READER REPORT:

Is Latta's new show worth a watch?

JIMMY RYAN
Last updated 13:00 31/07/2014
Nigel Latta
SUPPLIED
TACKLING THE BIG ISSUES: Nigel Latta.

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New Zealand isn't gifted with quality television. Our locally-generated content, especially our attempts at comedies, dramas, and reality shows regularly fall below what I consider worthy of my time.

Our selection of imported series and concepts also leaves a lot to be desired.

However, there is one genre that New Zealand broadcasters are excellent at producing, and that is investigative journalism and documentaries. Our small pool of presenters and producers don't produce a great deal of content, but less, in this case, is more.

The series premiere of TV One's 'Nigel Latta', presented by the man himself, screened on Tuesday.

Latta doesn't appear on our screens often, but when he does, I have always found him interesting and easy to listen and relate to, and therefore worthy of my time.

Tuesday's episode focused on equality and its relation to the economy. Latta presented a well-rounded, thoroughly researched hour which made a point of conveying the state of New Zealand's economy and future prospects in an easy to understand format, backed up by a great selection of experts in their field.

Latta concluded that the gap between New Zealand's rich and poor is widening, and is consuming a significant proportion of the population. He, and the experts he met with, believe that left unattended, without some tough decisions being made at government level, things will only get worse.

The hour featured stories from two families in poverty and also featured a highly qualified university graduate unable to find a job in her field of expertise. Surprisingly, Latta didn't interview anyone in the senior age bracket for their thoughts.

I've been careful to avoid sharing my personal opinions of Latta's findings in this piece because I believe it should be up to the viewer to draw their own conclusions. Latta has never been afraid to express his theories and opinions of the subjects he covers, and his work is often tailored to suit those, though he does an excellent job in this case of selecting a respected group of experts and sharing plenty of statistics.

I'd therefore recommend looking into further research and evidence if Latta's own doesn't paint what you see to be the full picture.

Latta has tackled New Zealand's darkest criminals and given politically incorrect tips to parents of teenagers and grownups in his years as a television presenter, but if last night's episode is of any indication, this series is fast turning out to be Latta's best television work.


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