best nz tv 2016

TelevisionDecember 22, 2016

The top 10 New Zealand television shows of 2016, as voted by you

best nz tv 2016

It’s been a huge year for local television, from the time Jordan Mauger did that Gollum impression to when Rachel McKenna walked out of Shortland Street forever. But which New Zealand show did you lot vote your favourite for 2016? C’mon, let’s go the results party. 

10) Grand Designs NZ


Grand Designs is Chris Moller’s show now. Greg Bruce’s Canvas profile published at the start of this year’s second series revealed the internationally renowned architect to be one of the weirdest dudes in New Zealand; he also happens to be a natural and engaging TV host who has managed to make us forget about that other guy… Kevin something. / – Calum Henderson

9) All Talk With Anika Moa


Māori television’s riotous late night talk show was an absolute gem from start to finish. Anchored by our greatest asset Anika Moa, all burps and Helen Clark impressions, a series of fascinating guests joined her on the couch from Gilda Kirkpatrick to Dave Dobbyn to Rena Owen. I refrained from writing about it because I made a few (terrible) appearances but, if I had, I would have said that All Talk was the most hilariously brazen, daring and refreshing television New Zealand produced this year. Neekz is a treasure. / – Alex Casey

8) Terry Teo 

Kahn West as Terry Teo (TVNZ)

This is the show that broke the mold of New Zealand shows by not looking or feeling anything like a New Zealand show. Director Gerard Johnstone and producer Luke Sharpe might have butted heads with TVNZ, but they got it made and finally got it to broadcast television after it was dumped first on TVNZ Ondemand. Terry Teo was a hot summer furnace blast into our reptilian brains, reminding us that local TV could be fast, furious and hilarious. More of this. / – José Barbosa

7) Our Big Blue Backyard 


This was a New Zealand show? I thought it was a BBC thing! Nah, it was Natural History New Zealand, the great and truly world-class production company based in Dunedin. The second series of Our Big Blue Backyard, made with the support of NZ On Air’s Platinum Fund (thank you New Zealand On Air) was some of their best work. / – CH

6) The Hard Stuff With Nigel Latta


“I found myself in awe of everyone involved in this production, and each deserves applauding. It’s exactly the kind of public service broadcasting which everyone says TVNZ has abandoned: the direction, production and editing [was] world class.” (Read our full review here) / – Duncan Greive

5) The Brokenwood Mysteries


Nothing screams New Zealand like a killer Katipo spider set loose during a 100% unauthorised Middle Earth tour called ‘Lord of the Ringz’. In the third season and with no signs of slowing down, the offbeat intrigue of The Brokenwood Mysteries continues to delight like a comfortingly local version of Goosebumps for grown-ups. Plus, I can never figure out whodunnit. / – AC

4) Westside 


From the opening disco thump of Th’ Dudes’ ‘Walking in Light’ the second series of the Outrageous Fortune prequel took us right back to the turbulent days of 1981. Westside’s mix of Kiwi nostalgia and dark comic crime capers is a winning formula, and the good news is there are still potentially another 23 more seasons to come. / – CH

3) The Crowd Goes Wild

The Crowd Goes Wild continues to be the most hilarious and probably least watched show on New Zealand television. There were good segments in every episode and at least one great segment a week (above average imo). But somehow the funniest three seconds of every show is watching Mark Richardson get a cramp in the opening title sequence. / – Madeleine Chapman

2) The Real Housewives of Auckland

The Housewives, in happier times.

It’s simply the greatest reality television show this country has ever produced, so it is no surprise that The Real Housewives of Auckland landed so close to the top of this jewel-encrusted list. It had Gilda’s iconic “not a fucking thing” quote. It had a French intern who looked like a cartoon character and was seemingly being held hostage the whole time. It had that revolting moment on the boat. It had The Champagne Lady holding a cock ring. Whatever a “wang dang doodle” is, it had that as well. Thoughts and prayers for a second season. / – AC

1) Funny Girls


With Madeleine Sami at the helm, the second season of TV3’s comedy sketch show went above and beyond the extremely high standard set by season one. Taking sketches to some surreal, dark and subversive places, Funny Girls continued to effortlessly skewer social and gender dynamics without ever labouring the point. We got to see more of Jackie Van Beek’s essential hapless producer Pauline, as well as the thrilling return of Justine Smith’s maniacal makeup artist. Plus, who would have thought the number one New Zealand show from 2016 would be something that tackled abortions, tampon-buying and man droughts? Feels like progress to me. / – AC

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Mad Chapman, Editor
Aotearoa continues to adapt to a new reality and The Spinoff is right there, sorting fact from fiction to bring you the latest updates and biggest stories. Help us continue this coverage, and so much more, by supporting The Spinoff Members.Madeleine Chapman, EditorJoin Members

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