'Islands of the Gulf: A Journey From Screen to Print and Back Again'

Launch @ Flying Fox Studios, Ponsonby - Saturday 26 August

 launch @ Flying Fox Studios, Ponsonby - Saturday 26 August

The families of Maddock and Whyte enjoyed a two hour event to celebrate. The old documentary series was projected onto the walls of the studio and there were drinks, snacks and an opportunity to have a look at the book before it hits the shelves.

New Zealand television’s first local documentary series, ‘Islands of the Gulf’ aired for the first time in 1964. It was still a novelty for New Zealanders to hear their own accent on screen.

The two available episodes of the five part series focuses on the day to day living on Waiheke Island and Great Barrier Island. Shirley Maddock, the country’s first female producer, wrote, presented, directed and produced the series in collaboration with pioneering filmmaker Don Whyte. The duo were against the grain of their time and together with pilot Captain Fred Ladd, embarked on an adventure though almost every nook and cranny of the Hauraki Gulf.

A book of the same name was published in 1966 to accompany the series and is possibly the most complete photographic record of the Hauraki Gulf, as it was, in the 1960s. The book went on to be a best selling classic, over 50 years later copies can still be found on the shelves of many Kiwi batches. The book was re-released in 1983 and now for a third time, later this month, it is to be released as a ‘Kiwi Classic’.

Shirley Maddock’s Daughter, Elisabeth Easther (actress), will be presenting a current day version of the series, tracing her mother's footsteps across the gulf. The series will be airing on TV1 early 2018. (ZAMMIA WEATHERALL)