We were on the telly!

We were on the telly!

Hitting the airwaves with Country Calendar


It’s our country’s most watched television show and a Sunday night tradition for Kiwi families everywhere. For 22 minutes at the end of May, Country Calendar was also the place to get a closer look behind the scenes here at Topflite.

Since 1966 Country Calendar has been a Kiwi institution. The first black and white episode, hosted by Fred Barnes, was only 14 minutes long. From there it has gone from strength to strength, consistently delivering an insightful look into all types of farming life and business in New Zealand. With over 1000 episodes shot and broadcast, it’s up there with Coronation St as one of New Zealand’s longest running television shows. 

This might explain why we were understandably excited (and a little bit nervous) to welcome the crew onto our farm for the shoot. While we weren’t quite sure what to expect from the process the CC team soon put everyone at ease.

“They’re a hard-case crew and absolutely great to work with,” says GM Greg Webster. “They knew what they wanted and just got stuck into it. There was no make-up artist, no reshoots and everything was kept as natural as possible. It really was a slice of life type of shoot.”

Over the course of two days the crew travelled around the entire Topflite operation in Oamaru collecting footage and interviewing some of our team. There was a huge amount captured – and we were unsure just what would wind up on the screen.

“We didn’t see the final cut until the night that it aired,” says Greg.

As the instantly recognisable theme began ("Hillbilly Child" by Alan Moorhouse, for those searching on Spotify) some second-guessing naturally occurred. 

“There’s obviously always a certain amount of nervousness going into something like this,” says Topflite’s Marketing Manager, Carolyn Webster. “Nobody wants to be on national television saying something stupid – especially on such an iconic show like this.”

There was no need to stress. The Country Calendar team put together an interesting, entertaining and, most importantly, genuine perspective of Topflite. Since the show aired, we’ve had people all over New Zealand coming up to talk to us about it.

Our episode may not have attained the fame of John Clarke’s legendary Fred Dagg appearances. Nor would it have stoked as much debate as the show’s recent trip to Lake Hāwea station. But we’re altogether happy (and more than a little proud) of our time in the sun. We think it does a great job at capturing some of the passion and dedication of the team here. 


If you haven’t seen it already, you can watch Topfite on TVNZ here,



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