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From the Vault

We're teaming up with NZ On Screen, to polish up some local gems from the past. Relive some of the best moments in television history, from breaking news to pop culture, comedy, drama, sports and more.

New theme available the 1st of every month on TVNZ OnDemand

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  • Watch First

    Before They Were Famous: Russell Crowe
    • Wednesday 1 Nov 2017

    G These days Russell Crowe is known for his movie career, but back in 1985 he was busy trying to make a name for himself in the music business. In fact, he was trying to make a somewhat different name for himself than the one we now know him by. Back then, Russell went by Russ le Roq, and was the leader of Auckland band Roman Antix. Here he's seen promoting their debut video on teen music show Shazam!, looking fresh-faced, but already showing the drive and determination that would soon land him in Hollywood. Fast-forward 15 years and he would be leading Romans of a different kind, playing General Maximum Meridius in Gladiator.

    Watch Now
      • Friday 1 Feb

      G This docudrama follows an imaginary news reporter who travels back in time to cover the days leading up to the Treaty of Waitangi's signing on 6 February 1840. Dropping the usual solemnity surrounding Aotearoa's founding document, it uses humour and asides to camera to evoke the chaos and motives behind the treaty. This clip features a confrontation between Hone Heke and representatives of the Crown.

      • Friday 1 Feb

      G This TVNZ production screened at the end of 1989, just before the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi. Filmed at Government House, presenter Ian Johnstone oversees passionate korero as a panel of youngsters, academics and Maori and Pakeha elders debate the place of New Zealand's founding document. This clip focuses on the grievances of wrongfully taken land and the setting up of the Waitangi Tribunal. The title of this documentary refers to chief Te Kemara's famous about-turn, when, after first opposing the Treaty, he turned to Hobson and said: "How d'ye do Mr Governor?".

      • Friday 1 Feb

      G This special 1984 episode of the long-running te reo news programme looks at Waitangi Day. Series founder Derek Fox is presenter; the news item follows the journey north of a train that the Tainui tribe hired to take their people to Waitangi. Topics of protest aired include land rights, the Waikato River and the Maori language. Among those appearing are Sir Hepi Te Heuheu (Tuwharetoa), Sir Robert Mahuta and Pumi Taituha (Tainui), Sir James Henare of Northland, and Sir Kingi Ihaka (Aupouri).

      • Friday 1 Feb

      G This excerpt from the 1974 first 'New Zealand Day' pageant at Waitangi showcases Prime Minister Norman Kirk's iconic - and more enduring - speech. His much vaunted 'New Zealand Day' name change was abolished by the next (National) Government, who renamed it Waitangi Day.

      • Friday 1 Feb

      G In 1973 Prime Minister Norman Kirk announced that the anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi would be a unifying national holiday called New Zealand Day. The inaugural 1974 day featured a royal entourage, was watched by 20,000 people and screened live for TV. This excerpt features a young Howard Morrison performing Oma Rapiti with a group of schoolchildren and one very large moa. A review of the Aotearoa pageant in the New Zealand Herald asked whether it was 'imaginative pageantry or tasteless vulgarity?' - you decide!

      • Friday 1 Feb

      G This clip from a 1960 edition of the National Film Unit's magazine film series takes place at Waitangi, where ships - and a submarine, no less - from the New Zealand, Australian and British navies have turned out to commemorate the national day at the Treaty Grounds. Quite a different sight to that that would have greeted Captain Hobson as he sailed through the Bay of Islands in his small wooden boat!

      • Friday 1 Feb

      G This Weekly Review was the first of the long-running National Film Unit's series. It begins in the wartime years, with a focus on the NZ Army and Kiwi soldiers demonstrating their readiness for battle. The clip shows soldiers "Maori and Pakeha" working together on the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, mounting machine guns in preparation for the possibility of having to defend the shoreline from invasion. Despite the narrator's bad pronunciation, the clip shows how very little has changed in this scenic spot.

      • Tuesday 1 Jan

      G In colonial times drowning was so rife it was known as 'the New Zealand death'. This jaunty 1951 educational film is an effort to rid our lakes, rivers and seas of the unfortunate claim to fame through cunning reverse psychology, as swimmers, fishermen and skylarking lads learn "how to drown". It eschews the confrontational realism of many a later PSA for the light-hearted approach: mixing lessons on water safety with silent film-style tomfoolery, gallows humour and the odd bit of sexual innuendo. This clip shows a 'dramatic' sea rescue, with surf lifesavers using the now-archaic rope and reel.

      • Tuesday 1 Jan

      G In this National Film Unit-produced 'documentary' a circus sets up at the beach. Made for the Ministry of Works to stir debate about the use of coastal land, the documentary features Ian Mune as a Willy Wonka-esque ringmaster who warns us about the risks of development, recreation and housing. This clip features a rather bizarre, extended nookie session that has the two lovebirds getting hot and heavy over the thought of buying a beach section.

      • Tuesday 1 Jan

      G This early children's TV classic is a Kiwi take on a genre staple: the summer holiday adventure. Aucklanders Peter and Laura meet up with their Wellington friend Rangi and his older cousin Dan (Wi Kuki Kaa), and go on an expedition to Kapiti Island. The trio (minus Dan, who has a sprained ankle) go bush for some kids vs. wild action, peppered with a menagerie of manu (kaka, weka, kereru, tui), and tales of Te Rauparaha, whaling and ghosts. Set to a jaunty soundtrack, this clip is a charming reminder of the gentler days of children's television.

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