A media ecology assignment on New Zealand identity featuring a web series, radio documentary, radio feature series and social media video.
What is New Zealand identity? As part of the Media Ecology 600 project, Syndicate 3 has unpacked various perspective of national identity. We have used a whole range of programs to encapsulate what New Zealand identity means to different groups.
In an attempt to critically analyse New Zealanders, “Who’s The Mostest Kiwi?” is a self critiquing look at New Zealand identity. The web-series is based on a game show premise, where charismatic host, Dom, scours the nation in an attempt to find “the Mostest Kiwi”. Contestants proceed to answer questions around the New Zealand stereotypes, with our host, Dom, awarding points for the answers he determines are the “Mostest Kiwi”. Four stereotypical and unique New Zealander’s have been selected from their audition tapes- a Maori, an Asian, a Farmer, and a white collar dollar businessman, each with their own reasons as to why they’re “the Mostest Kiwi”, and each fitting into different stereotypes. Once the winner is determined by an audience vote, we have a look at a “Day in the Life” style interview with the successful contestant, and we uncover the truth of the “Mostest Kiwi” and the darker truth to New Zealand identity. This show aims to reveal that even though New Zealand identity is perceived as being sweet as, it is far more complex.
This radio documentary give insight into how DIY - which is a part of the fabric of New Zealand - is connected and personified through music. The documentary focuses on early 1980’s when New Zealand was coming out of a wave of punk that empowered people to do it themselves. This led on to Flying Nun formed in 1981, which is what the radio documentary focuses on as Kaye Woodward, Paul Kean and Dr. Bruce Russell who are interviewed where part of Flying Nun. Interviewed as well is Dr Lee Borrie a music historian whose studies have focused around the alternate scene of the 1980’s.
Mental health is a huge issue in New Zealand, with one in six adults being diagnosed with a common mental disorder at some time in their lives. However, our mental health campaigns may not be addressing this issue in the right way. The 2018 mental health campaign “Let Nature In” is an example of mental stress being addressed while mental illness is ignored. Steps to improve wellbeing listed on the campaign website include bird watching and making a worm farm, but doesn't address steps for anyone who is coping with anything more than stress. We speak to Isla Reeves, an adviser for mental health services in Canterbury, about what she thinks needs to change.