Mystery at Midge Bay – Discovering New Zealand’s oldest shipwreck’

My first involvement in film was back in 2012, where it was a privilege to co-produce and present a fascinating New Zealand history documentary with international award winning film maker David Sims.

Entitled ‘Mystery at Midge Bay – Discovering New Zealand’s oldest shipwreck,’ the documentary delves into potential Portuguese and Spanish discoveries of New Zealand that are theorised to predate Captain Cook and Abel Tasman’s discoveries of New Zealand.

Mystery at Midge Bay - Discovering New Zealand's Oldest Shipwreck

On our adventure, we stumble upon New Zealand’s newest, oldest shipwreck, a likely Dutch vessel which has a likely construction date of 1705 and a probable wrecking date of 1730; and we uncover more potential evidence of early Iberian contact.

‘Mystery’ premiered at the Matakana Cinema and The Kumara Box in Dargaville in 2012 and is available for sale on DVD.

Thank you for your feedback that ‘Mystery at Midge Bay – Discovering New Zealand’s oldest shipwreck,’ has changed your view on New Zealand’s discovery history. Please feel free to leave a review in the review section.


Winston Cowie and David Sims - Mystery at Midge Bay Co-producers

Winston Cowie and David Sims – Mystery at Midge Bay Co-producers


‘Our Big Blue Backyard’ TVNZ and NHNZ documentary series

In 2013 I had the pleasure of being the Diving Supervisor for the North Island shoots of the ground-breaking, blue chip natural history documentary series, ‘Our Big Blue Backyard.’ 

Commissioned by TVNZ and produced by NHNZ, the six-part series on New Zealand’s ocean environment and sea creatures, has been described as being “almost like Coronation St under the sea”.

“Our Big Blue Backyard reveals the stories of the numerous creatures lurking beneath the surface in locations ranging from New Zealand orcas’ home ranges in Northland Harbour down to the white shark feeding grounds surrounding Stewart Island,” according to executive producer Judith Curran.

The one-hour programmes explore six marine locations around the New Zealand coastline and the creatures which call them home.

“Each location is explored from the perspective of a neighbourhood narrative; from the tiniest barnacles and sea anemones to iconic whales, revealing the daily dramas, challenges and triumphs of those who live in those watery neighbourhoods.”

Our Big Blue Backyard starred on New Zealand television in late 2014 and was widely praised. It is now available on DVD at selected outlets. Grab a copy now!

Filming 'Our Big Blue Backyard'

Filming ‘Our Big Blue Backyard’

Filming 'Our Big Blue Backyard' - Poor Knights, New Zealand

Filming ‘Our Big Blue Backyard’ – Poor Knights, New Zealand