TVNZ Archival Content online

If you’ve ever wondered about the history of Gus Fisher Gallery’s historic building, look no further! In its former life, 74 Shortland Street was the national broadcasting studios for TVNZ, and the location of the first official public television broadcast in New Zealand.

To celebrate our upcoming exhibition The Medium is the Message, which will explore our broadcasting history, check out some of the content we’ve curated from TVNZ’s archives via NZ On Screen.


Compass: First Five Years of Television, 1966

Full length television programme available on NZ On Screen

On 1 June 1960, the New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation ran its first night of programming out of Shortland Street Studios on channel AK-TV2 – and changed the way we live forever. Five years on, NZBC’s investigative programme Compass engaged political science lecturer Reg Harrison to explore how these initial years of television broadcasting had impacted New Zealand. From the opinions of people on the street, to broadcasting officials and politicians, this documentary considers how dramatically television changed the social life of Aotearoa in only five years – and what the public wanted the future of television to look like. 

Watch it here.



C’mon: Series One, Final Episode, 1967

Television programme available on NZ On Screen

C’mon burst onto New Zealand screens during the 1960s, with fast talking presenter Peter Sinclair introducing the public to a wide variety of local talent and extravagant sets. The popular show was filmed live in Studio One in Shortland Street, just downstairs from Gus Fisher Gallery and the biggest television studio at the time in the country (later trumped by Avalon in the 70’s).

Only two episodes now exist from this wild show, which would go on to be renewed for two further years after this Series One episode finale.

Watch it here. 


25 Years of Television: Part One, 1985 

Full length television documentary available on NZ On Screen

TVNZ marked 25 years of television broadcasting in 1985, and celebrated with a look back at their history. This documentary explores the shift from the early days of the NZBC operating separate channels in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin, to the formation of TVNZ, the birth of nationwide television broadcasting and the introduction of a second channel.

Only four years later, a third channel would appear with the launch of TV3, and TVNZ would shift out of Shortland Street forever and make the permanent move to their new Hobson Street Studios. 

Watch it here. 


Network New Zealand, 1985

Television documentary available on NZ On Screen

In 1985 TVNZ went behind the scenes of a typical day in the network’s life – taking viewers from the rolling vistas of their remote transmission towers to the depths of their studios in Shortland Street and Hobson Street. Their Shortland Street Studios feature prominently in this documentary as the primetime Network News is broadcast live on air – keep an eye out for the beautiful wooden doors still in the building today!

Watch it here. 


Reading the News 

Excerpts available to watch on NZ On Screen

This compliation of archival footage excerpts looks back at news broadcasts over the years, featuring familiar faces such as the late Angela D’Audney, Bill Toft and Jennie Goodwin. Gus Fisher Gallery’s largest exhibition space was originally Studio Two, where much of this content was filmed and broadcast live. 

Watch it here. 


Goodnight Kiwi 

Short video available to watch on NZ On Screen

Before the introduction of 24-hour broadcasting, television signed off every night in the form of a sleepy kiwi shutting down the studios. Goodnight Kiwi, animated by Sam Harvey, made his bed every night up a satellite tower reminiscent of the one still standing on the roof of Gus Fisher Gallery’s building today. 

Watch it here.