Pow­er­ing New Zealand doco to pre­miere here

Waipa Post - - The Country -

Episode three of the Pow­er­ing New Zealand

doc­u­men­tary series pre­mieres this week in Te Awa­mutu and fea­tures Te Awa­mutu Walk of Fame in­ductee Lloyd Man­deno.

The series looks at the his­tory of the New Zealand elec­tric­ity in­dus­try cov­er­ing some of the great pi­o­neers and their world lead­ing projects.

Episode three is ti­tled The Peo­ple Want More as it cov­ers the pe­riod over the mid-20th cen­tury where elec­tric­ity de­mand in­creased dra­mat­i­cally as peo­ple re­alised how much dif­fer­ence it could make to their lives; and when so many more ap­pli­ances be­came avail­able.

This episode cov­ers Bill Gal­lagher and the Gal­lagher fam­ily who pi­o­neered the elec­tric fence that made such a dif­fer­ence to farm­ing around the world, and who still lead an in­ter­na­tional com­mer­cial suc­cess story.

Bill Latta is also cov­ered, who was an in­spi­ra­tional en­gi­neer who de­vel­oped a plan for sup­ply­ing the rapidly in­creas­ing de­mand for elec­tric­ity in the North Is­land by rec­om­mend­ing two world sig­nif­i­cant projects. The world’s first prac­ti­cal geo­ther­mal power sta­tion at Waira¯kei and the largest and most ad­vanced trans­mis­sion project in the world in the 1960’s.

But the star opens the doc­u­men­tary — Lloyd Man­deno — who made such a dif­fer­ence to both the use of elec­tric­ity and also the dis­tri­bu­tion of it.

As in­ven­tive as Thomas Edi­son, episode three fo­cuses on, ar­guably, Lloyd’s two great­est in­ven­tions; the world’s first on-de­mand stor­age water cylin­der and the Sin­gle Wire Earth Re­turn dis­tri­bu­tion sys­tem.

The SWER sys­tem, or Man­deno’s clothes­line, was cheap enough to build pow­er­lines to re­mote ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties all over the world (and es­pe­cially New Zealand) who oth­er­wise would not have got elec­tric­ity when they did.

Lloyd was born and raised on a farm at Ran­giaowhia. The Man­deno fam­ily have a long his­tory with the re­gion and many of the fam­ily still live around Te Awa­mutu.

Pow­er­ing New Zealand is the project of White­board En­ergy founders David Reeve and Stephen Bat­stone. Ed­u­ca­tors and con­sul­tants to the elec­tric­ity in­dus­try, David and Stephen have dis­cov­ered times in New Zealand’s his­tory when it built the largest and first in the South­ern Hemi­sphere and of­ten the world, but so few of the projects and the cham­pion engi­neers have been heard of.

De­ter­mined to el­e­vate these sto­ries and recog­nise New Zealand’s suc­cess, the pair have done a grass­roots, crash course in film pro­duc­tion.

David Reeve has a close con­nec­tion with Lloyd Man­deno as his fam­ily lived for many years in a farm cot­tage only a few kilo­me­tres from the Man­deno fam­ily farm. Raised in Ki­hik­ihi and Te Awa­mutu, David is pre­sent­ing episode three at a spe­cial show­ing at the Te Awa­mutu Re­gent Cin­ema on Thurs­day from 4.30pm.

This will be one of the first show­ings of the episode, launched the day be­fore at the New Zealand Geo­ther­mal Work­shop at Waira¯kei dur­ing cel­e­bra­tions of the 60th an­niver­sary of the Waira¯ kei Power Sta­tion.

David thanked cin­ema owner Al­lan Webb for mak­ing the the­atre avail­able. Si­mon Reynolds of CreateVideo — a pro­fes­sional video pro­duc­tion and edit­ing com­pany based in Cam­bridge is the ed­i­tor and co-pro­ducer.

■ Pow­er­ing New Zealand premier is a free, pub­lic event. Num­bers lim­ited.

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