The Year the Earth Went Wild TV - Arthur C Clarke TV - Richard Holdaway - Jonathan Gray - Destination Truth TV - Barry Humphries - Madeleine Albright - New Zealand: Earth’s Mythical Islands TV - James Fox TV - Ross Kemp on Gangs TV - The Disappearance of Grace Millane TV -
February: On 22 February a powerful earthquake rocked Christchurch, New Zealand. The Year the Earth Went Wild, Channel 4 2011
The largest bird that ever lived – the twelve-foot high Moa. Excavations all over South Island produce the massive bones of the Moa. Flocks of their skeletons dominate New Zealand’s museums. The Moa certainly seems to have been seen as late as 1860. Arthur C Clarke’s Mysterious World, ITV 1980
Moas are the only birds in the world which did not have wing-bones at all. Some of them did not even have sockets for wing-bones to go in. So they were the ultimate walking birds. They were herbivores. They ate a variety of vegetation. Consumed some of the roughest roughage you could think of. Professor Richard Holdaway, University of Canterbury
Off the New Zealand coast, yes. The Chinese actually have a very ancient map in their possession. It was drawn about 1418 and it includes Australia, New Zealand ... This expedition: it was an attempted circumnavigation of the world ... And more than a hundred ships, and these ships carried between them 28,000 people set out in 1421 ... Documents from ancient China talk about this catastrophe: a huge meteor struck the sea less than a hundred miles from the fleet ... Investigation recently down along the coast and inland high up ... has produced the remains actually of sixty embedded ships. Jonathan Gray, interview Coast to Coast Hidden Discoveries
During the 1980s some very extensive and quite expensive actual archaeological work was conducted in a forest up ... Evidence of a past Celtic presence in New Zealand going back probably 4,000 years. ibid.
The Maori people of New Zealand have long spoken of an entire menagerie of tribal guardians and predatory beasts, including an aquatic monster known as the taniwha. Sightings of these creatures are nothing new. Destination Truth s3e13, Skyfy 2009
The taniwha is said to protect bodies of waters throughout the North Island. ibid.
On the south island is said to live a creature that is right out of Tolkien’s trilogy. Locals say the gigantic ancient bird, thought to have gone extinct over five hundred years ago, is back, and has a score to settle with the people who hunted it. The Moa is one of the largest flightless birds to have ever existed. Destination Truth s3e15
New Zealand is a country of thirty thousand million sheep, three million of whom think they are human. Barry Humphries
8I’ve never been to New Zealand before. But one of my role models, Xena, the warrior princess, comes from there. Madeleine Albright
In the far reaches of the Pacific Ocean lies a land cut off from the rest of the world. Since the time of the dinosaurs. After eighty million years of isolation Nature has gone its own way. In this lost world life plays by different rules. Penguins in the forests, parrots in the snow, and predators from pre-history. New Zealand: Earth’s Mythical Islands I, BBC 2016
There are more species of penguin in New Zealand than anywhere else in the world. ibid.
The Southern Alps – New Zealand’s greatest wilderness. ibid.
Hidden valleys full of prehistoric life … New Zealand’s ancient isolation allowed many strange creatures to evolve here. ibid.
The country is fissured and fractured by underground faults that can erupt without warning. ibid.
Pohutukawa tree – a miracle of life from almost nothing … Pohutukawa trees can live for more than a thousand years. ibid.
Kiwis come out at night to avoid daytime predators. New Zealand: Earth’s Mythical Islands II
Black corals are the slowest growing corals in the world. ibid.
The south of New Zealand is one of the wettest places on Earth ibid.
An extremely loud call from a very unexpected creature. A young male ... by far the heaviest parrot in the world ... the Kakapo. New Zealand: Earth's Mythical Islands III
This episode tells the story of the Maori. Their first clashes with Europeans, collaborations of exchange that followed, how many Maori resisted colonisation and went on to stage an audacious cultural revival that has made its mark on many aspects of modern life. James Fox, Oceans Apart: Art and the Pacific s1e3: New Zealand, BBC 2018
Their particular genius was for sculpture. From the fifteenth century the Maori began constructing large permanent households often adorned with elaborate carvings. ibid.
All around the meeting house are wall panels called poupou that depict ancestral history and myth. ibid.
By the beginning of the twentieth century the Maori population had dwindled to 40,000. They now accounted for just 1 in 15 New Zealanders. ibid.
New Zealand: Paradise on Earth … But New Zealand is also home to some of the world’s most intimidating gangs … I’ve heard terrifying stories of mayhem, depravity and almost inhuman violence. Ross Kemp on Gangs s1e3: New Zealand, Sky 2005
An ordinary high street in an ordinary town in the middle of the day. Mongrol Mob in red against their arch-foe the Black Power. ibid.
The Mongrol Mob is a national phenomenon. It is organised as a loose affiliation of independent chapters. ibid.
5th December 2018: 21-year-old British backpacker Grace Millane is reported missing. The Disappearance of Grace Millane, BBC 2023
Grace sets off to travel the world by herself.
Grace matches with someone via the dating app Tinder. ibid.
Grace Millane has not responded to messages on her 22nd birthday. Her family contact the Auckland police to report her missing. ibid.
They discover CCTV of Grace leaving her hostel on the night before her birthday. ibid.
‘She looked very comfortable stood next to him. There really was no red flag.’ ibid. friend’s viewing of CCTV
‘I woke up the next day and I saw that she was lying on the floor. That she had blood coming from her nose … ’ ibid. Kempson
‘This is not someone who’s panicked. He’s cold, calculated, self-serving and he’s trying to cover up what he’s done.’ ibid. rozzer
‘I can remember putting Grace in the suitcase.’ iibid. Jempson to rozzer
Vigils for Grace are held across New Zealand. ibid. caption
‘I want to apologise to Grace’s family. Your daughter should have been safe here. And he wasn’t. And I’m sorry for that.’ ibid. New Zealand prime minister
Using CCTV, investigators build a picture of Grace’s last hours. ibid. caption