Forget renovation and cooking shows - and talent quests. What New Zealand really needs is some grass roots Aotearoa-style reality telly. Not so much uniquely New Zealand, but something that salt of the earth Kiwis do that the rest of us might find intriguing. Like pig hunting, for example. There's nothing like a good feed of wild pork, after all.

Or whitebaiting. Because my favourite food in the whole world is a whitebait fritter - or ideally a whole stream of fritters, coming sizzling hot out of the frying pan, one by one.

And even dog trialling would make good telly. Yes, a little like A Dog's Show, that great but long since lost Sunday night TV institution where Jock and his prize huntaway Bruce toyed and tussled with a bunch of skittery sheep.

It's the pig hunting reality show (and I have to admit it's one of my colleague's ideas) that has the most legs though. Yes, Maori Television has Hunting Aotearoa, where blokes go into the bush to hunt for deer and pigs and other things. The channel also has Survive Aotearoa starting next Thursday where former special forces soldiers Barrie Rice and Chris Kumeroa spend 24 hours in Bear Grylls mode, acting out real-life survival scenarios.


But just imagine a cross between American phenomenon Duck Dynasty and a team show like The Block - only with pigs rather than ducks and DIY. All you'd need is four teams of good-looking guys and girls, some camo gear, guns and maybe one team with a bow and arrow for a bit of variety. I'd watch that.

For something more laid-back, the whitebait battles on the mighty Mokau River in the King Country and the goings-on behind the four walls of those tiny little huts dotted along the river's edge, would also make for some mouth-watering down-home telly. I'd watch that, too.

And though Prime has Shearing Gang, a more riveting offshoot would be a look into the psychology and social lives of sheep trialling exponents. Because if, like me, you are old enough to remember A Dog's Show, the practice of herding sheep is an tense and frustrating one. The way those cockies doing the whistling hold their nerve, let alone their tongues, is truly impressive stuff.

Meanwhile, a very quick word about the new series of The Block NZ. It's a big step up from the last series. Three weeks in, the product placement has been kept in check, with the likes of Cloudy Bay bubbly and Wild Bean mocha being tastefully and subtly integrated into the action. Talent-wise they're a much more telly-savvy bunch too. Although, thank goodness Loz and Tom won something on Monday night, because they really were starting to mope around and sulk.

And is it just me or are Alice and Caleb starting to get a little bit too nicey-nice for their own good?

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- TimeOut