ 1, The Lost Boys of Dilworth. After years in court and numerous people convicted, the survivors of abuse at one of the wealthiest and well-respected boys’ schools, Dilworth College in Auckland, are ready to tell their story.

Written by one of those survivors, the story will explore the issue from a deeply personal viewpoint.

Also on TVNZ 1, will be My Family Mystery, a new documentary series in which host Sonia Gray will guide Kiwi families on journeys of rediscovery as they examine long held possessions that help provide whānau with clues to solve mysteries of the past.

Audiences will also get to experience the frontlines of the health system from the inside in Project Hospital.  The documentary series will follow six young medical professionals on the job at Middlemore, Aotearoa’s largest hospital.

Mana Kura will continue the Documentary NZ series on TVNZ 1. The documentary follows the journey of a programme for Papakura youth who have been involved in recent crimes, most notably ram raids, around South Auckland.

The grass-roots initiative pioneered by whānau in Papakura, provides wraparound community support for youth offenders.

Meanwhile, also in the Documentary NZ series, The 501s: Inside will examine Australia’s deportation of New Zealanders through a decade-long lens in a long-form documentary made with buy-in of key members inside the so-called 501 deportee community.

Grit and Glory is a feature documentary following a select group of aspiring Paralympians as they prepare for and compete in the Paris 2024 Games.

Shine On: What Katherine Mansfield Means to Me celebrates the legacy of the wonderful, witty acerbic Katherine Mansfield, arguably our greatest short story writer, 100 years since her death.

And an observational documentary series The De-Schoolers will follow six home-schooling families engaged in radical child-led learning. It asks should the kids be in control of their own education?

And a podcast series Tangiwai – An Early Warning will re-examine the dramatic events of Aotearoa’s most devastating rail disaster, while offering insights into social perspectives surrounding the incident. Its release will mark the 70th anniversary of the event.

The inimitable Patrick Gower will return with a further investigation of a pressing New Zealand issue continuing the very popular Patrick Gower On: series on Three.

Also returning to Three will be the team from Match Fit, putting men’s health centre stage. In this fourth season two superstar veteran coaches lead a team of former elite rugby league players to see if they can get back in shape and face their arch enemies in the ultimate final clash.

Mihingarangi Forbes, along with esteemed historians, will return with another in-depth look at the New Zealand wars, this time exploring the events that unfolded in 1864 in the Bay of Plenty and their far-reaching consequences for future generations of New Zealanders, in NZ Wars: Stories Of Tauranga Moana.

Fearless comedian Alice Snedden stares down her toughest challenge yet – making a documentary about the climate crisis. In Alice Snedden’s Bad News Saves the World,  she teams up with experts across the country to find real solutions to the biggest issue facing the world today.

Takeout Kids will be back with a second instalment of the observational documentary series about young people who grow up in the back of takeaway shops, dairies, fruit shops, market gardens, and restaurants run by their immigrant families. The series showcases how their upbringing impacts their ambitions, aspirations, relationships and how they see themselves.

Adding a touch of humour, Guy Montgomery’s Guy-Mont Spelling Bee returns to pit celebrities against each other in a side-splitting spelling bee.

Meanwhile, the 16th season of the nation’s beloved comedy show, 7 Days, will continue to test comedians’ wit on Three. Beyond the laughter it provides, the show is renowned for igniting many local comedy careers.

Rounding out the slate, Fresh will continue to engage young Pasifika audiences, Attitude will continue to showcase the possibilities for people living with disabilities succeeding in life, and for the hundreds of thousands of viewers and their dogs who tune in each week for a slice of the good life, and Country Calendar will return with more stories of the people who work on the land and sea.


The Lost Boys of Dilworth, 1 x 90’, Screentime NZ for TVNZ 1, up to $1,073,109

My Family Mystery, 6 x 44’, Warner Bros. Int’l Television Production NZ for TVNZ 1, up to $897,709

NZ Wars: Stories of Tauranga Moana, 1 x 45’ and 1 x 30’ podcast, Aotearoa Media Collective for RNZ, TVNZ 1, TVNZ+, up to $625,000

Project Hospital, 5 x 44’, Storymaker for TVNZ 1 up to $535,109

Mana Kura, 1 x 44’, Hi Mama! for TVNZ 1, up to $245,000

The 501s: Inside, 1 x 44’, Speed Media for TVNZ 1, up to $225,000

Shine On: What Katherine Mansfield Means to Me, 5 x 5’, AC Productions for Newsroom and RNZ, up to $189,840

The De-Schoolers, 6 x 10’, Deer Heart Films for The Spinoff, up to $158,845

Tangiwai – An Early Warning, 6 x 40’, NZME for NZ Herald up to $68,965


Attitude 2024 and Grit and Glory, 30 x 22’30” and 1 x 90’, Attitude Pictures for TVNZ 1 and Attitude Live, up to $2,041,415

FRESH 2024, 34 x 23’, Tikilounge Productions for The Coconet TV and TVNZ+, plus 34 x 2’ for social platforms, up to $1,895,631

Match Fit 4, 6 x 44’, Pango Productions for Three, up to $1,639,630

7 Days 2024, 20 x 44’, Three – Local Production for Three, up to $1,094,293

Hyundai Country Calendar 2024, 40 x 22.5’, Television New Zealand for TVNZ 1, up to $725,698

Patrick Gower On:…, 2 x 43’, Ruckus Media for Three, up to $490,943

Guy Montgomery’s Guy-Mont Spelling Bee Season 2, 8 x 44’, Kevin and Co. for Three, up to $428,820

Takeout Kids 2, 5 x 10’, Hex Work Productions for The Spinoff, up to $393,098

Alice Snedden’s Bad News Saves the World, 2 x 20’, Hex Work Productions for The Spinoff, up to $191,151

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4 Responses to “Something Old, Something New …”

  1. It sounds like ThreeNow is doing well according to Warner Bros. Discovery. I wonder when there will be an upgrade 🤔

  2. Yes but it doesn’t include ThreeNow which is what the article is about. Warner Bros. Discovery are happy with how ThreeNow is doing. I see series 1 of CB Strike has been added on ThreeNow, it’s a great show 😁

  3. I just had a thought I wonder if Warner Bros. Discovery are thinking of merging Three into Max in fact would it be possible? It would be interesting to see what reaction it got, good or bad 🤔

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