Make a big difference to The Big Idea.

Help us tell the most creative stories.

Become a supporter

ScreenTalk: John Terris

John Terris
John Terris on the early days of New Zealand television...


John Terris is a former broadcaster turned politician, who started out as a continuity announcer in the early 1960s. Shifting behind the camera, Terris worked on many early current affairs and information shows such as Compass, Country Calendar and Town and Around. In 1978 Terris became Labour MP for Western Hutt, and for a time was the party's broadcasting spokesman. These days he heads television advocacy group Media Matters.

In this ScreenTalk, Terris talks about:

  • Bringing local content to the screen for current affairs show Compass
  • The challenges of producing the first season of Country Calendar
  • Learning the most important word in a journalist's vocabulary, on political show Right of Reply
  • What bright lights on the set of The Men on the Hill did to PM Keith Holyoake
  • The early days of successful regional show Town and Around
  • Being told his religious show Dialogue was unlikely to work
  • Literally pulling the plug on television transmission for 24 hours
  • His thoughts on the state of NZ television today

This video is available on YouTube to embed and distribute via this Creative Commons licence.

NZ On Screen: Camera and Editing – Andrew Whiteside

Graeme Cowley is a cinematographer with an impressive line-up of features to his credit including Smash Palace, Utu, and Carry Me Back.
The latest ScreenTalk interview with Brian Holland talking about his journey from programming shows to making them.
Listen to Catherine Fitzgerald in conversation about the creativity of producing.
Irene Gardiner: On producing and commissioning television...