Broadcaster Paul Henry is returning to New Zealand TV screens with a brand new show that starts next week, and he joined Ryan Bridge on Magic Drive to discuss what viewers can expect from his show and the current state of New Zealand amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
Rebuilding Paradise with Paul Henry premieres Monday, April 20 at 9.30pm on Three and its 30-minute episodes will be broadcast four nights a week for four weeks.
The series is described by MediaWorks, which owns Newshub, as a positive yet hard-hitting show, aimed at finding the truth about where we are as a nation as we come out of lockdown and what possibilities lie ahead for us in the future.
"This show is about something very important, rebuilding paradise. The pandemic has been bloody awful, but it's handed us an extraordinary opportunity and it's an opportunity we've proved we're up for," says Henry.
"In a few years, I want us to be a country that looks back and says that was a shitty time, but look how well things turned out.
"The glass is half full. We have a fantastic foundation in New Zealand on which we can work together and build a brilliant future. What do we want New Zealand to look like in six months? In 12 months? We get to decide. What a privilege!"
In a video posted on Three's Instagram last week, Henry commended the Kiwis following the COVID-19 alert level 4 lockdown rules and condemned those who did not.
Rebuilding Paradise with Paul Henry will cover a wide range of topics such as business, global impacts on our country, moral conundrums, health, changes to human behaviour and what the future might look like.
Henry will conduct interviews both remotely and in studio when alert levels allow.
"We are very excited to have Paul back on Three and back in the Newshub newsroom," says MediaWorks director of news Sarah Bristow.
"With Paul's talent, experience and wit we can have positive discussions about our future and how we can all contribute to it. This show is going to provide Kiwis with a fantastic new way of thinking about what's to come."
Henry joined Three in 2014 when he hosted evening news programme The Paul Henry Show, which replaced Nightline.
A year later, he switched to the network's morning news show and predecessor to The AM Show, which was simulcast on the radio and internet.
That ran for two years and was a ratings hit that saw Henry win the Sir Paul Holmes Broadcaster of the Year title at the 2016 NZ Radio Awards.
"So much of the success of the show is down to Paul," Bristow said at the time.
"His energy, passion and high standards are astounding. He is such a versatile performer, easily transitioning between fits of laughter and carrying out some of the best interviews ever conducted in New Zealand media."
Rebuilding Paradise with Paul Henry will also be available on demand via ThreeNow.