On screen: Iconic Westie

By Sarah Ell

In the third of our series on places made famous on the big and small screens, we go West
The West family house, Te Atatu.
The West family house, Te Atatu.

This classic Kiwi brick-and-tile must be one of the most recognisable houses in New Zealand. Sitting high on its sunny West Auckland section, it has become a site of pilgrimage for wannabe Westies and fans of the two TV series, much to the bemusement of its owners. Once, a troop of 40 bikers turned up to take a club photo on the front lawn. "They get a lot of people turning up to take photos or knocking on the door looking for Munter," says Westside locations manager Rick Waite. "A lot of people drive past it and don't click, but once you've been told it's there you can't miss it."

The house was originally scouted as a contemporary location for Outrageous Fortune, but was sent back in time for the prequel Westside, set in the 1970s and 80s, creating a few more headaches for the production designers and art department. Waite says the biggest anachronism to be avoided in shooting and removed in post-production is, ironically the satellite TV dish. "It's down to the art department to swap out all the bins in the street and move people's cars and park appropriate vehicles and turn it all into the 1970s or 80s."

And, if you're wondering, although the exterior and back yard were used extensively for both series - including some careful management of a bogan bonfire on the back lawn - all the interiors are shot on sets in the studio.

Westside series 2 screens Sundays,
8.30pm, TV3

On screen

Where: The West family house, Te Atatu

As seen in: Outrageous Fortune (2005-2010), Westside (20015, 2016)

Starring: Robyn Malcolm, Antony Starr, Siobhan Marshall (Outrageous Fortune); Antonia Prebble, David de Lautour (Westside)

- Weekend magazine

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