IT'S IN THE BAG returns to Māori Television with more comedy than ever.

Now in its fifth season, the iconic kiwi show hosted by Pio Terei and Stacey Morrison hit the road earlier this year to visit small towns across the North Island.

They started in Pukekohe before heading to Paeroa and Waihi, and then down the line to Putaruru, Mangakino, Taupo and Turangi.  Ohakune, Whanganui, Feilding came next, followed by Pahiatua and Masterton.

“It’s our best series yet,” says producer Libby Hakaraia of Blue Bach Productions.

“We had packed halls of locals keen to show us why their towns are unique and special. Those who made it onto the stage shared their knowledge of their town as well as trading jokes with our hosts Pio and Stacey.” 

With more than $55,000 worth of prizes to give away from primary sponsor UBUY, contestants were keen to go for the bag to win prizes ranging from televisions and electrical goods to sporting goods.

Director Tainui Stephens says more than $20,000 was also given away throughout the series.

“It’s about giving our small towns a reason to come together.  “These towns have real characters, quintessential Kiwis, both Maori and Pakeha.  Funny, sweet, old, young, bright – we’ve had them all on our stage,” he says.

“The lovely thing is that everyone supports those on stage – it’s like the whole town is going for a prize and delights in the fortunes of our winners”

The 33-strong crew of IT’S IN THE BAG is making television history as the biggest production crew on the road.

Libby Hakaraia says it is an honour for the team to continue to create a well-loved television entertainment programme.

The Grand Final of IT’S IN THE BAG will be recorded in Auckland at the end of May and involves all 12 winners of the town shows competing for the grand prize worth $15,000.

Tune in to the new series of IT’S IN THE BAG on Sunday, April 14 at 7.30pm.  Last season is available on demand on Maori Television’s website: