Someone being 'gunged' on children's television programme 'What Now?'.

Supplying Clients – Kapa Haka, Gunge and a Poodle

22 Jun 2021
You’ve seen Ngā Taonga material much more than you realise. Our Customer Supply Team works with dozens of productions a year.

The Customer Supply Advisors at Ngā Taonga are a skilled team who provide a special service to researchers and producers. When these two sides of the coin combine, there are some exciting results that reflect New Zealand history to a unique audience.

These programmes or films might include archival news bulletins (to show how things were reported at the time), or a classic ad to help set the scene. It helps these newly created works tell their stories by incorporating older ones, and is a great way for us to show the material Ngā Taonga holds.

Lenore Clout is a new addition to the Customer Supply Team, having previously worked at Flight Centre Travel Group. She’s fitted in easily and relishes the task of working with producers to locate content. ‘I like helping people, that’s my thing – I love working with them on their projects,’ she explains.

One of those projects has involved a crash course in kapa haka: ‘I’ve been helping Waka Huia, the long-running Māori affairs programme, with some of their upcoming episodes. They wanted kapa haka performances of Te Waka Huia (the kapa haka group from Tāmaki Makaurau) at Te Matatini.’ Lenore received a good overview of one of the most successful Te Matatini groups, and the job involved scrolling through the recordings to find the time codes of Te Waka Huia performing, then supplying the correct segments to the customer.

Another recent job involved the 40th birthday of the classic What Now? ‘For the anniversary they had a big feature about their gunge machine which I remember from my childhood. My colleague Sally and I watched footage and found some of the best gunge moments. The machine and games changed quite a bit over the years – there was some pretty funny stuff’. Providing archival content to programmes and films lets audiences see changes across time and creates a richer experience.

Hero image: Someone being 'gunged' on children's television programme 'What Now?'. Courtesy of The Spinoff.

Page for 'Who Killed Lucy the Poodle' documentary on TVNZ website.

"Ngā Taonga is my go-to for sourcing archival material - it's a living goldmine!" - Orlando Stewart (Producer of 'Who killed Lucy the Poodle?')

The other side of the coin are the screen producers who work to get the content made.

Orlando Stewart has worked in screen production for nearly 20 years and you’ll probably notice his name popping up everywhere when you watch the credits. He’s worked with Ngā Taonga a few times, including on the amazing-but-true documentary Who Killed Lucy the Poodle?, directed by Kent Briggs. Lucy the Poodle used a large amount of archival material to track the surprising events of a 1980s circus.

‘Ngā Taonga is my go-to for sourcing archival material – it’s a living goldmine!’ explains Orlando. ‘It’s great, too, that the on-air stuff is preserved,’ meaning some of our content shows presenters and broadcasts as they would have appeared live.

Orlando and Kent worked with Darren Sharp, another Ngā Taonga employee, and found the whole process easy, with good results. ‘I couldn’t have been happier with how things turned out,’ says Orlando. ‘The service was amazing, and the communication was really open.’ The material supplied for Poodle was really fascinating, and it makes for an unforgettable story. Darren worked closely with the production, and Orlando said Darren and the organisation were ‘enormously helpful in every regard.’

When the two sides of producer and customer supply work together, it leads to the development of beneficial relationships. ‘I love working with producers,’ says Lenore. ‘As you work through a project, you see what they need. You get to know them and can see that we’re really working together.’ When those two sides of the coin – suppliers and producers – work together, we get a much richer media environment. Orlando agrees: ‘Would I work with Ngā Taonga in the future? Yes, I would love to!’