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NZ Detectives Series 2 - Serious Crime Investigation

New Zealand


Now available on Vimeo for New Zealand viewers to stream and download here       


 Following the success of NZ Detectives – In Pursuit of the Truth, this three part documentary series NZ Detectives - Serious Crime Investigation takes viewers further into the relentless world of the Detectives of the CIB – The Criminal Investigation Branch of the NZ Police.


Jane Bowron of the Dominion Post.

“...Tuesday night's episode of New Zealand Detectives (TV One, 9.35pm), drugs, high times and low life, was a cut above the usual dreary reality-TV fare, with a walk down memory lane of the country's biggest drug busts, the most large scale operation a massive plantation in Whanganui with a camp fitted out with solar panels, generators and even TV on site as members of Free the Weed watched their garden grow..."

Jane Clifton of the Dominion Post.

"This excellent series of police interviews reconstructed in its final episode the take-down of some nasty gangs, including by busting them under the Sale of Liquor Act and destroying their headquarters..."

The show was pick of the week in the NZ Herald and and the number one show in time shifted viewing

NZ Detectives – Serious Crime Investigation charts how the techniques of the CIB detectives have evolved over the past few decades, as they continue to combat increasingly sophisticated criminals and complex offences.

‘There’s always a trail and we’ve just got to dig and work hard enough to find that trail and then put that before the courts.’  

Detective Inspector Darrin Thomson


Produced with the complete co-operation from the NZ Police, top-ranking current and former Detectives share their insights on some of the most notorious cases in our recent history.

As each episode unfolds, the series effectively charts how the three main crime ‘scourges’ that dominate our daily news, have changed over the last few decades.

Policing career criminals means Detectives are forced to be innovative, think well beyond the square and persevere. Sometimes it can take years.

I’ve never met an offender yet that really wants to be caught. And they will go to long lengths to avoid being caught and held accountable.

Assistant police commissioner Allan Boreham


With no two investigations ever the same, the techniques used by our detectives are surprisingly vast – the cliffhanging clue can sometimes be as insignificant as pieces of pink fibre, or a sunroof in a blue car. An indelible foot print in a brick of coke. A bystander catching a glimpse of something, that for some reason, appeared odd…

One thing is for certain: nothing can afford to be overlooked.

What is most striking about NZ Detectives - Serious Crime Investigation is that these true stories are told with immense heart. The very real passion our detectives have for their work shines through. The stories these feisty men and women of the CIB tell are interwoven with dramatic reconstructions which in turn make for moving, alarmingly honest and ultimately very compelling viewing. 



This three part documentary takes viewers further than ever before, investigating the driving force behind the work these elite, handpicked police officers do.

Having earnt the trust through the successes of previous series, the team who produced this series have captured these highly articulate and captivating detectives in frank, honest and forthright interviews. The tone of the series, while never undermining the dark underbelly that is serious crime, has a lightness and a hope that stems from the detectives themselves.  

Broken into three episodes – Homicide, Drugs and Gangs – our detectives relish in the opportunity to share sometimes deeply personal stories. Stories that are poignant and/or significant moments in their careers. Be it a nightmare, an unusual moment of shame, or gut wrenching fear, the true stories of our NZ Detectives are at the beating heart of this series. Rarely, on television are we allowed this close.

“I remember for months and months I used to have this dream where I’d take people into this house and I, in the dream, I was a real estate agent, and I would be stepping around the blood going ‘don’t mind the blood, but here’s the kitchen and here’s the lounge’ and I kept seeing the floor and the walls and I could just visualise it all the time in my dream….I didn’t wake up upset or anything, but I just got sick of having this dream with all this blood. I couldn’t get the blood out of my head.”

Detective Sergeant Catherine McEvedy (ret)

The series looks at the moments where everything changed – where rival gangs for example, realised it was better for business if they worked together. The moment where little old New Zealand went global and meth hit big time.

The series celebrate the “D’s” – their infamous dedication, cunning and belief in justice.

‘That’s the whole crux of any investigation – you just want to find out the truth’

Detective Senior Sergeant Tusha Penny

The series brings to life extraordinary cases in New Zealand’s criminal history. Some are the biggest of drug busts, some the most chilling of murders, some made international headlines for all the wrong reasons. Here they are brought to life, often with unexpected humour, great empathy, told directly from the mouths of the detectives who solved the cases.

These ‘war stories’ are complemented by high end dramatic reconstructions that illustrate the inevitable zig zags in both the offending itself and the crafty investigation that follows.  The merging and weaving of the drama and documentary strands heightens the viewing experience making it deeply personal and absorbing.    

Providing absolute immediacy are the photos, note books, footage, borrowed from the detectives themselves. In addition, the use of archival footage anchors the stories in the contrasting eras of our recent history, bringing the dark reality of the situations home. Nostalgia does not lessen the blow.

From the missing digits to pink plaster casts, to multi millionaire beneficiaries, to gold cars, water ceremonies and seagulls , to listening and watching and waiting,  the breadth of these all encompassing stories is one on hand inspiring, the other hand - slightly alarming. NZ Detectives Serious Crime Investigationpushes the boundaries of combating crime.

For the first time viewer, ultimately the question forms in their head: what on earth next? The seemingly endless capacity of the crooked human beings that our detectives rally against is terrifying.

In making this second series, Gibson Group hugely appreciated the support of the New Zealand Police. And most importantly, the time, immense generosity and honesty the detectives of the NZ Police offered us, to gain a privileged view into their worlds.


Episode One: To Catch a Killer

To solve the most serious of crimes – murder – detectives use dedication, community support and detailed forensic work. 

To Catch a Killer features cases that not only reveal the tenacity and attention to detail of the detectives, but also the challenges that they grapple with in their work.

Episode Two: High Times and Lowlifes

While drug dealers never sleep and the drug of choice changes over time, the demand for getting high does not. 

High Times and Lowlifes takes ground-breaking cases that illustrate the leaps and bounds made by criminals over the years in New Zealand’s fertile drug scene. The lure of drugs knows no social, moral, legal or international boundaries.

Episode Three: The Business of Crime

Existing only to make money and raise hell, gangs are entrenched in our society. In The Business of Crime, the stakeskeep getting higher.

The cases featured in The Business of Crime pinpoint the depths detectives must go to get the result society needs. Criminals who truly believe they are untouchable – and the detectives must prove them wrong.

Technical Specifications

TV Production

3 x 1 hour for TV One

International Distribution under the title: "Crime Down Under: Murder, Drugs and Gangs"

Represented by TVF International

Contact will.stapley@tvf.co.uk

Senior Sales Executive


Cast And Crew


Alex Clark – is an independent producer. He has been a staff producer at Gibson Group and Natural History New Zealand and a documentary director/writer.  He produced the Undercover, Line of FireandNZ Detectives Series 1docu-drama series for TV One, along with other documentaries for TV One and TV3.


Dan Henry  – is an experienced director of documentary and current affairs.  Amongst his credits for TV One, he co-produced and directed the feature-length documentary Lost in Libya, and directed the Line of FireandNZ Detectives Series 1docu-drama series.

Executive Producer

Gary Scott – has been the Senior Producer of factual programmes at the Gibson Group for six years. He has written, directed or produced dozens of New Zealand documentaries since 1995.  In addition to EP duties, he is currently producing programmes for broadcast and interactive media museum exhibitions.


Gary Scott, Executive Producer. 

Ph 04 384 7789

Email gary@gibson.co.nz