Tag Archive for: board member

The new comedy-drama series Miles From Nowhere, directed by 2021 Incubator alum Ghazaleh Golbakhsh (DEGANZ) and co-edited by DEGANZ board member Ben Powdrell, dropped on 21 February to great praise.

The show centres on Said, a young Kiwi-Muslim songwriter in the middle of a crisis. His fiance left him, his career’s non-existent, and his mum worries he’s losing touch with his faith. Yet, he risks it all when he befriends the Security Intelligence Services agent monitoring him.

While Said is the series’ protagonist, the show has been praised for the cast of characters that builds the community around him. Critics have also applauded the show’s dry wit that calls out and shatters stereotypes of the Muslim community in Aotearoa.

Season 1 is out now on SkyGo and Neon.

While we wait for season 2 of Down for Love, season 1 of the wholesome reality series, produced by DEGANZ board president Robyn Paterson, caught the eye of Netflix and is now internationally available on the streaming service!

As described in the show’s logline, the “heartwarming quest for love […] follows several people with Down Syndrome as they navigate the trials and triumphs of dating.” The show takes you along on a series of dates between the singletons as they search for their right match.

While adhering to the match-making reality TV genre, the series is uniquely personal to the participants due to the production’s dedication to thorough research of what each person was looking for in a partner, what sort of date activities they’d enjoy, and their plans for the future. In an interview with The Spinoff in 2022, Robyn shared that the show’s match-making strategy was based on pairing people with similar lifestyles and interests, not what would create the most drama. She commented,

[A]t the very least, if there wasn’t a romantic connection they would get a really solid friendship.

In the same interview, Robyn shared how the entire production had an extended duty of care, from comfortable scheduling for the participants to having disability-specific counsellors available. She also explained that allowing the participants control over their own stories was crucial. She said,

We really wanted people to stay in the driver’s seat of their own stories. Especially with intellectual disabilities, because people aren’t often afforded the right to tell their own stories.

Audiences were perceptive to the production’s care for the participants, causing the show to amass a strong following of viewers from its debut season.

Congrats to Robyn and the team! It’s great to see a Kiwi show earn its spot on such a popular international streaming service.

Kiwi audiences can watch season 1 of Down for Love on TVNZ+, while the rest of the world can catch it on Netflix.

I’ve always been a tinkerer.

Growing up, I spent most of my time drawing, carving, and making things. I would pick up the tools and teach myself by doing, feeling my way through it. As an editor, it’s something I still do to this day.

My career started with my whānau in Tūrangi. My uncle hired me to be his graphic artist and edit a tamariki show he was producing in preparation for the launch of Whakaata Māori. It was an opportunity to ‘learn while you earn’, and I found huge satisfaction in crafting images with sound. I equally enjoyed learning about the tools.

By day, I was cutting. By night, I was researching components.

Soon after, I met a DOP named Mike Jonathan. I moved to Rotorua and started cutting shows with him and Hula Haka Productions. I got to cut a range of genres and work with different directors and producers. They gave me the freedom to try new things, which was important groundwork for figuring out my style as an editor.

Editor Te Rurehe with his daughter while working on ‘Ka Haku Au’ in 2008

Like many, I was drawn to the creative energy of Wellington. From musicians to writers to animators, the city was bursting with expression. It was infectious. I hit the streets, knocking on doors and saying yes to anything from cutting news and current affairs to adverts, web series to new series. By default, I set myself up as a business, which made it easier to freelance around town. In my downtime, I sharpened my tools, kept up to date with new tech and software programmes, bought new (and second-hand) computer parts, and started designing systems. I trained myself to use everything; the industry demands relentless evolution. It pushed me to broaden my skills from the basic NewTek system to Adobe Suite, Avid, DaVinci Resolve, Blender, Premiere Pro, After Effects, Photoshop, and many others that came and went. I honed my craft, learning from incredible storytellers like Annie Collins, Tainui Stephens, Fiona Kupenga, Tina Wickliffe, Ngahuia Wade, and Maramena Roderick (my now mother-in-law). It was years of hustling, layers of grunt work, and a special time with incredible people.

Editor Te Rurehe at Fifo Film Festival in 2019 after ‘Making Good Men’ won Best Documentary the previous year

A few years ago, I moved to Auckland, ready to do something different. Off the back of some of my long-form factual work, I’ve had the opportunity to work in scripted drama and films. It’s broadened my relationships with Māori creatives, challenged my limitations, and deepened my craft as an artist.

Right now, I am again cutting with Mike Jonathan, this time on his first feature as a director. It’s taken us twenty years of patience and perseverance. Maybe it’s serendipitous. Maybe it’s planned. Maybe it’s whakapapa.

I still love tech. I still love learning new things. I still love to tinker.

Through the grace of many who’ve supported me, I’ve built a career that is all three.

I’m a Māori boy from Tūrangi with no qualifications or formal training who never spoke English until he was 16. It sounds cliche, but it’s true. If I can do it, so can you.


About Te Rurehe Paki

‘Ko te ahi whakakakā, ko te ahi whakahikahika, ko te ahi whakakihihī, hei whakahoro kakā i te manawa. Ka tuu ki te mura o te ahi, pae tu, pae hinga, karawhiua ki ngā pari karangaranga, whakapaohotia atu rā, kia haruru ki te rangi, kia rū ki te nuku, ko Te Rurehe tēnei, e tau nei e.’

Te Rurehe is a video editor and owner of The Suite Limited, the post-production facility that has shaped numerous television series and films including, 2021 NZIFF Jury Award Winner Washday, 2019 Victoria Film Festival Winner Merata: How Mum Decolonised the Screen, and the 2018 Fifo Film Festival Winner Making Good Men. As an editor, he focuses on the narrative and pace of a story, following his intuition that he has honed from working on various formats and genres throughout his career. He approaches each project with a fresh perspective, applying his skill as a storyteller with his passion for computers and technology. He promotes opportunities to do this in his first language, te reo Māori, and share with audiences what was nurtured in him – a unique Māori worldview.

How I Got Started in the Industry is a guest blog series from the Directors and Editors Guild of Aotearoa New Zealand (DEGANZ). Our members reflect on how they made their way into assistant editing, editing, and directing—with no two stories the same. They offer advice for those starting out. Get in touch with admin@deganz.co.nz if you’re a member and would like to share your story.

When I was in primary school, I never knew I was Māori, or should I say I never understood what being Māori was. I always thought I was a little bit darker than a lot of the other kids, but that was ok. I was introduced to te reo Māori and kapa haka at primary school, and I felt like a gap was being filled. I carried on learning te reo Māori and doing kapa haka at college.

From a young age, I always thought I would be a teacher because I had some cool teachers, and I just thought I wanted to be like them when I grew up. Then in my senior years at Kapiti College, that changed as I found a love for Māori performing arts. Nearing my final year at college, I came across a one-year course in Film and Television at Whitireia Polytechnic in Porirua. What really caught my eye was that it incorporated Māori culture, and I thought if I didn’t like Film and Television, I could always go and do the Māori performing arts course. That one-year course set me on a path that changed my life, with a job offer in Auckland.

Editor Rāhera Herewini-Mulligan / Photo: @tuhoemaiden

At just 19 years old, I made the move to the big smoke, with no immediate family residing in Auckland. It was 1999, and my editing career had begun as an assistant editor on a new te reo Māori kids show known then as Tumeke. After one season, this was renamed Pūkana and is still in production today. I was fortunate to work with and learn from Francis Glenday, who taught me processes and structure, which I added to my editing foundations and still use and live by today. 

After just five months of being on the job, Francis fell ill, and I was asked if I would step up from assistant editor to editor. I must admit I was freaking out and had major doubts that I really wasn’t ready to step up. My director at the time, Hira Henderson, pulled me aside and said, “We will do this together,” and that gave me comfort that support would be there for me. So I asked myself, “Do you want to sink or swim?” and decided to swim.

That decision threw me into the longest week of my life as I worked as the show’s, now, only editor. But with the awesome support from my colleagues, I survived to tell the story and complete my first solo episode edit ever. And I was buggered! I continued work on the show into its 3rd series before moving on to TVNZ, where I would edit shows like Waka Huia, Marae, Mai Time, and Tagata Pasifika. This extended my editing knowledge base and introduced me to more Māori within the industry. After two years at TVNZ, I ventured out into the freelance world and haven’t looked back.

Sneak peeks into the Mokomoko Media editing suite, Rāhera’s editing team with her wife, Janice / Photos: @mokomokomedia

That’s my humble beginnings as an editor. Back then, I never realised I was part of a small group of Māori editors and an even smaller group that could kōrero Māori, which today I hope to help grow even more. I have worked with and alongside some of the best Māori in the Film and Television industry and am forever grateful for their teachings. One being we are a community that does this together.

‘Ehara taku toa i te toa takatini engari he toa takatini.’
My strength is not as an individual but as a collective.


About Rāhera Herewini-Mulligan

Rāhera is a field director and editor who is a fluent speaker of te reo Māori with 20+ years of experience in the television industry. As an editor, she has a wealth of experience across documentary, reality, children, and magazine-style genres from Police Ten 7 (TVNZ) to Moving Out with Kanoa (Three) and many shows for Māori Television. She is also passionate about Kapa haka and is an event/stage manager for Primary School, Secondary School (ASB Polyfest), and Senior Kapa Haka competitions across Tāmaki Makaurau.

How I Got Started in the Industry is a guest blog series from the Directors and Editors Guild of Aotearoa New Zealand (DEGANZ). Our members reflect on how they made their way into assistant editing, editing, and directing—with no two stories the same. They offer advice for those starting out. Get in touch with admin@deganz.co.nz if you’re a member and would like to share your story.

Catch Red, White & Brass, co-edited by DEGANZ board member Ben Powdrell, on the big screen! The unapologetically Tongan film is now in cinemas across Aotearoa, sharing māfana and good vibes.

Based on a true story, the film follows Maka when he hatches a scheme to get into the sold-out Rugby World Cup by forming a traditional Tongan marching band. With plastic bottles and tin cans in hand as stand-in instruments, he must band together a group of misfits to make their community proud. What starts as a self-serving plan to see the big game turns into a journey of self-discovery and understanding of the importance of their Tongan culture.

The film has been drumming up rave reviews and is proving to be the epitome of a feel-good movie. It may be just what we all need after a few difficult years. The New Zealand Herald writes: “It’s a heart-warming and uplifting watch that everyone will enjoy” with its infectious māfana on and off screen.

Congratulations to Ben and all on such a successful release!

You can check show times for the film near you here.