Five days in the Red Zone


This one-hour programme follows the Police Rural Drink Drive Team from Alexandra, called into Christchurch City after the earthquake on the Feb 22 where they find themselves guardians of a desolate world of destruction and tragedy. Camerawoman Pip Walls captured a unique view of the ‘broken world’ the quake left behind. Five Days in the Red Zone was co-produced by Cass Avery and Samantha Blackley, and screened on TVONE on Wednesday 25 May, 2011.

Sergeant Bruce Martin and two of his Constables; Patrick Greaney and Mark Wellstead are at the centre of this story of the team’s five-day deployment in Christchurch’s red zone. What emerges is a unique view into the disaster – of the new population of the of Christchurch’s central city; rescue crews, emergency services and military. They occupy a broken world that once belonged to the thousands who worked and lived in the central city. These rural officers hoped they would be saving lives and rescuing people but what they discover is an eerie place full of strangeness, sadness, bizarre moments and the challenge of dealing with the dead, not the living.

Five Days in the Red Zone was a finalist for Best Editing (Geoff Conway) Factual/Documentary Afta Awards 2011.


Promotional Trailer

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Production Details

Year of screening: 2011

Producers: Cass Avery and Sam Blackley

Thanks to: The Alexandra Rural Drink Drive Squad

Head of production: Andrea Lamb

Network exec: Jude Callen

Field director/camera: Pip Walls

Post director: Cass Avery

Editor: Geoff Conway

On line editor: Peter Barrett

Production manager: Laura Peters

Production coordinator: Elea Huston

Audio post: Images & Sounds

Financial controller: Glenda Paterson

Production accountant: Hina Dalwadi

Funded by: New Zealand On Air & TVNZ