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Bernadine Oliver-Kerby

Reporter, Newsreader

Bernadine Oliver-Kerby grew up in Hamilton, where her mother provided her with an early example of a hardworking broadcaster, by juggling duties as a solo parent with a breakfast radio gig. At high school she played multiple sports, had scrapbooks of her favourite sporting stars, and acted in musicals.

She was keen to get into broadcasting. "I loved writing, sport and theatre, so I guess in the end I married all those loves into becoming a reporter/journalist and working on sports, news, kids TV, and later in my career, writing opinion pieces for The NZ Herald." 

Oliver-Kerby began in Christchurch in 1991, with teen magazine show Life in the Fridge Exists. Her young co-presenters included Oscar Kightley and Sonja Taylor. She went on to work as a reporter at Canterbury Television for two years, including on a ski show which saw her travelling around the South Island. A big fan of sport, including netball and waterskiing, Oliver-Kerby then shifted to Auckland, to build a career as a reporter. She presented netball coverage on One World of Sport, and worked as a director on Moro Sports Extra.

One of her goals was to attend both the Olympic and Commonwealth Games — "the pinnacle for an athlete and a sports journalist". Aged 24, she filed stories from her first Olympics: Atlanta 1996. Since then, she has reported from the 2000 Sydney Olympics, the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games, the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea, and from the sidelines of All Blacks test matches and international netball and hockey clashes. Veteran commentator Keith Quinn praised her handling of a difficult post-match interview, after the All Blacks were bundled out of the Rugby World Cup semi-finals by Australia in 2003. That year she was also sideline reporting and presenting for the Silver Ferns' World Cup win in Jamaica.

Oliver-Kerby presented the sports news on One News from 1998, and in 2004 became main news anchor of the prime time weekend news. She was joined by broadcaster Peter Williams from 2008 until February 2016 (when TVNZ shifted to a single-presenter format). She continued to serve as a a back-up on other news bulletins, filling in for weeknight anchor Wendy Petrie when Petrie was on maternity leave in 2010. 

That year, Oliver-Kerby began hosting TV One's rebranded Sunday afternoon sporting spree Skoda Game On. The show included one-hour segment Skoda Game On - Extra Time, where she and Rod Cheeseman analysed the week in sport.  

In early 2017, after TVNZ failed to renew her contract, Oliver-Kerby moved to Sky Sport. She presented America's Cup coverage for Sky, and then Winter Olympics for Prime Television (which Sky owns). Launched in March 2018, Sky's chat show New Zealand Press Box proved so popular that it quickly moved from a monthly to a weekly slot. Oliver-Kerby led a group of journalists discussing the latest in sport.

"I think I've definitely earned my referee's stripes," she told TV Guide "...It's raw and it's honest and what makes it refreshing, is that we're not tiptoeing around issues. People have widely differing opinions on things and that's life isn't it?"

In 2022 she moved to a new network, joining Three's breakfast show AM as news and sports presenter. "3.15 alarms will be a first for me" she said.

Oliver-Kerby has been a regular nominee in TV Guide’s viewer-voted Best on the Box awards, vying for titles ranging from Best News Presenter to Sexiest Woman on TV. In 2010 she was nominated for the People's Choice gong at the Qantas Film and Television Awards.

She has presented many live broadcast events, from the NZ Rugby Awards to multiple Halberg Awards shows (Aotearoa's premier sports awards). In 2006 she hosted quiz show New Zealand’s Brainiest Kid. She has also been a talent manager for sports people, providing advice on how to deal with the media.

In 2005 she took an Intrepid Journey to Croatia for the long-running travel series. One of the highlights of the trip was visiting the city of Vukovar, where her brother Brendan had worked as a UN peacekeeper in former Yugoslavia. "It felt like a city still grieving," she said."You could see what a beautiful place it had been and how devastated it was by this terrible war."

Oliver-Kerby juggled her television work with radio for more than 15 years. In 2005 she joined Newstalk ZB, rising at 4.15am to read the breakfast news for Paul Holmes, and later Mike Hosking. In 2018 she moved downstairs to co-host the breakfast show on Coast. She was named Best Newsreader at the NZ Radio Awards in 2006 and 2016. Oliver-Kerby told New Idea in 2011: "Radio is so immediate and it can be everywhere. People can be listening to radio in the shower, in the bath, in the car, stuck on the [Auckland Harbour] bridge."

Oliver-Kerby has two daughters with husband Mark Lendrum, and has noted the challenges of managing long working days and parenthood: "While it’s hideous hours for me, it’s great for the kids. I’m up around 4am, into work by 5am and home by nine … I’ve got all day with my beautiful babies."

In the same interview, she spoke of "not chasing the gold medal anymore. I’ve already got it at home and at work. I don’t wish for anything else. I am completely content."

Oliver-Kerby is a Child Cancer Foundation ambassador, fronting national campaigns for the organisation in 2013 and 2014.

Profile updated on 31 January 2022

Sources include
Bernadine Oliver-Kerby 
'Bernadine Oliver-Kerby (2021)' Sacred Heart Girls' College website. Accessed 31 January 2022
Bernadine Oliver-Kerby 'Croatia: Bernadine Oliver-Kerby' (broken link) TVNZ website. Loaded 2005. Accessed 20 May 2016
Caroline Botting, ‘Living life in the now’ (Interview) - New Idea, 5 May 2011
Fiona Fraser, 'Bernadine's billy goat buffet' (Interview) - Woman's Day, 5 December 2005
Kerry Harvey, 'Bernadine Oliver-Kerby's life after TVNZ' (Interview) - TV Guide, 18 May 2018
Keith Quinn, 'Keith Quinn: The day feeble All Black bosses made Jerry Collins take the rap' - The NZ Herald, 10 June 2015
Sarah Nealon, 'Sky Sports' Bernadine Oliver-Kerby shares her passion for sport' (Interview) Stuff website. Loaded 25 November 2021. Accessed 31 January 2022
Mikaela Wilkes, 'Meet the hosts of the new AM show: Melissa Chan-Green, Ryan Bridge, Bernadine Oliver-Kerby and William Waiirua' Stuff website. Loaded 27 January 2022. Accessed 31 January 2022
Unknown writer, 'Bernadine Oliver-Kerby' (broken link) TVNZ website. Accessed 20 May 2016
Unknown writer, 'TVNZ: Bernadine Oliver-Kerby ends full-time role and leaves One News', Stuff website. Loaded 19 February 2016. Accessed 31 January 2022