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TV host Matt Gibb calls into Paeroa to film an episode of Country House Hunters: New Zealand. Photo: KELLEY TANTAU

NZ’s country house hunt comes to Paeroa

Come early 2024, Paeroa and its homes will be showcased on one of Aotearoa’s top-rated television series.
Country House Hunters: New Zealand, hosted by Matt Gibb, was in the Hauraki district last week filming an episode for its second season.
The Aussie film crew and the host himself ventured to locations around town, highlighting one local’s journey to find a house outside the hustle and bustle of the big city.
“There has been a huge wave since Covid of people realising that they can live and work anywhere,” Matt told The Profile during a break from filming. “There’s definitely a movement towards living somewhere you want to live rather than somewhere you have to live.”
For the first season of the show – which is based off of the Australian version – 20 episodes were filmed, from Waiheke Island to Banks Peninsula.
The Kiwi iteration will give audiences 30 episodes for its next season, and could be airing in January, 2024.
“We do move through towns quickly, but I love Paeroa,” Matt said. “I’ve been here so many times over the years for other TV shows… It’s a great place to be.
“Part of the great thing about making TV like this is you stop at a small hotel, you go to the pub for a feed, and chat to the locals, and that’s something I’ll never get sick of.”

Melbourne-based producer and showrunner Cass Dennis. Photo: KELLEY TANTAU

Melbourne-based producer Cass Dennis was at the Paeroa filming alongside cameramen Thomas Loach and Mitch Ross-Pelns.
She said she “fought” for the role of the series’ showrunner so she could explore New Zealand.
“We pretty much see what we shoot, but in the [Australian] office, they all fight over who gets to go to New Zealand,” she said. “I really wanted to travel around this country, I think it’s beautiful, and when I’m in the pre-production phase, I pretty much get the choice of where we’re going.”
Cass, who was 15 episodes into filming the second series, said she enjoyed researching and showcasing towns that didn’t get focused on that much.
That included the Hauraki district and neighbouring Te Aroha.
“It’s kind of handy being an Aussie doing a show about New Zealand because you learn about all these towns for the first time,” she said.
“The crew put a lot of effort into making that first season – I think it was rated the second highest TV show in New Zealand in January when it aired – and it’s a show we really care about so we want people to love it.”