New Zealand Today: Guy Williams chats with Black Power, a white supremacist and hilarious locals about Tokoroa's stolen playground

Guy Williams is back with new New Zealand Today premiering on Three and ThreeNow tomorrow, uncovering unique stories and fascinating characters in small town Aotearoa.

In a sneak preview of the new season supplied to Newshub, the presenter chats with locals in Tokoroa about the theft of a playground.

Among the colourful characters he interviews are a Black Power member, a self-described white supremacist with a swastika tattoo and half a beard, and a trash-talking kid named LeBron.

"Are you named after the basketballer?" asked Williams.

"Yeah - are you named after the guy?" LeBron shot back.

One theory suggested by multiple interviewees was that gangs were involved with the playground's disappearance.

Lance, the man with a swastika tattoo, was one of the people making the claim.

"Why a swastika?" asked Williams.

"I dunno, I've just always liked them," Lance replied.

"The Nazis?" asked Williams.

"Yeah," Lance replied.

"What the f**k! Lance! Forget the story [about the stolen playground], the story is now trying to make Lance less of a dick," said Williams as Lance laughed and a Polynesian friend of his nearby gave the thumbs up, saying: "Yeah he's alright."

Lance also claimed he shaved half his beard off because of alopecia-induced baldness around his chin.

"I have to admit I was feeling a little trepidation staying two nights in Tokoroa, a forestry town with a rough reputation. But I was pleasantly surprised by how friendly and wonderful everyone was - except the playground thieves, obviously," Williams told Newshub.

"One of the biggest takeaways from New Zealand Today for me is how wonderful small town New Zealand is, even the places that don't normally deal with many tourists. But it's also a little unsettling how many people think I'm a real journalist.

"I've had multiple people yell swear words out their car windows at me, calling me the 'mainstream media' covering up some great conspiracy of some sort. The fact that people can't differentiate me and what I thought was clearly a parody of news with actual news is probably a grim indication of how we got to where we are as a society, but it's also hilarious.

"A dude in Hamilton approached me to tell me that his grandparents watched my show and now they don't trust the news, which is somehow both sad and hilarious to me at the same time. If I've learned two things from making this show it's that people in small town New Zealand are awesome, but also maybe our media literacy is maybe not quite where it should be."

In the return of New Zealand Today, Williams again travels around Aotearoa to investigate 'the stories affecting real Kiwis', from the NZ Women's Medieval Combat team, to the grower of potentially the world's heaviest potato.

Williams is set to reunite estranged mates in Taupō, bring back the long-forgotten beauty pageant to Dargaville, train up an incompetent aspiring stuntman into a slightly less incompetent aspiring stuntman and even take on Big Cereal.

New Zealand Today will be broadcast on Thursday nights on Three at 8:30pm.