Making New Zealand

Sometimes it’s good to stop and think about everyday things. Where would we be without hydro-schemes to provide our power, roads, railway lines and bridges to move people and goods around the country?

Making New Zealand is a four-part documentary series that shares the stories of local men and women who envisaged and created our major infrastructure projects and communication networks. Each episode acknowledges and celebrates those workers who took on major challenges to build these vital elements of modern life.

Production company Top Shelf have used present-day interviews and visuals, archive footage, stills and recordings to demonstrate the level of hard-work and ingenuity it took to create a modern-day nation.

Making New Zealand is a Platinum Fund programme, aimed to inform, educate and entertain a wide local audience.


Making New Zealand is a Platinum Fund Documentary

Top Shelf Productions for Prime

4 x 60 mins

NZ On Air funding $600,993

Making New Zealand is a welcome chance to see some of our history, told in a generally entertaining and informative manner.

— Gordon Brown, reporter for The Timaru Herald

Audience reach


People aged 5+ on average watched the series, sourced from Nielsen Television Audience Measurement.

Watch this show

Unfortunately, this show is now off-air and no longer available Ondemand. 

Also funded by NZ On Air

Songs From The Inside

November 2015

Songs From The Inside

A third series of the ground-breaking documentary programme that seeks to rehabilitate prisoners through song.

The Trouble With Murder

October 2015

The Trouble With Murder

A three part Platinum Fund series exploring the emotionally explosive subject of sentencing of murderers in New Zealand.