New Zealand TV series The Gone cleaned up this year’s New Zealand Television Awards Ngā Taonga Whakaata O Aotearoa.
The Gone, partly filmed in Te Aroha, took out five wins, making it the production with the most awards at the event.
It won Best Drama, Best Cinematography: Drama / Comedy Drama (Dave Cameron), Best Original Score (Mahuia Bridgman-Cooper), Best Costume Design (Pauline H Pohatu) and Best Makeup Design (Kelly Mitchell).
The series, produced by Kingfisher Films, Keeper Pictures and Southern Light Films for TVNZ 1 and TVNZ+, is about a young Irish couple who have gone missing from a rural New Zealand town.
Irish Detective Theo Richter (Richard Flood, Grey’s Anatomy) teams up with Kiwi Detective Diana Huia (Acushla-Tara Kupe, Creeped Out) to find them.
The series aired earlier this year after being filmed in 2022.
In the category Best Drama, The Gone stood out against fellow finalists The Brokenwood Mysteries (South Pacific Pictures / TVNZ 1 and TVNZ+) and Inky Pinky Ponky (Tikilounge Productions / Whakaata Māori / The Coconet).
At the award ceremony, members of the crew especially acknowledged and thanked local iwi Ngāti Hauā, Ngāti Tumutumu, Ngāti Hinerangi and mana whenua of Te Aroha, Paeroa and Hauraki.
Matamata-Piako District mayor Adrienne Wilcock said the wins were “well-deserved”.
“We’re glad to hear The Gone received so many accolades.
“It was great having the production crew in town appreciating our unique buildings, landmarks and scenery. Te Aroha is a special place and it’s wonderful to see it captured on film.”
Wilcock said the producers and crew had commented several times on how welcoming and supportive the council and community were at the shoot.
“[They] said they really enjoyed their time in Te Aroha, it had a nice homely feel and everyone was really welcoming ... The actors. .. loved the mountain and being able to explore the various tracks in their downtime.
“Approximately 80 cast and crew resided in Te Aroha during the filming. The economic boost that this production provided, particularly to our accommodation and hospitality sectors was significant, and much appreciated by the local community.”
Being given the fictional name Mount Affinity in the series, several Te Aroha landmarks, including Coulter Bridge and the town clock, feature prominently and can be spotted in several shots.
The star of the show is definitely Mount Te Aroha and the Kaimai Ranges which can be seen in numerous scenes throughout the six-part series.
The Silver Fern Farms and local pub The Duck and Cover also feature in The Gone alongside the local library which has been used as a set for the town hall and council chambers.
At the awards, The Gone was also nominated in the Best Actor (Richard Flood), Best Supporting Actress (Michelle Fairley) and Best Production Design (Shayne Radford) categories.
The awards celebrate the special skills and unique talents of the companies and individuals who create, produce, and perform in television programmes in New Zealand.
This year, there were 37 judged award categories and one publicly voted category.
The ceremony was held on Tuesday night at Auckland’s Viaduct Events Centre.
All winners can be found on the New Zealand Television Awards website.
The Gone can be watched online via TVNZ+.
Danielle Zollickhofer is a multimedia journalist based in Hamilton. She joined NZME in 2021 and is writing for the Waikato Herald.
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