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Hero image for Ngaire Fuata: A number one hit and a career dedicated to Pacific programming…

Ngaire Fuata: A number one hit and a career dedicated to Pacific programming…

Interview – 2019

Ngaire Fuata’s cover of classic song ‘To Sir with Love’ went to number one in Aotearoa in 1990. It was followed by album Ngaire. Fuata also has a long history of working for TVNZ’s Māori and Pacific programming unit, including on flagship Pacific show Tagata Pasifika. In 2011 she visited her father's homeland of Rotuma in documentary Salat se Rotuma.

In this ScreenTalk, Fuata talks about:

  • How her parent’s love of music led to her singing career
  • Feeling pretty casual about the recording of her hit single 'To Sir with Love'
  • Being unprepared for the huge success that the hit created
  • TVNZ’s Māori and Pacific programming creating a great legacy
  • The many contributions of Māori programming boss Ernie Leonard
  • TVNZ veteran Whai Ngata’s fight for correct Māori pronunciation
  • Why Tagata Pasifika is so important for its target audience
  • Travelling back to the Pacific island of Rotuma for documentary Salat se Rotuma
  • How viewers reacted to this story of family and homeland 
  • The importance of language in telling Māori and Pacific stories
This video was first uploaded on 21 March 2019, and is available under this Creative Commons licence. This licence is limited to use of ScreenTalk interview footage only and does not apply to any video content and photographs from films, television, music videos, web series and commercials used in the interview.
Interview, Camera and Editing: Andrew Whiteside