Entertainment | Code

Code OGs return for reunion episode nine years on

Code, one of the most popular shows ever seen on Whakaata Māori, is making a one-off return as part of the 20th year celebration of the television service.

Code won awards in 2007 but wound up in 2015. Tonight however, the original team is making a comeback at 7pm for Code the Reunion.

Back in the day, the show took a deep dive into the world of sport, providing a Māori lens on different sporting arenas.

Code featured many athletes during its 10-year run on Whakaata Māori between 2005 and 2015 and also saw the rise of many memorable faces on television, including Jenny-May Clarkson and Tawera Nikau.

Clarkson says the show created many lifelong memories for her and those memories are going to be prevalent in the reunion show.

“There were so many memories. Probably the biggest is just more about the friendships, whanaungatanga between all of us as presenters. Of course we had a number coming and going. But for me it’s those connections that we had back in those days and the ribbing that we gave one another and actually now that we’re about to get into it again, all of that has come flooding back and, actually, nothing has changed,” she says.

The first episode of Code was broadcast in 2005, and the presenters at the time were legends of their craft.

Wairangi Koopu, Glen Osborne, Matua Parkinson, Julian Wilcox and more were faces of the show in its early days and one of Code’s faces, Tawera Nikau, says it was a great show in the early days of the television service.

“I think it was a show for that first year as a pilot to see how it went. But it grew and got a really great following in terms of the people who did it and it became very iconic in those early days of Whakaata Māori,” he says.

Code was pronounced winner of the Best Sports Programme at the 2007 Air New Zealand Screen Awards.

Adding to the list of accolades, the show also saw the birth of many catchphrases that became popularised around the country.

“I think it was just around all the Māori talent that we were interviewing at the time and the phrase came out ‘oh that’s pretty mean how they were!’ And it just sort of sprung from there, I thin,k and that catchphrase of Code for us, in those early days ‘Mean Māori Mean!’” Nikau says.

But the question now is if Code were to return the tv screen, would the OGs also come back.

“I think it’s time to look to the future, I mean I turn 50 in a couple of weeks. I think my time is done when it comes to something like this. But in saying that, never say never,” Clarkson says.

“There’s plenty of awesome looking young Māori around that would do a great job.” Nikau says.