1 News NZ


Yep. Was utter madness from TVNZ at the time. But Hawkesby walked from TV3 when they wanted to pair him with Carol Hirschfeld at the start of 1999. Some bright spark at TVNZ thought they’d reunite John and Judy, who had presented shows together in the 80s (Top Half, which as I understand it was a regional forerunner to Holmes/Close Up/Seven Sharp).

As you mentioned, Richard was bumped to weekends with Liz but it only lasted only about 3 weeks I think before it was reversed after ratings tanked. Hawkesby got a 6 million dollar payout (https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=125060) and never had to work another day in his life (I believe he did some MCing and charity work, but has never appeared on TV again on a regular gig).

Incidentally, if Hawkesby had stuck with TV3 we might have never seen the rise of John Campbell, who they rushed in as his replacement last minute.


If I remember correctly…, Top Half was seen through the north of the North Island… Today Tonight from Wellington took in the south of the North Island and the very top of the South Island… Mainland Touch came from Christchurch and The South Tonight was based in Dunedin.


The fact Dunedin(and Southland) got a show to themselves is remarkable now they only have one reporter (maybe 1.5) in the Dunners newsroom.


I don’t think there’s even a functioning studio/news bureau live shot location anymore.

It is a pity, technology makes it possible but without a public service charter there’s no incentive for TVNZ to make the effort.


The day they’re forced to scramble when there’s a big news event will be the day they regret it. Some of NZ’a biggest stories in the last 30 years have come from that part of the world, the Bain murders, Aramoana etc.


Speaking of John Hawkesby… this is kinda funny…


No doubt both networks have LiveUs based in the region but all it will take is an event that brings down the cellular network for the weakness in that strategy to be revealed.


2010 Canterbury earthquakes are a case in point, especially paired with Pike river over the alps.

Should also point out, in times like these a lot of resource sharing takes place. CTV’s signal was back up after a day or two (scrolling information, rather than moving pictures) and Port FM in Ashburton also offered to host MediaWorks in the 2011 CHCH Quake (they declined, preferring to stay in the centre of the action).

The plus side of these sort of disasters, is that it reminds the Auckland-centric media that the rest of the country exists too. Stories noticeably became less skewed for the two years that followed (unfortunately this trend appears to have faded). If you don’t believe me, listen to how many Auckland suburbs get mentioned in the next bulletin you see, compared to how many times you hear the phrase “in the South Island.”


I know it’s an old debate, but more than 1/3 of the NZ population live in the greater Auckland region so it’s not really surprising that the city dominates the news.

That’s not to say there shouldn’t be more coverage of other areas, particularly in their own towns and some facilities and services could be decentralized. But in terms of efficient use of resources etc you can see where the media companies and coming from.


It’s funny you should say that - there were several rumours in the Herald about a year or so ago, claiming that TVNZ wanted to make big changes to 1 News; amongst the options reportedly being considered were Hilary Barry fronting the 6pm news solo, Barry presenting with Simon Dallow, and either Simon or Wendy hosting solo. Of course, this was all before Hilary took over from Mike Hosking on Seven Sharp, so who knows what will happen? I seem to recall another article claiming that Dallow was planning on calling time on 6pm, and possibly 1 News altogether, in the near future.


old news by now, but John Campbell now has an online podcast on 1 NEWS NOW.
it’s bloody fantastic!



Interesting choice. Wonder if she will continue with 1 News Tonight.

Can’t help but feel that if Greg Boyed (RIP) is still with us he might’ve taken over Peter Williams, but I’m digressing here.


My understanding and this is very much second hand, is he would not have.


Her appointment was very much expected and deserved. Melissa has worked her way up to become versatile in presenting all bulletins.

I don’t think that will happen. Anna Burns-Francis and Marama T-Pole - who we have seen presenting Tonight with Melissa since Greg’s passing - have the ability to job share, so as to retain their other roles.


AIUI, Greg would have also been leaving TVNZ at the end of this year: he had taken a job at the NBR. There was a Herald article about it after he died.

On a slightly different note, anyone have any idea who’s going to be Simon Dallow’s main stand-in next year?


I would suggest John Campbell.

Maybe Daniel Faitaua too, but they do need to build their male depth.


Q&A moving to 9:30 Mondays next year.


Peter Williams has concluded his career at TVNZ after nearly 40 years at the broadcaster. A very fitting send off led by Wendy and Simon.


Williams doing the famous walk out of the studio. A broadcaster with true class.