The Real Housewives of Auckland (abbreviated RHOAKL) is a New Zealand reality television series that premiered on August 22, 2016, on Bravo.
The show is developed as an international installment of the American The Real Housewives franchise and the second installment of The Real Housewives franchise by Matchbox Entertainment, following The Real Housewives of Melbourne. The Real Housewives of Auckland focuses on the personal and professional lives of several women living in Auckland, New Zealand.
The Real Housewives of Auckland was first announced on January 24th, 2016. The show is the first spin-off, of The Real Housewives of Melbourne.
The cast of the series was announced in May 2016. The reality show will follow Anne Batley-Burton, Michelle Blanchard, Gilda Kirkpatrick, Julia Sloane, Angela Stone, and Louise Wallace. The first season is set to premiere on August 22, 2016. Executive producer of the series, Kylie Washington, has described the cast of the first season as "people who are the life of the party - the party is them - it's around them, so it doesn't matter where they are, something's always happening." Also reported on the series, "there has been more "explosive" drama than even Washington anticipated. "We're pretty tongue in cheek with it as well. We know what we are, we're not pretending to be anything else. Already [the Auckland Housewives] are showing that they have the right spirit," said Washington. It is also reported that a season 2 looks likely. The first season concluded on October 18th, 2016, and did not feature a reunion. The network provided on-on-one interviews with the cast via their Facebook page, following the final episode.
Shortly after the airing of the first season in October 2016, the production company, Matchbox Pictures, confirmed that there is ongoing discussions for a second installment. The company also went on to say the that first season was a success for the network and that they would like to produce a second season.
On November 10th, 2016 it was announced via NZHerald that Bravo played a showreel for 2017 programmes, and The Real Housewives Of Auckland was not on it. Although contract information was leaked by the NZ Herald and that the Housewives apparently signed a three year contract with Bravo. The network has made no announcement if the show has been renewed or cancelled, although the production company Matchbox Pictures would love to bring the show back. In 2017, Burton said in an interview that her and her cast members had a blast filming season 1. She went on to say she would love to do season 2, but the cast has been left in dark, not knowing if there will be a season 2.Angela: “My name may be Stone, but everything I touch turns to gold.”
Anne: “I'm like a fine champagne, I bubble, I fizz, and I'm the life of the party.”
Gilda: “I never start a fight I can't win.”
Julia: “If people are talking behind your back, then you're the one in front.”
Louise: “I made my money the old fashioned way, I inherited it.”
Michelle: “I used to strut my stuff on the catwalk, now I'm a model housewife.”
During the first season's episode 6, titled "Healing Hands" which aired on 20 September 2016, cast member Julia Sloane made a racial slur against fellow cast member Michelle Blanchard, referring to her as "boat nigger". During the broadcast of the episode, the network had cancelled all advertising. Prior to the premiere of the episode, the network released a statement on the issue saying, "We have taken this matter very seriously. Bravo has given much consideration to ensuring the events are accurately represented, in order that the context of the remark and subsequent events can be fully understood. While the nature of Bravo programming is unscripted, it is a deeply regrettable incident which we are endeavoring to deal with in a responsible manner". Sloane has also made a statement admitting that there was "no excuse for using offensive word" and that she has since apologized to Blanchard. In October 2016, it was revealed that ratings for the first season declined following the controversy.
Since the racial slur was made and broadcast, it has caused a variety of controversy surrounding the show leading to fans wanting Sloane to be removed from the series. Since Sloane's remarks, her husband Michael Lorimer, has claimed the remark was taken out of context to make his look bad and revealed that the couple has also taken legal action to contact Bravo to have the episode amended. The couple has also hired "one of the public relations industry's heaviest hitters", Deborah Pead.
On 26 September 2016, Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy was contacted by the The New Zealand Herald and commented, "I do not think that overt racist behaviour is a part of kiwi culture so we all need to call it out when it rears its very ugly head, People like Julia need to understand that using words like that is not how we roll here. That is not us." Since Devoy's remarks, the couple has contacted their lawyers who have claimed Devoy as a bully, however Devoy has since denied those claims.
During the season in episode 8, titled "You Drive Me Crazy" which aired on 4 October 2016, it was revealed that Kirk Hope, chief executive of Business New Zealand, had allegedly left Angela Stone on 12 occasions. Mr Hope was criticised for telling Angela that he wanted to spend more time with "his mates".
In Australia, the series premiered on 28 August 2016, on Arena, the same network that initiated the The Real Housewives franchise by Matchbox Pictures.
The Real Housewives of Auckland premiered with two episodes that aired to a combined total of 632,600 viewers. A spokesperson the for network praised the ratings also revealing that the episodes were number one in the 25-54-year-old female demographic as well as commanding a 19 percent share of female TV viewers. The first half of the first season averaged a total of 139,000 viewers, with episode five airing to a 99,000 viewers. Episode six saw an increase in viewers, rising to a total off 124,000 viewers. Following the controversy in episode six viewership declined with episode nine being to lowest rated episode in the season, airing to 84,000 viewers. Following the decrease in viewership in episode nine; episode ten, that served as the finale for the series, rose to 116,000 total viewers. Despite the decline in rating, general manager for the network, Maria Mahoney, has claimed hat the ratings have been a success for the network and aided in a 50 per cent increase in peak viewing.