New UK Documentary Celebrates Expat Kiwi’ Success

Former Lotto presenter Hilary Timmins says there is a large number of Kiwis living overseas whose successes are flying under the radar. It’s something she plans to change through a new television series, Dream Catchers, profiling a number of successful New Zealanders.

A property investor whose firm has a portfolio worth $8.2 billion, Gwyneth Paltrow’s hairdresser and a fashion designer whose clients include the Duchess of Cambridge are among Kiwis profiled in a new documentary.

Former model and TV presenter Hilary Timmins has launched Dream Catchers UK, which pays tribute to New Zealanders doing great things around the world.

Those profiled include Auckland-born Emilia Wickstead, whose clothing has been snapped up by the Duchess and other high-profile clients including Samantha Cameron, wife of the British Prime Minister.

Hawkes Bay-born hairdresser Snowden Hill, who has worked on fashion shows including Versace, Yves Saint Laurent, Valentino and McQueen and styles Gwyneth Paltrow’s mane, is also featured.

The other two Kiwis profiled are Dunedin’s Kent Gardner, chief executive of investment banking firm Evans Randall, which has a portfolio worth 4 billion ($8.2 billion), and Hawkes Bay’s Geoff Sewell, a member of pop opera band Amici Forever, who have sold 3.5 million albums worldwide.

Timmins, who has been living in London for three years, said she was inspired to make the show after bumping into fellow New Zealanders who had achieved big things.

“When I moved over here, there was a lot of fundraising activities for Christchurch. I started to see these extraordinary Kiwis who were doing quite remarkable things here that we didn’t know about back home,” she said.

“We weren’t hearing about them and it just struck me.

“I thought, ‘Gosh, imagine if you were a young person back in New Zealand and you saw where you could go with your life and how far you could take it’.”

A 10-minute trailer has been made and launched at an event in London. It will not be released widely until early next year. Timmins said she hoped also to profile Kiwis in the US, Asia and around the Pacific.

“A lot of the reasons they have the success that they have is because they’re New Zealanders.”

Timmins will travel to New Zealand this month to promote the series and try to get funding to have it screened on television here as well as online.

She hopes people – particularly youth – will be inspired by seeing ordinary Kiwis doing great things.

“These aren’t people who go round shouting about what they do,” she said. “They just quietly go about it.”

Kiwis featured in Dream Catchers UK 

Emilia Wickstead

  • Fashion designer
  • From Auckland
  • Clothing has been snapped up by several high-profile clients including Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, and Samantha Cameron, wife of the British Prime Minister.

Kent Gardner

  • Chief executive of Evans Randall, a privately held private equity group specialising in real estate, which has a £4 billion ($8.2 billion) portfolio.
  • From Dunedin
  • Named UK New Zealander of the Year for organising the Step Up 4 Christchurch fundraising event, in London, following the 2011 earthquake tragedy.

Snowden Hill

  • Hairdresser to the stars including Gwyneth Paltrow.
  • From Hawkes Bay. 
  • Has worked on fashion shows including Versace, Yves Saint Laurent, Valentino and McQueen.

Geoff Sewell

  • Opera tenor singer and chief executive of Incognito Artists group.
  • From Hawkes Bay.
  • Helped set up and sang in the world’s first pop-opera band, Amici Forever, who sold 3.5 million albums around the world.
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