Lifting my head above the parapet briefly to let you know about something I think a number of you might be interested in. My recent absence here is for no other reason is that I've been in maximum hay-making mode while the public service broadcasting sun that is TVNZ 7 is shining. As observant viewers will realise, that's about another three weeks, and there's still hay what needs harvesting, both for me, in a taking care of my little nuclear family over the winter months sense, and for you, in that there's some great TV in the next few weeks. Bang rather than a whimper, as it should be.
I finished shooting the last pieces for Hindsight today - 39 episodes in 18 months, and I think we've pretty much rinsed that idea, so while it's always sad to end a great project, I don't feel it's gone before its time.
Back Benches has another 3 shows left, and in a somewhat odd twist, as many of you will know, the Backbencher Tavern suffered a substantial fire on Thursday morning. It'll recover, but not in time for those last three shows, which to be honest, feels f***ing weird. We were looking forward to farewelling the show in its original setting, now we're at the Speights Alehouse up the road. Which will be great, but it's weird nonetheless.
ANYWAY. The thing I really wanted to tell you about is part of TVNZ 7's last hurrah, a series of five shows around the concept "The Big Idea". Ideas that have the potential to transform New Zealand as we know it. I'm producing it, former US correspondent Tim Wilson is fronting it, and we've got five shows brimming with great talent, all filmed in front of a studio audience at the upstairs schmancy bit of the Cloud at Queens Wharf in Auckland City. And we'd love you to be there.
The shows, in order of filming, are:
Sunday 17 June:
100% Solar by 2020: As the pressure on existing energy sources grows, should we look to an abundant resource virtually untapped, right on our rooftops?
Monday 18 June:
Predator-Free New Zealand: An idea proposed by Sir Paul Callaghan. What if we made a concerted effort to eliminate every opossum, rat and mustelid not just from outlying islands, but from the entire country?
Monday 18 June:
Teach the World to Farm: With looming world food shortages, do New Zealand's technologies and expertise put it in a unique position to teach the world to feed itself?
Tuesday 19 June:
Population 15 Million: Should New Zealand stop being a 'town in a country' and increase the population - i.e. 15 million people in the next 50 years?
Tuesday 19 June:
Selling New Zealand: Do we want to sell ourselves as more than a pretty place where Lord Of The Rings was filmed? What should our unique selling proposition be to take us into the future? And what does 'brand New Zealand' really mean?
We've got some heavyweight panellists, some of the best and brightest, and each show should be interesting, informative and entertaining. Just what we aim for on TVNZ 7.
If you'd like to come to any of the filmings - they're done "as live", so will only take half an hour, and naturally there's a few drinks before or afterwards, depending on the session, so you can chat about the ideas further.
You're welcome to come to one, two, or the whole shebang, whatever takes your fancy. First in, best dressed.
Just register via this page here (not to me via publicaddress please):
And if you can't make it, the shows will be broadcast on TVNZ 7 starting the following Monday. But do come.
After all the dust settles from TVNZ 7, I'll be back more regularly. I've got stories to tell. A trip to China and Singapore (you can see a bit of the former in my final Hindsight episode on June 26th), tales from the suburbs, and musings on life in general. I'm looking forward to having a bit more time to do this sort of thing, even if the reason why I'll have more time aint great. Silver linings etc.