04-Mar-2015 10:57 AM

Kiwi comedian, actor and entertainer Pio Terei sets off on an epic journey of New Zealand in Te Araroa: Tales from the Trails, starting Friday, March 13 at 8.30pm on Maori Television.

The seven-part series follows the 3000km Te Araroa trail from Cape Reinga to Bluff - on foot.  

In each episode, Terei travels a section of the Trail, stopping to chat with everyone from stuntmen and eel catchers to “knitting ninjas” and conservationists, who share their passions and pastimes.

“Te Araroa is a classy show,” says Terei, “and it’s a privilege to be part of it”. 
“It’s a celebration of the trails and what you see, who you meet and how we have evolved as a nation. It’s up to date; it’s now,” he says.

The first episode starts at 90 Mile Beach, where Terei and his crew trekked to Ahipara and met an Australian knife-maker who carved him a special walking stick for the series.

Producer Meg Douglas, from Scottie Productions, says Te Araroa: Tales from the Trails takes a fresh look at New Zealand.

“It allows Pio to connect with the people and local histories in a very real way, all the while, the unspoilt landscapes hark back to a time when Maori and Pakeha explorers first encountered this land."

Douglas says the theme of shared nationhood acts as the beating heart of the show, and coupled with Pio’s enthusiasm and humour, Te Araroa comes together to make for an entertaining and enriching hour of television.”

Te Araroa: Tales from the Trails starts Friday, March 13 at 8.30pm on Maori Television.
The Te Araroa Trail

The Te Araroa Trail was officially opened in 2011 and, at 3000km long, is one of the longest walks in the world.
Walking the entire track takes about five months, but also includes plenty of day walks.
Te Araroa Trail chief executive Rob Wakelin says 80 per cent of people who walked the trail last year were international visitors.
“We hope the series will encourage New Zealanders to try out shorter sections of the trail near where they live.
As the series will illustrate, Te Araroa is something that every Kiwi can be a part of - be that walking part or all of the Trail or adding to the rich culture and experiences those on the Trail encounter."
Episode 1 | Cape Reinga - March 13
Pio’s journey begins at Cape Reinga, where he treks down Ninety Mile Beach to Ahipara. He meets an array of characters including an Australian knife-maker, a 10-year-old fishing expert and a colourful Dalmatian dance troupe.

Episode 2 | Bay Of Islands – March 20
Pio’s hike takes him through the picturesque Bay of Islands and into the historic Waitangi Forest where he hunts pigs with a local farmer, learns bush medicine from an expert and takes a coffee break with local icon, Miss Kihi.

Episode 3 | Waikato – March 27
Tracking along the Waikato River from Mercer to Hamilton, Pio encounters fellow trail-walkers, gets cosy with the Maori King, and competes in the Ngaruawahia Regatta. Pio catches up with a former rugby league star.

Episode 4 | Pakiri – April 3
Providing a sanctuary for birds and people alike, Pio’s hike down the East Coast from Pakiri to Puhoi unearths a thriving creative community who have escaped the rat race. Pio feasts with buffalo farmers, mixes it up with a raw food enthusiast and meets a band of knitters.

Episode 5 | Whanganui – April 10
Pio heads off the beaten track by jet boat on the historical Whanganui River. He goes hunting with a Blue Duck conservationist who artfully transforms a pest into a curry, unearths his inner cowboy on a horse trek and discovers kayaking is harder than it looks.

Episode 6 | Kapiti – April 17
Pio shares a gritty bush breakfast with a tramping veteran as he heads off on his action-packed Kapiti trek from Waikanae to Paekakariki. He has a fiery exchange with some local stuntmen, cools off in a luxurious local lodge, and joyrides to the Kapiti Festival in a corvette.

Episode 7 | Southland – April 24
Dramatic weather at the tail end of New Zealand sets a striking canvas for Pio’s final trek from Colac Bay to Bluff. He meets a floundering Brit, goes to battle with a teenage girl, and feasts on the local delicacy, mutton bird (or titi), before taking shelter from gale-force winds at the Bluff Oyster Festival.
For interviews, images or further information contact:
Lauren Mentjox
Kaiwhakaputa Matua
Senior Publicist
Maori  Television
DDI         +64 9 539 7108
http://www.Maori television.com/  

Topic: General News

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