New Zealand Broadcasting School
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New Zealand Identity

Syndicate 3
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A media ecology assignment on New Zealand identity featuring a web series, radio documentary, radio feature series and social media video.

Photo by Kirsten Drew on Unsplash 

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.  

Web Series - Who's The Mostest Kiwi?

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.

Episode 1 Introduces our Kiwis
Episode two pits them against each other to find out who is the mostest Kiwi
Watch episode 3 to find out who the mostest kiwi really is!

Radio Documentary - New Zealand Identity in music

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.


How music is used to showcase New Zealand identity.

Radio Feature - The Trials and Tribulations of Harold White

Our radio features are focused on the idea of racism in the past present and future. We focus on the character of Harold white, a man of his time, who actively participates in casual racism, sexism, and homophobia. Harold finds himself in 1969, 2001, 2025, periods of time that differ significantly in terms of the way society views these controversial ideologies. In the first feature Harold is widely accepted for his behaviour and is the recipient of various privileges due to his skin colour and sex. In the second feature Harold’s behaviour is no longer acceptable, with several of his privileges no longer holding existing. In the third feature, however things have completely flipped, with Harold now being judged for his skin colour, and sex. The story is told in the form of a dark nursery rhyme, like that of Doctor Seuss, with the narrator slowly turning on Harold as the features move forward.


A three part series of radio features surrounding the struggles of Harold White and he refuses to change alongside society around him.

Social Media - New Zealand Identity and Mental Health

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.

The problem with New Zealand's mental health campaigns