[Te Arawa, Ngāti Tūwharetoa]
Waikato-raised Olly Coddington was working for Māori Television when he made his break as a TV presenter.
Coddington began learning te reo while growing up in Raglan. In the sixth form at Hamilton Boys' High School, he competed in Māori speech contests. Coddington's ancestry is Māori (Te Arawa, Ngāti Tūwharetoa), Rarotongan and Pākeha. He got early screen experience as host of Making Mistakes, a 2003 educational video about marae protocol.
After leaving school he spent six months touring primary schools, playing a pirate in Duffy's High Sea Adventure.
By 2005 Coddington was working as a tape operator at Māori Television. He was busy digitising and dubbing footage when he heard about an audition for Mai Time. The TVNZ show for Māori youth was hunting for a new co-presenter. "I just auditioned and gave it heaps".
Mai Time was one of Aotearoa's longest running youth shows. Swapping between English and te reo, Coddington interviewed musicians, skydived and came up with ideas for skits. But after two seasons, he was called on to present the final episode, alongside Gabrielle Paringatai-Lemisio.
The show had "evolved", as Coddington puts it. It was reborn in April 2008 as I AM TV, with Coddington and Paringatai-Lemisio part of a three strong presenting team. This time around interactivity was key, with viewers contributing content via Bebo. Initially the TV studio was abandoned, as the team headed out on the road. After two seasons, Coddington took his own trip — back to Raglan, to spend three years as bar manager at live venue The YOT Club.
In 2013 he returned to television. That year he wrote scripts and directed segments for TV2 Māori youth show Totes Māori; in 2016 he presented a similiar show in the same slot, 2Kaha, this time with co-host Bree Peters. In-between, Coddington worked in a variety of production roles on cooking show Pete and Pio and Hunting Aotearoa — everything from assisting the cameraperson, to helping out with te reo on location.
Coddington also has a small acting role in award-winning Dutch movie Bride Flight, which follows three women who emigrate to New Zealand as war brides.
'Olly Coddington' (Interview). Wicked website. Accessed 31 January 2018
'Oliver Coddington' LinkedIn website. Accessed 31 January 2018
'Olly Coddington' TVNZ website. Accessed 31 January 2018
'Mai Time' (Press release) Throng website. Loaded 1 December 2007. Accessed 31 January 2018
'I Am TV Presenter Profile: Olly' (Interview - broken link) NZGirl website. Accessed 30 January 2018