The New Zealand Herald

12 Questions

- Continued from A28

accents and lives reflected on TV. We need to do more of it which means reallocati­ng as much as possible from our internatio­nal acquisitio­ns into local commission­s. This year we’re launching three new local reality series; Project Runway NZ, Heartbreak Island and Design Junkies along with three new seasons of local series Survivor NZ, Nigel Latta’s Mind Over Money and Coast NZ.

much local drama do you have compared with local reality shows?

We have six local reality shows compared with around 12 local on-air dramas and another six exclusive local online dramas. The big reality shows do a really important job for us, along with 1 News and Shortland St, in bringing a mass audience on a nightly basis. They’re appointmen­t viewing you need to watch at the same time as everyone else if you want to be part of the conversati­on. Internatio­nal formats like Project Runway are known brands that come with loyal viewers but it’s important to create New Zealand intellectu­al property as well, so this year we’ve done Heartbreak Island, which airs in May and is uniquely Kiwi. do you fund

local content? For some shows we have the support of brands to integrate into the show in a way that feels natural like Kiwibank’s Mind Over Money. Funding bodies like NZ On air and Te Mangai Paho help fund free to air local content. Co-production­s are more of a new thing for us. Viewers are getting used to high-budget dramas and co-production­s are a really good way of pooling resources. The New Legends of Monkey is a coproducti­on with Netflix and ABC that’s made in Auckland and will be free to watch here on TVNZ and in Australia on ABC. Netflix will have it everywhere else. So it’s just about carving up the market and the rights. you do more of it? Yes, we’ve got a number in the pipeline. We also have a new DanishNew Zealand co-production called Straight Forward. It’s a Scandi-drama but also very Kiwi. The majority is made here so it has Kiwi landscapes. The language will be some Danish, some English. It’ll feel local to both markets. It’ll play via a streaming platform in Scandinavi­a, TVNZ here and Acorn Media will distribute it in North America and the UK.

think New Zealand could be making more internatio­nally marketable TV?

Yes but ideally you’d have that focus before you start making it. It can be a story told through a New Zealand lens but it still needs to connect with an internatio­nal audience in some way. We’ve had great success with films like Hunt for the Wilder People, The Piano and Whale Rider. We haven’t done as much with TV although we do still sell a lot internatio­nally. I think there is an opportunit­y there. up in Havelock North, did you want to work in TV? If I’d known you could work in television it would have been a clear direction for me. Fashion was what I was passionate about growing up. I used to make all my own clothes. I studied fashion and law. My first law job was as an in-house lawyer at IMG sports and media agency in London. I went from their fashion division to looking after the 2011 Rugby World Cup. There was still a bit of the old boys’ network at the time. It’s nice to be one of the women changing that dynamic. TVNZ compete with

the likes of Sky when it comes to sport?

We’ve done less and less sports coverage in recent years because it’s become more expensive to acquire. Because sport comes in live, you have to disrupt the schedule to put it to air so it’s harder to do that with smaller sports. Since launching Duke we’ve been able to play around a lot more. The Paralympic­s in Rio De Janeiro and Pyeongchan­g were a great success for us. Expats love the fact we’ve got AFL and NFL and Kiwis love that we have the Wimbledon tennis.

being promoted to content director, you were TVNZ’s legal counsel. Is content rights negotiatio­n an increasing­ly important part of the job?

Yes, acquiring internatio­nal content is a big part of what I do, along with commission­ing local content. So my background is really handy for the strategic stuff. is TVNZ launching

a new children’s channel this year after closing Kidzone in 2016?

Hei Hei is a new online platform delivering local content to Kiwi kids through an app parents can put on their devices and a website. It’s noncommerc­ial but it’s a way for us to engage local audiences. We think there’s a gap in this space to counter the heavy American content currently available which have my kids saying “diaper” and “candy”. We’ve commission­ed 25 new local shows and games funded by NZ On Air. The platform will also carry existing TVNZ shows like What Now, Maia the Brave and Fanimals and internatio­nal shows.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand