Geoff LealandKia ora and welcome to my site
Cue CoverThe banner illustration above comes from a little magazine I found, some years ago, in a second-hand store near Te Aroha in New Zealand.  Cue was a fortnightly bulletin produced for soldiers in the 2 NZEF (the Second Expeditionary Force ), who fought in North Africa and Italy in the Second World War. My father was one of these soldiers, helping to build railroads across the Libyan Desert, but he was also the ring-leader of a now famous or (infamous) mutiny. But that is another story…

But this is not a site about military history. It is a site designed to gather and record people’s memories and experiences of television in New Zealand, with a particular emphasis on the the past 25 years (1985 to 2010).

So, why did I use this image?  Well, it is because it is one of the earliest sources (“The Wonders of Television”, Cue Feb 1945)  I have found which speculates about the arrival of television in New Zealand.  Television did not arrive on these shores until the early 1960s and, indeed, June 2010 is the anniversary of the first official transmission of television in New Zealand.  Which is another reason for this site!

My Research Project

For a year or so, I have been researching the past twenty five years of television in New Zealand (1985 to 2010). I have focused on these more recent years because the first twenty years have been well recorded (as in Robert Boyd-Bell’s 1985 book  New Zealand Television: The First 25 Years), but the more recent decades not so well–even though, I would argue, they have been years of tremendous change in New Zealand television.

Such research is part of my job, as an academic in Screen and Media Studies at the University of Waikato, where I teach (amongst other things) Television Studies. I write about television (as in the 2002 book It’s All Done With Mirrors: About Television, which I wrote with Helen Martin), do research on children and media, promote media teaching in schools, and occasionally work with programme makers.

Most importantly–and the real reason I am doing this research–is that I love watching, writing and talking about television. As a consequence, I want to begin a conversation with other folk who share such enthusiasms.  If you would like to find out more about this research, or the other things I do, feel free to email me at lealand@waikato.ac.nz.

How Did You Find Your Way Here?

You may have found this site by accident or serendipity, but it is more likely that you found it as a result of the Prime Television seven-part series 50  Years of Television (directed by John Bates)  which  began on Prime on   June 13,  2010 and ran through until late July.

What I Would Like You To Do

You should firstly register. This just entails an email address and your choice of password . This is all the information I require from you–unless you want to volunteer any further information in first and subsequent postings.  All such information will be kept within the confines of this secure site, and I will observe the usual guidelines of confidentality as required by my university.  If I eventually use any of this material for other purposes (see What Will I Do With Research? below), I will seek your consent.

Once I have approved your first posting (which ought to be straight-forward) you can add more material to the pages I will provide.

Your postings–at least in the early days of this site–can be in two forms:

Page 1.  Responses to the Prime Television series.

Page 2. More general postings of memories, experiences and opinion about the role of television in New Zealand life.

Page 3.  A page I have set aside for students in my second year university course Television: Medium, Narrative & Audience. As their first assignment, they write their personal history of television; this year I have asked them to post the stories to this site.

What I Don’t Want You To Do

Because this is a public site, I cannot impose strict rules but I would like people to follow general guidelines of courtesy and fairness, especially in respect of:

* appropriate language (no inflammatory language or personal attacks)

* considered and well-informed opinions or experiences

What Will I Do With This Research?

Obviously, Prime will be interested in this independent source of feedback on their programmes. I will use the material for academic purposes, for a planned book chapter (an edited collection titled Remembering Television, to be published by Cambridge Scholar Publications in the UK),  and  possibly other publications.

Geoff Lealand, Screen and Media Studies, University of Waikato, New Zealand <lealand@waikato.ac .nz>