While New Zealand workers were among the first in the world to claim the right to an eight-hour working day, our 24/7 'always-on' world has put paid to that for many. These career-focused clips offer a retro snapshot of some of the many ways that Kiwis dedicated themselves to bringing home the bacon.
From 1953, comes the somewhat erroneously titled A Friendly Career - a promotional film created to tell "a story of the life and training of the New Zealand school dental nurse". Following a new recruit's journey to a job in the 'murder house', it offers a sugar-coated highlights reel on the noble pursuit of caring for the teeth of that nation's children.
Watch A Friendly Career here:
Made in 1971, Dustie looks at working lives of a crew of Wellington rubbish collectors. The short film follows the team on their rounds, from an early start at the depot, into the trucks, and off to face a series of unique occupational hazards - irate householders, sodden winter rubbish sacks, and notoriously steep hills among them. Narrated by one of the dusties, the commentary covers everything from health benefits and job perks (discarded beer, money and toasters!) to wider musings on cleanliness.
Watch Dustie here:
Documentary Coffee, Tea or Me? heads down the aisle to explore the not-always-glamorous world of air hostessing in air travel's 60s and 70s heyday. Seven ex-"trolley dollies" recall exacting beauty regimes, controversial uniform changes, and the job's unspoken insinuation of sexual availability - for many, the high life is said to have concealed harassment, and struggles for equal rights and pay.
Watch Coffee, Tea or Me? here:
Filmed for 1970s children's series Nice One, this interview catches up with Radio Windy DJ Dave Mahoney to discuss his chosen career. Between on-air voice breaks, Mahoney talks about how he got into announcing, differences between a drive time and breakfast host, and being set on fire while reading the news. Chugging away on a cigarette (smoking on a kids' show? It must be the 70s), he surmises "I got to play golf pretty well through radio."
Watch Nice One - Dave Mahoney here:
Designed to inspire school leavers to find their career, Pathways sees a group of young New Zealanders talk about their job paths. Intended as a Careers NZ resource, this 1994 pilot is bookended with a 'mini-drama' about young people flatting together, which includes some familiar faces. Karl Urban plays surfer Wayne, while Robbie Magasiva is a sales assistant whose plans of climbing the career ladder go awry. Marcus Lush plays a DJ who links a series of interviews, and speaks to experts on youth employment prospects.
Watch Pathways here:
You can see more great content here, in NZ On Screen's Labour Day Collection.