The Audio History Charitable Trust of New Zealand has just created its first documentary – on well-known Taranaki man Peter Burke.
The former All Black and New Zealand Rugby Union president was chosen as the first subject because of his strong links to the region.
Since 2008, when the audio history group was set up, it has produced almost 20 audio documentaries, all of them focusing on prominent South Taranaki people.
The reason for this is because that's where the funding for the project comes from, but also because copies of the documentaries were given to the Central and South Taranaki libraries, says trust co-ordinator Hamish Guthrie.
"We hope in the future to be able to extend it into North Taranaki," he says.
The audio histories are broadcast-standard edited interviews in which the subjects talk about their lives and achievements.
It started when Mr Guthrie, a retired broadcaster who lives near New Plymouth, worked on a history about Richard Kennedy-Moffat who was, at the time, selling Cornish's store in Hawera.
"They wanted to make some sort of a presentation to him at the end of the changeover of the store," Mr Guthrie says.
"This is how it started.
"We thought, wouldn't it be nice to do a bit more of this and do it in a form where it was accessible and people would like to listen to them.
"That's when I formed the trust and basically we took off from there."
It takes anywhere between 10 days and nine months to produce the documentaries.
In the case of Mr Burke's history, a former Midweek editor Gordon Brown was the narrator.
Mr Burke's documentary is particularly special because it is also the first one to incorporate a DVD.
One is an interview by Taranaki Daily News sports reporter Glenn McLean with Mr Burke during the Rugby World Cup last year.
Other audio documentaries feature retired teacher and historian Arthur Fryer, world champion shearer Roger Cox and the last town clerk of Eltham, Gordon Lawson.To hear or see Mr Burke's documentary, or any of the others, contact the trust on 7536311.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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