Reader call-out: What are your best memories of New Zealand soap opera Shortland Street?
New Zealand’s longest running soap opera, Shortland Street, celebrates 30 years on screen this week. The hospital drama was “the height of television drama when I was a young person,” the prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, said in 2019. “It’s always done the job of tracking big things happening in New Zealand society as well, and reflecting back to ourselves.”
It has launched the careers of some of the country’s biggest stars: Temuera Morrison, Martin Henderson, Rose McIvor, KJ Apa, Karl Urban, to name a few. It has spawned household jokes and sayings (“You’re not in Guatemala now, Dr Ropata”), developed cliffhangers involving incest, murder, scuppered weddings and shocking deaths, reinvented itself time and again to stay relevant, and unquestionably become part of New Zealand’s cultural fabric.
We want to hear from our New Zealand readers about what place “Shorty” holds in your heart. Are you a superfan? What is your fondest memory, or favourite episode and why? Do you remember first watching the show, and how it has changed over the years? How would you like to see Shortland Street develop over the next 30 years?