A year ago, New Zealand sport and television celebrity Marc Ellis began filming "How the Other Half Lives", a reality program that focuses on breaking down the religious and cultural stereotypes of New Zealand minority groups. He opened the series with a feature on Auckland's semi-rural ISKCON community and cast himself as a participating member for a few days.
Already well known in rugby loving New Zealand through his career as an All Black and Warrior, Ellis’s ventures into television landed him the Qantas award for Television Personality of the Year in both 2006 and 2007.
Ellis was hosted by long standing member Kalasamvara Dasa who remembers, "At first members of the community were apprehensive because of Ellis's reputation as someone who could easily 'take the mickey' [ed: Kiwi for 'mock'] out of the way we live and think."
Donning a dhoti, chaddar and shaving off his locks, Ellis hit the street for an evening Harinam in the city. Rising early for morning services he admirably remarked, "They're the only people I've ever met in my life who at 4:30 in the morning are up and dancing completely sober."
The New Zealand Herald quoted a friend of Ellis: "The show plays on the fact that there is a lot of ignorance in New Zealand... It's about him getting behind the stereotypes and getting to know the real people."