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Producer's Diary - Spring

Producer's diary, Spring

We're now off air - but as busy as ever, gathering material for a new series to go to air in 2009.

We started shooting in early September and we've already covered a fair range of locations.  The Central North Island and Taranaki were our first destinations, along with a shoot in Yunnan in China.

As always our stories are amazingly varied. 

The Ohakune shoot was the start of a profile of Bruce Rollison, one of the current group of Kellog scholars.  The Kellogg programme, based at Lincoln University, aims to develop agribusiness leaders who will shape the future of our agribusiness and rural sectors.  They're an amazing bunch of people - which is just as well because the need for rural leadership has perhaps never been as great as right now.

Our story in Taranaki was about Lyn Webster, who's a solo mum sharemilking on her own.  Not an easy road - but Lyn doesn't want to be seen as a victim or a special case deserving of sympathy.  She's a dynamo of activity, very positive, very much in control of her life and someone who's earned the respect of her local community.  Definitely a story to watch next year.

And our shoot in China was about a long-term co-operative venture between the New Zealand Crown-owned research institute HortResearch and a group of Chinese academics in far-flung Yunnan - a southwestern province sandwiched between Tibet and Burma. 

The two groups of scientists have spent many years exploring the potential of a new fruit, now called the Yunnan Red Pear, which was first discovered in the mountains in the west of the province.  Our story is about how Kiwi primary sector expertise can create wealth both here and overseas - but it's also about Lew Dagger, a Kiwi horticulturalist who with his wife Chris has spent the last few years living in one of the few areas left in China in which a white face is still a relative rarity.

Over the next few months we'll be shooting plenty more material and we're looking forward to returning to air in 2009.