50 Years of Television


This is the story of how television in New Zealand developed – from pioneering beginnings and a single publicly-owned network to the birth of the multi channel environment…. Television arrived in New Zealand in 1960.  The first regular broadcasts began in Auckland on 1 June 1960 followed by the gradual introduction through the rest of the country over the next few years.  At the beginning broadcasts were only 2 hours a night twice a week but had increased to 28 hours a week by 1961 and 50 hours by 1965. Television wasn’t universally welcomed and at least one mother was concerned that New Zealand’s children “would grow up pale, little things, knowing nothing about sport.”  In spite of the doubts, TV became very popular and by 1966 more than 500,000 licences had been issued. The box in the corner of the lounge had become the main form of entertainment for most families in New Zealand.

Finalist, Afta Awards, 2011, Best Director (John Bates, Director)


Promotional Trailer

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Production Details

Producer/director: John Bates

Additional director: Tainui Stephens

Exec producer: Irene Gardiner

Network exec: Kathy Wright

Researcher: Margaret Thomson, Karen Bates

Script editor: Karen Bates

Online editor: James Gardner

Offline Editor: Glen Molesworth, Didi Lagerqvist Holt

Art director: Sinclair Lonsdale

Set dresser: Lawton Lonsdale

Production manager: Jani Alexander

Production assistant: Fiona Copland

Camera: Hamish McIntyre, Mark Chamberlin, John Ramsay

Sound: Nils Melchert, Andrew Lovrin, Phil Donovan

Sound mix: Suite 16

Post production: Milk Post Ltd

Narrator: Tainui Stephens, John Leigh

Theme music: Tom Ludvigson

Graphics: Varina Sydow

Production accountant: Heidi Salter

Funded by: Prime and New Zealand on Air