Celebrating 50 years of a beautiful, enduring documentary series

Media Releases · Television · 27th July 2015

Rivalling Coronation Street in longevity, and the very best documentary series worldwide, Country Calendar will next year celebrate 50 years on air. NZ On Air has been backing the series since 1991.

As well as the 2016 series, NZ On Air will also support a one-off 50th anniversary special. The one-hour programme will revisit rural families who have previously featured on the programme.

Other popular documentary projects will also return in 2016. The heart-rending series Lost & Found was very well-received and will return with a stronger emphasis on the impact on the extended families of the reunions it facilitates.

The third and final documentary in the Gloriavale series has been supported, this time exploring what life is like for women inside this closed community.

A second season of Street Hospital on TV2 will follow New Zealand’s only central city hospital triage site located on Wellington’s Courtenay Place.

A fourth and final series of Shearing Gang, which screens on Prime, will give viewers fresh insight into rural New Zealand life.

 “After 50 years on air, Country Calendar remains consistant as the highest rating programme we fund, attracting more than half a million viewers every Saturday night. The team’s achievement is remarkable and speaks volumes for its polished production and the value of genuinely local stories on screen,” said NZ On Air Chief Executive Jane Wrightson. “We are delighted to support it again, and the making of a milestone programme marking 50 years.”

Funding details

Lost & Found 2, 10 x 1 hr, Warner Brothers NZ for TV3, $935,846

Street Hospital 2, 10 x ½ hr, The Gibson Group for TV2, $575,000

Country Calendar 2016, 40 x 30 mins, TVNZ for TV One, $566,720

Shearing Gang 4, 10 x ½ hr, Great Southern Television for Prime, $462,450

The Gloriavale Project 3, 1 x 1hr, Pacific Screen Limited for TV2, $170,000

Country Calendar 50th Anniversary Special, 1 x 1 hr, TVNZ for TV One, $59,800