Movings/Shakings: 25 February

Forbes to the fore  

Maori Television has announced award-winning journalist Mihingarangi Forbes as the new host of the channel’s flagship current affairs show Native Affairs, replacing Julian Wilcox, who was recently appointed to the role of general manager news and current affairs.

Wilcox says Forbes has proven news and current affairs credentials and a reputation for breaking stories.

“She has a fantastic on-screen presence and she’s not afraid of asking the hard questions,” says Wilcox. “This appointment not only signals the depth of talent we have at Maori Television, it also reinforces our commitment to producing quality news and current affairs.”

Forbes has 18 years’ experience in the television industry working as a journalist and producer for TV3 and TVNZ, where she began her career in Maori broadcasting (in 2008, she won a Qantas Award for ‘Best Reporter for Daily Current Affairs’ when she was working for Campbell Live). She joined Maori Television in 2012 as a producer of its daily news bulletin, Te Kaea. 

Native Affairs is committed to covering issues from a Maori and indigenous perspective,” she says. “For me this is an exciting opportunity to tell important stories that aren’t being told elsewhere, alongside a team of experienced journalists.”

Former TVNZ journalists Ruwani Perera and Billie-Jo Ropiha have also joined the programme, and they will be working with reporters Semiramis Holland, Iulia Leilua, Adrian Stevanon and Renee Iosefa-Kahukura.

The show starts on March 11 at 8.30pm. And, as pointed out in a Herald article, she’ll be competing for current affairs viewers with her ex Duncan Garner, who is co-hosting TV3’s new show Third Degree with Guyon Espiner.

Wood returns 

Veteran broadcaster Susan Wood has been announced as the new host of TVNZ’s Sunday morning political show, Q+A.

Wood, who has her own PR company, Susan Wood Communications, will take the position previously held by the late Sir Paul Holmes when Q+A returns to TV One on Sunday, 10 March. 

TVNZ political editor Corin Dann and deputy political editor Jessica Mutch will continue to interview for the show and will share that responsibility with Shane Taurima, who was recently announced as TVNZ’s general manager of Maori and Pacific programming.

“We are looking forward to welcoming Susan back into the building,” says TVNZ editor current affairs Briar McCormack. “Over her broadcasting career with Close Up, Breakfast, Today Live and Newstalk ZB, she has proven herself to be one of New Zealand’s top interviewers. As well as her contacts, she has the perfect skill set to host Q+A. Susan’s involvement is part of a refreshed format for 2013. While the show will continue to ask the tough questions of those who make the news—and decisions—and will hold the powerful to account, we will see a lot more involvement from Corin, as well as from Jessica, who did some excellent work for Q+A last year. We are also thrilled to have Heather Shiels producing for us this season, who comes back to TVNZ fresh from the BBC’s HARDtalk.

Wood says she’s spent a lot of her career following around Sir Paul, and “it’s a great honour to be filling his place on Q+A”.

Young & Shand & Growing

With plenty of new business under its belt to start 2013, Young & Shand has continued to fill its Britomart offices, with account director Kath Purchase joined by junior creative team Skyler Bongers and Anna Kerr from AUT.

Purchase has ten years experience across direct and brand advertising with Hallensteins, Subway, IAG, BNZ and Genesis Energy. 

“We’ve had to increase our creative right across the board, and Kath was too good to miss,” says Ben Young. “Actually really good to bring across her experience, as we’d worked with her on Hallensteins.” 

These hires bring the total number of staff at the agency to 24. 

Pieces of eight 

Eight graduates from universities around New Zealand have been chosen from hundreds of applicants to join the 2013 Clemenger Talent Programme.

In its third year, the nine-month programme will see the graduates gain hands-on communications experience at one of the Group’s leading Auckland or Wellington-based agencies.

The 2013 graduates are:

  • Anna Flaws – University of Otago, Dunedin
  • Chloe Fagence – Auckland University of Technology, Auckland
  • Josephine Yockney – University of Otago, Dunedin
  • Lauren Watling – Victoria University, Wellington
  • Lucy Collins – Unitec Auckland
  • Melita McMaster – Victoria University, Wellington
  • Sam Brough – Victoria University, Wellington
  • Sophie Petley – Massey University, Wellington

All eight will start this week and will rotate through their respective agency’s departments over a period of three months, gaining an insight into the wide variety of skills needed to run a successful communications business. Candidates will then be offered a six-month placement and paid an entry-level salary for this period. 

“We’ve had a remarkable success rate with the programme over the past few years, with 95 percent of participants being offered a job in one of the Clemenger Group companies after completion,” says Jim Moser, chief executive of Clemenger Group. “… Our talent programme leverages the vast capabilities within the Clemenger Group and exposes bright young professionals to the inner workings of brand, retail, direct, experiential, public relations, media and every other communications discipline within one group structure.”

One such graduate, David Hutchens, now an account executive at Colenso BBDO, says the programme provided a valuable stepping stone and made for a seamless transition into the industry.

“The contacts and relationships built over nine months were invaluable, and time spent working with leading creatives, planners and senior management, on some of the agency’s big projects for huge clients are experiences I probably wouldn’t have had as a junior suit elsewhere,” he says. 

The Clemenger Group is part of the global BBDO network and there are 13 businesses in the group representing over 40 percent of the entire media market.

Kid in a candy store

The Sweet Shop has announced that Ben Dawkins has joined for commercial and branded content representation worldwide. 

After graduating from Bournemouth College of Art and Design, he found himself working primarily in the music industry. It was here that he got the opportunity to direct the music promo for electronic artist Bodgan Raczynski, resulting in a number of industry award nominations. After this success, Mother approached him to direct three films for Orange. 

He has worked with some of the world’s top brands, including PlayStation, Adidas, Nike and the Met Police, which saw him pick up two Cannes Lions for his spot ‘Knife City’. And his vast experience in photography, print graphics and 3D animation has made him an exciting and in demand director with a wealth of high profile brands to his reel.


Founding partner/CEO, Paul Prince says Dawkins is a special talent. 

“He’s a great storyteller and craftsman, technically brilliant across different film language and technology. I’m very pleased he has chosen The Sweet Shop to manage his international career.”

“With Ben’s vast capabilities and beautiful artistry we can’t be more eager to get to him working with New Zealand agencies,” says executive producer Fiona King. ”It’s great to be growing our International roster with such powerful talent.” 

Blue move

Comedy-thriller The Blue Rose is moving to a new timeslot and will screen on TV3 at 9.30pm Monday nights from 25 February, an hour later than its original timeslot.

Director of programming, Mark Caulton, says the move is designed to protect the success of the flagship drama, after changes to the wider Monday night line-up that saw Grand Designs Australia added.  

The Blue Rose is the stand-out success story of this year’s new local drama and comedy offerings,” he says. “We believe this move is the best way to ensure the show’s ongoing success, with minimal disruption to viewers.”

The show had the strongest premiere of any new local drama or comedy programme, launching in the top five local shows of the week.

More than 1,362,200 Kiwis have tuned into the South Pacific Pictures-produced series since launch (Nielsen TAM, 5+ cume), which stars Outrageous Fortune alumni Antonia Prebble and Siobhan Marshall.

The show is also TV3’s second biggest video ondemand programme after hit serial drama Home and Away, and has enjoyed widespread critical acclaim.

Over on TVNZ, Agent Anna, starring another Outrageous alumnus, Robyn Malcolm, has also proven itself a winner with more than 1.2 million New Zealanders (5+) tuning into this series so far, and on average, more than 400,000 (5+) watching each episode.

“It’s fantastic to see a primetime local comedy series resonate with the New Zealand audience,” says Jeff Latch, head of TV ONE and TV2. “Thanks to NZ On Air’s support, commissioning, programming and the fantastic team at Great Southern Film and Television for delivering a superb series.”

Jane Wrightson, chief executive of NZ On Air says it’s no surprise that Agent Anna is attracting a big audience. 

‘We received a great proposal from a very strong team and we’re proud to support this great local comedy for viewers to enjoy.”

On average, more than 30 percent of the available viewing audience on Thursday night is watching the comedy line-up and these comedies are the most watched in their time zone.

Changing jobs

New Zealand ‘social recruitment’ agency, jobs.co.nz has shut down the public facing side of their job board as part of an intentional shift into a full service social recruitment agency. 


“We are told time and time again by clients that they would like to reduce their investment in traditional job advertising such as job board and bulk listings,” says chief executive Ben Irving. “They are shifting work more intentionally to develop their own social channels to attract talent and we will be there to support them.”

He believes traditional job boards don’t offer a meaningful experience for job hunters or employers. The recruitment industry is changing in response to digitally savvy candidates with increasingly high visibility to internal recruitment functions. 

Although we understand the role that job boards currently play in providing a high volume of applications – we believe the quality of candidates found through social avenues will soon replace the outdated job board functionality and will eventually be a more effective recruitment method.

“The goal for us is to improve the way employers connect with talent and the way job hunters find and apply for opportunities. We believe that finding job opportunities should be exciting, social and simple rather than difficult and demotivating. We want to place a stronger value and emphasis on people understanding and engaging with organisations before they apply for roles. This is a result of the increased transparency of organisations values and culture that is now available online.”

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