Could you survive Aotearoa? New Survival Series Starting Soon On Māori Television.



Former Special Forces’ soldiers Barrie Rice and Chris Kumeroa have worked on the front line in conflicts around the world.

Now these real-life action heroes are ready for a new challenge: To take on some of New Zealand's most unforgiving terrain in SURVIVE AOTEAROA, a new survival show starting Thursday, September 19 at 7.30pm on Maori Television.

As professional soldiers, Barrie and Chris served seven and five years respectively with the elite New Zealand Special Forces. Trained to carry out difficult operations all over the world, they have developed the skills to survive anywhere.

In SURVIVE AOTEAROA, Barrie and Chris travel all over New Zealand to spend 24 hours in a survival scenario that could happen to anyone: marooned boaters, lost hikers, stranded mountain climbers, or injured skiers.

Equipped with minimal gear in places such as Kapiti Island, Whanganui River, the Southern Alps and Waitomo Caves, the pair must draw on traditional Maori knowledge, their specialist military training and modern survival techniques to find a way out.

There will be conflict, rivalry and many testing situations along the way so they will have to work together to SURVIVE AOTEAROA.

Producer Fiona Apanui-Kupenga, from Wellington-based Te Amokura Productions, said each episode will also introduce local iwi, who share their survival techniques, particular plants/rongoa that are special to the area and the environmental signs you need to be aware of.

She said working with Barrie and Chris was an interesting challenge, with their army lingo, including ‘terrain’, ‘environment’ and ‘vegetation’ now creeping into her vocabulary.  

“The boys have really stressed the importance of being prepared when you venture out into the bush,” she said. “This, along with some of their military lessons and te ao Maori, is key to the SURVIVE AOTEAROA series”.

Barrie Rice also features in SOLDIERS OF FORTUNE, a 2007 documentary investigating the role of more than 500 New Zealand security contractors in Iraq, which will screen on Maori Television later this month.

SOLDIERS OF FORTUNE (Sunday, September 29 at 8.30pm) follows Barrie back to Iraq and records the everyday realities of life in Baghdad - the checkpoints in and out of the American controlled Green Zone, the roadside bombs, and boredom of life inside the secure compounds.

Tune in to Maori Television on Thursday, September 19 at 7.30pm to see if you have what it takes to SURVIVE AOTEAROA and check out SOLDIERS OF FORTUNE, screening Sunday, September 29 at 8.30pm.

For interviews, images or further information contact:

Lauren Mentjox 
Kaiwhakaputa Matua
Senior Publicist
Maori Television 
DDI          +64 9 539 7108