'Coronation Street' under the sea

23:08, Jan 23 2013
TVNZ has commissioned Natural History New Zealand Ltd to produce the series titled "OceaNZ", with an episode to be filmed around Stewart Island.

The waters around Stewart Island and the inhabitants under the water will feature in a six-part series on New Zealand's oceans and the creatures that swim in them.

TVNZ has commissioned Natural History New Zealand Ltd to produce the series titled OceaNZ, with film crews expected in Bluff from March 6.

OceaNZ executive producer Judith Curran said heading to Stewart Island would be an exciting part of the series production with an episode dedicated to the creatures living and lurking in the cold southern waters.

While the great white shark would certainly be one of the stars on camera, other lesser known species of fish and shellfish around Stewart Island would also have a chance to shine, Ms Curran said.

The blue cod was a very charismatic fish whose life cycle would be documented and the big beautiful kelp forests provided a great backdrop for filming, she said.

Challenges facing the film crew included unpredictable weather and poor visibility.


However, these were always factors for producing underwater documentaries, Ms Curran said.

OceaNZ will reveal the stories of the tiniest barnacles and sea anemones to iconic whales, revealing the daily dramas, challenges and triumphs of those who live in these watery neighbourhoods - almost like a Coronation Street of under the sea,'' she said.

The production and film crew would be working with Stewart Island shark diving operator Peter Scott.

''We have engaged Peter Scott to help with the filming. His equipment and knowledge will be a great benefit,'' Ms Curran said.

Mr Scott, who has experience with filming underwater especially great white sharks, said he was looking forward to helping showcase a very special part of New Zealand.

''The documentary will not just be about sharks but the whole area which not many people get a chance to experience,'' he said.

The Southland Times