TVNZ 1 2021 Highlights

Here are the new 2021 shows TVNZ 1 unveiled yesterday (blurbs courtesy of TVNZ and/or production companies):


Sir David Attenborough presents A Perfect Planet, a brand-new five-part natural history series that is in equal parts stunning and fascinating.

A Perfect Planet – in a unique fusion of blue-chip natural history and earth sciences – explains how the living planet operates. This series will show how the forces of nature – weather, ocean currents, solar energy and volcanoes – drive, shape and support Earth’s great diversity of life. In doing so, it will reveal how animals are perfectly adapted to whatever the environment throws at them.

From the white wolves of Ellesemere Island to bears in Kamchatka, vampire finches of the Galapagos to golden snub-nosed monkeys of China, the series will combine a global view of the planet from space, with intimate animal stories from the most spectacular habitats.

From the Indian Monsoon to Hawaiian volcanoes, tidal islands of the Bahamas to the extremes of the Arctic winter, A Perfect Planet will take the audience on a stunning visual journey that will change the way we see our home.

The final episode in the series looks at the dramatic impact of the world’s newest global force of nature – humans.


New TVNZ 1 local drama series, The Panthers dramatises the founding of the Polynesian Panthers during Robert Muldoon’s rise to power. The Auckland street-gang turned political revolutionaries fought against the racial discrimination sweeping New Zealand in the mid 70’s.

It’s 1973 on the streets of Ponsonby, Auckland. Will ‘Ilolahia, black sheep of his noble Tongan family and “The Professor” of the streets, is troubled by what he sees – Polynesians stuck and suffering in a broken system. New Zealand has a rising temperature of racial blame, prejudice and misdirected anger.

Will’s parents’ generation were welcomed with open arms during the boom of the 50’s, when an additional labour force was needed. But, now that the economy has tightened up in the shadow of a global oil crisis, unemployment is rising, and the country is turning in on itself. 

Will wants change, and as he sees it, he has two choices to impact it; keep his head down and take a beating or stand up and fight back. Taking his lead from the Black Panther movement in the USA, Will disbands his crew and forms the rebel-activist group, the Polynesian Panthers. He and his crew learn to fight with their minds, as well as their fists. 

This dynamic six-part series tells their tale like you’ve never seen it before.


Hosted by Clarke Gayford, Moving Houses is a brand-new local TVNZ 1 series, featuring the wild ride of house relocation.

What happens if first you’re buying the house, but then, you must move it to the location you’ve always hoped for? If this sounds like a dream, or a potential nightmare then you’re right on both counts. From Kaikohe to Invercargill and nearly everywhere in between, you can put a house on the back of a truck and drive it to a space where you want to live. 

In Moving Houses, Clarke takes us along for the journeys of New Zealand families, couples, and adventurous individuals who have a dream to move the house they most want to buy, to the location they’ve always wanted to live. We’ll watch as the drivers with the all-important task of physically relocating these houses manoeuvre them through some of New Zealand’s most treacherous roads. 

Then, once they’ve made it to their new spaces, it’s time for the buyers to get to work, and turn the barebones into their dream homes.  


The Apprentice is back! Airing on TVNZ 1, the business-themed reality series will give one enterprising New Zealander the chance of a lifetime. 

Our candidates will get the chance to take up a brand-new career under the guidance of a new business heavyweight whose fortune is already made, whose business acumen is undeniable and who has the innate ability to sort the weeds and wannabes from the wunderkinds. 

COVID-19 has changed the way we live and the way we work, and if ever there was a time for the entrepreneurial spirit to thrive, it is now. 

The budding entrepreneurs will be put through their paces in a series of challenges in what remains the toughest interview process around.

Do you have an unshakeable work ethic, nerves of steel and an overwhelming desire to succeed?

Then get to work on your CV – because applications for The Apprentice Aotearoa are open. Head to

Who will be fired? And who will be hired?


The first production in New Zealand dedicated to capturing all three major emergency rescue services in one series – helicopters, ambulances, boats – First Responders will portray the stories of those in need across the country; from the transport of critically injured patients, to the winching of a cow from the sea.

With unprecedented access, each episode will combine rescue footage with 111 call audio and interviews to create an intimate relationship between the audience and First Responders.

Philly de Lacey, Executive Producer and CEO of Screentime New Zealand comments: “With state-of-the-art rigging, a highly experienced team, and never-before-seen access, we are confident this series will put audiences right at the heart of the nation’s first response teams.

“After 18 years working on Police Ten 7, the crew are well-versed in capturing the real-life high adrenaline drama that comes with the territory and we look forward to sharing this world with the rest of the country.”


Te Karere presenter Scotty Morrison and his wife, The Hits Drive Show’s Stacey Morrison, will lead a search to find Aotearoa’s most treasured items.

National Treasures will explore New Zealand’s recent history; the weird, the wonderful, the hidden and the controversial, and Kiwis are encouraged to submit their own historical objects, alongside their personal story, to feature in the series.


The newest season of The Brokenwood Mysteries has found a new home on TVNZ 1.

Brokenwood: Population 4900 and declining steadily depending on the murder rate that week. Yes – murders do happen here, in fact they are surprisingly frequent.  They’re often strange, sometimes macabre, but always intriguing and usually perpetrated by those you’re least likely to suspect.  

These mysteries will keep you guessing ‘whodunit’ to the very end, guided by Brokenwood C.I.B’s finest: D.S.S. Mike Shepherd (Neill Rea) and his associates, Detective Kristin Sims (Fern Sutherland), D.C. Sam Breen (Nic Sampson), the newly appointed D.C. Daniel Chalmers (Jared Rawiri) and pathologist Gina Kadinsky (Cristina Ionda). 

This curious team work together with a warm camaraderie and deadpan humour against the bucolic background of stunning small town NZ to put cold-blooded killers behind bars. From nefarious secret societies to the unusual hobbies of its inhabitants, murderers can be lurking anywhere in Brokenwood embroiled in the universal themes of love, revenge, pride, lust, envy, greed or hatred.

So get cosy on the couch for some family friendly murder in a show that is both charming and addictive – Brokenwood – a deadly but picturesque town where it pays to watch your back!


Get your spatulas at the ready, The Great Kiwi Bake Off is back for a cake-tastic third series, but this time around the show will have a new home on TVNZ 1. 

A brand-new batch of the country’s best amateur bakers will enter the iconic tent and prepare to do baking battle.

They’ll have their cake-baking, pastry, bread-making and patisserie skills tested to the limit. They’ll need to showcase their technical abilities, creativity, presentation and flavour combinations in the hope of impressing the judges and staying in the competition. 

Who will have the recipe for success? Only one baker can walk away with the coveted title of New Zealand’s best amateur baker.

On your marks, get set….BAKE!

➢ Here’s the full list TVNZ 1 has released, with details for some shows still to be provided:

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One Response to “TVNZ 1 2021 Highlights”

  1. There’s usually something I find interesting in these new season events but can’t see a lot for me there … I read on one website Three’s is November 10. I wonder if there will be any surprises with theirs or with MediaWorks still running things until the deal is complete with Discovery, not likely?

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