Our longest-running soap opera Shortland Street celebrated its 28th birthday last week, and now this week there's another reason to celebrate. Its infamous line from the first episode, "you're not in Guatemala now Dr Ropata" has been named one of the defining moments in New Zealand television's 60-year history.

Monday, June 1 marks the 60th anniversary of the country's first television broadcast and to mark the historic occasion, NZ on Screen has collated the 60 defining moments from TV over the years.

We're profiling the key moments from each decade. Today it's the 90s - go to nzherald.co.nz/entertainment to see more.

How many can you remember?


Go to nzonscreen.com from Monday June 1 to vote for your favourite moment and be in to win $5000

Wheel of Fortune: 'O for Awesome' - 1992

In one episode of the Kiwi edition of the gameshow, Barcelona Olympic bronze medallist boxer (and future World Heavyweight title challenger) David Tua infamously requested the letter O "for Awesome".

Shortland Street: "You're not in Guatemala now" - 1992

In 1992 New Zealand witnessed the most iconic take-down, mic-drop moment of all time, courtesy of Ferndale's Carrie Burton.

Eve van Grafhorst kissing Paul Holmes - 1992

Aids sufferer Eve Van Grafhorst contracted HIV from a blood transfusion after she was born three months premature. She became a high profile poster child for Aids awareness.

The Son of a Gunn Show : Thingee's Eye Pop - 1994

The moment Thingee's eye popped out has become an iconic scene in Kiwi television history. As the puppet's eye rolled, an unflappable Jason Gunn continued hosting duties, despite his co-presenter being visually compromised.

Heartland: Chloe of Wainuiomata - 1994

This show was possibly the most controversial edition of the Heartland series. While Gary was visiting the suburb of Wainuiomata he met the woman many would not forget: Chloe Reeves, with her squeaking voice, distinctive fashion sense and tiger slippers.

Newsnight: Rastus the Cat - 1994

This excerpt from mid 90s show Newsnight featured the extraordinary story of Max Corkill and his motorcycle-riding cat Rastus - who stood on the handlebars as they cruised through New Zealand raising money for the SPCA.

One Network News: Protest - 1995

In 1995 the six o'clock bulletin was delayed for 10 minutes when a group of Māori protesters occupied the Auckland studio, angered by a decision to suspend Māori language news show Te Karere during the summer holiday period. Police were called and escorted the protesters from the set.


Forgotten Silver - 1995

The documentary chronicling the extraordinary life of Kiwi filmmaker Colin McKenzie memorably stirred up New Zealand audiences. Forgotten Silver went on to screen at international film festivals in Cannes and Venice where it won a special critics' prize.

Melody Rules: Going, Going … Goner - 1995

Going, Going ... Goner was the ominous title for the opening episode of one of New Zealand television's most celebrated failures. The show followed a mother on an archaeological dig in Malaysia while Melody (Belinda Todd) is stuck at home babysitting her siblings.

Paul Holmes: Ingham Twins interview - 1997

In 1997, broadcaster Paul Homes had his work cut out eliciting responses from Sarah and Joanne Ingham - the twins from Kaiapoi who literally jumped ship, swam ashore and went on the run in Australia with a Malaysian sailor.

Fred Dagg: We Don't Know How Lucky We Are - 1998

John Clarke created an unofficial Kiwi national anthem when his alter ego Fred Dagg first released We Don't Know How Lucky We Are in 1975, simultaneously celebrating and poking fun at our national pride.

Bugger: Toyota Hilux - 1999

The iconic Toyota ad attracted 120 complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority (who ruled that "bugger" was unlikely to cause serious offence).

Popstars - 1999

The series followed the creation and development of all-female pop band TrueBliss (Carly Binding, Keri Harper, Joe Cotton, Megan Alatini and Erika Takacs) who went on to record several chart-topping singles, and a platinum-selling album.

The series format was so successful it sold around the world and inspired the American Idol franchise that would dominate reality television for years to come.