(AO) New Zealand's hottest new Māori bilingual series which follows the trials and tribulations of best friends Smooch, Hemi and Geo. Available On Demand to viewers in Australia and NZ.
Producer – Karen Te O Kahurangi Waaka-Tibble
Of Te Arawa, Tūwharetoa descent, Te Ō Kahurangi has been part of the Kura Productions team since its inception. Working alongside Quinton, she provides the wide range of business and management skills to bring productions to fruition. She has extensive networks into the Māori communities across sectors, age groups and tribal regions. She has produced most of Kura’s shows from the reo Maori quiz show Kupuhuna in 2005 to Huritua - a new rangatahi show for ages 10-15 and ten series of Pūkoro - a show for our tamariki nohinohi aged 0-5. Karen is in post-production for Maui’s Hook, a docu-drama film for suicide prevention, directed by Paora Joseph.
Executive Producer – Quinton Hita
Quinton Hita's work on TV, radio and film has seen him on both sides of the camera. After winning fans on Mai Time and Shortland Street, he went behind the scenes on Shortland as a writer and storyliner, and these days is better known in the industry as a prolific producer with company Kura Productions. 2004 saw the launch of Kura Productions, a joint venture with company South Pacific Pictures. As Kura's manager, Hita has executive produced or produced close to 400 hours of TV, much of them for Māori Television. The shows include Pukoro and multiple seasons of both bilingual game show Kupuhuna and five-nights-a-week language series Tōku Reo. Hita can also be seen on Kōwhao Rau, talking to kaumātua about lives lived far from the beaten track.
Director – Hanelle Harris
In 2011 Hanelle Harris graduated with a Bachelor of Performing Arts in Acting for Screen & Theatre from Unitec. She later completed her Post Graduate Diploma in 11 Directing, Writing and Screen Production. She has since been an active member in New Zealand’s Screen and Theatre Industry as an actress and key creative; amassing credits for producing, writing, directing and casting. As a film-maker Hanelle is passionate about telling Māori and Pasifika stories; in particular those with strong female characters, next generation voices and socially challenging subjects. Her most recent project, Baby Mama’s Club, which she co-created and directed, is an online series that garnered a huge amount of attention for its self-funded first episode and went on to receive NZ On Air funding to complete the series.
Director – Kiel McNaughton
Manurewa-bred Kiel McNaughton followed stunt work and study at Unitec with a five year stint, playing beloved Shortland Street nurse James 'Scotty' Scott. Alongside his wife Kerry Warkia, he founded Brown Sugar Apple Grunt Productions in 2006, directing acclaimed wannabe famous satire Auckland Daze, and Nia’s Extra Ordinary Life, New Zealand’s first web series for kids. McNaughton has also directed for This is Piki and Filthy Rich, Shortland Street and Find Me A Maori Bride. Kiel also co-wrote the Award-winning 2015 play The Mooncake and the Kumara with his cousin Mei-Lin Te Puea Hansen. The play explores the family's Māori, Chinese and Pākehā roots. Most recently, Kiel and Kerry have produced the critically acclaimed movie Waru, which saw eight Māori women direct a 10 minute segment circling around the events of a tangi of a child. Waru garnered national and international attention and went on to screen at the Toronto and the imagiNATIVE film festivals.
Writer – Jessica Hansell
Jessica Hansell is a multi-media artist who writes, raps, makes music and art often under the name Coco Solid. As a musician, Hansell is one half of Parallel Dance Ensemble (Permanent Vacation Records, Germany) with Danish producer Robin Hannibal. She is also a founding member of New Zealand noize collective Badd Energy (Flying Nun). As a solo artist she has released cult records and mixtapes independently since 2004 with a wide roster of kiwi cohorts. . This year she created EQUALISE MY VOCALS, an event that ran through May to promote gender conversations and equality in NZ music.
Writer – Todd Karehana
In 2014 Karehana graduated from The University of Auckland with a Bachelor of Arts in Writing Studies & Media, Film and Television. In the same year he directed his first film The Kweenz of Kelston- a short documentary about a group of transgender, fa’afafine and takataapui teenagers that attend an all-boys high school and compete in an inter-school talent quest. The film screened at imagineNATIVE and was noted by Ron Brownson (Senior Curator, New Zealand and Pacific Art at the Auckland Art Gallery) as “one of the most important documentaries of the decade”.