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This Week On TVNZ 7

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Fuseworks Media
This Week On TVNZ 7

WEEK 15: Saturday 10 April - Friday 16 April 2010

Local - The Good Word, Saturday 10 April, 9.10pm: New Zealand's exciting television book show, The Good Word, treats viewers with its lively mix of reviews, views and stories from the world of books.

The series stars novelist Emily Perkins (in the studio) and columnist Finlay Macdonald (in the field), along with an almost all-new all-star panel.

Joining comic Te Radar, on The Good Word panel are newcomers, actor Jennifer Ward-Lealand, columnist Steve Braunias, One News presenter Miriama Kamo, journalist Gordon McLauchlan and - in what may be a worldwide book show first - the country's Chief Censor, Bill Hastings.

The Good Word is an innovative mix of both studio and documentary elements. In the studio, the award-winning Perkins leads the panel in reviewing a book of the week, then brings in a special guest to talk about his or her favourite book.

Filmed in the field each week is a visit with a real-life book club, and Macdonald's documentary series Under the Covers which, in each show, uncovers the story behind a famous New Zealand book.

Tonight, presenter Emily Perkins and panellists Te Radar, Bill Hastings and Jennifer Ward-Lealand discuss book of the week, Somebody Loves Us All, by Damien Wilkins. Painter Dick Frizzell talks about his favourite book and Finlay Macdonald tells the story behind another notable New Zealand book, My Life, by David Lange.

If you have missed an episode, check your guide for extra opportunities to view. Full episodes of The Good Word will also be available free online at

NZ VIEWS: Back Benches - Student Politics Special, Wednesday 14 April, 9.10pm: Back Benches is heading to student central in Dunedin on Wednesday 14 April, filming live from The Original Robert Burns Pub (The Robbie).

A panel of MPs will be there to discuss the issues affecting students and Dunedin. How do we ensure that university students are getting the best education and keep it affordable? Do we need to evaluate how students receive financial aid? Plus, what kind of world are we preparing students for? Are there jobs for them and how has Dunedin been affected by the recession? Two big employers in Dunedin have been hit hard Cadbury and Fisher & Paykel.

Confirmed as panellists on the night are Heather Roy (ACT), Metiria Turei (Greens), Clare Curran (Labour) and Michael Woodhouse (National), with many more prominent business figures from the community also agreeing to take part in the show.

It is recommended you arrive at 8pm to secure your spot if you would like to be part of the exciting studio audience.

If you miss this episode check your guide for extra opportunities to view. The show will also be available on line after the show has aired at

WORLD'S BEST: Doco of the Week - The River Where We Live, Wednesday 14 April, 7.10pm: Far from the murderous fighting that ravages many African countries, people from diverse ethnic groups live together peacefully along the Niger River, but increasing drought threatens to destroy their traditional lifestyles.

Refreshingly free from sensationalism, The River Where We Live makes us feel for the canoe maker, the captain of the ship, the fishmonger and the fisherman, as if they were old friends.

"I've been practicing this craft since 1954," says the canoe-maker, "now my children have come to learn." He stands proudly on his canoe against the endlessly blue horizon, a postcard of Africa, with its promise of exploration and nature. But like Africa, the canoe-maker's relationship with the river runs deeper than the beautiful image and like the rest of Niger's people, the canoe-maker views the river as a constant provider - a source of power, wealth, food and beauty. But water levels are lowering and there's no longer any fortune in this work, only respect and consideration.

The floods come less often now and the dry season lasts longer. Shepherds must roam further and further for food for their cattle, and fishmongers must search wider for fish to sell.

"We come together. We complete each other in work and spirit," says the fisherman, speaking of the diverse communities living around the Niger river. But as he looks at his son lying happily on a canoe, trailing his fingers in the blue water, it seems as if he is speaking about the river itself.

WAR IN THE PACIFIC: Return to Tarawa - The Leon Cooper Story, Friday 16 April, 7.10pm: Narrated by actor Ed Harris, World War II combat veteran Leon Cooper embarks on what he considers his final mission, to preserve the hallowed ground of one of World War II's deadliest battlefields at Red Beach on Tarawa Island.

This battle was the U.S. Navy's first major amphibious assault and over 1,600 American servicemen fell at Tarawa, a fortified Japanese stronghold.

Return To Tarawa documents Cooper's stirring trip back to confirm first-hand the reports of the desecration of Red Beach, which is littered with piles of garbage, rusting debris and possible lost gravesites of servicemen still listed as missing in action. While an emotionally charged experience for the eighty-nine year old Cooper, this journey further propels his mission to clean-up and restore this sacred battleground, by making it a permanent war memorial for all those who fought and died there.

Return To Tarawa tracks Cooper's efforts to have his comprehensive restoration plan implemented including building a modern incineration facility, which would relieve the island's chronic issues of refuse disposal.

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