Born and raised in Wainuiomata near Wellington, Gabrielle Paringatai-Lemisio grew up in a house where te reo was spoken every day.
Paringatai-Lemisio is Ngāti Porou on her father's side and Ngāti Ruanui, Ngā Rauru and Ngāti Hine on her mother’s. The fluent Māori speaker studied at Sacred Heart College in Lower Hutt, then completed a degree in primary school teaching. She went on to teach for three years in the Māori language unit at her old school, Pukeatua Primary.
While watching TV one day, she saw that youth show Mai Time were looking for presenters. The long-running show used both te reo and English to introduce music, travel pieces and comedy skits. Parangatai-Lemisio decided to audition." The scariest part was the auditions," she said. "I thought I'd blown my chances because I was so nervous".
She joined Olly Coddington as co-host in 2007. The show was about to be reinvented: later that same year Paringatai-Lemisio featured in the last episode, when Mai Time was finally axed after a 12 year run.
Coddington and Paringatai-Lemisio would work together again on Mai Time's successor, I AM TV. Pairing this time with a third presenter, Candice Davis, they left the studio behind to present from varied locations on the road. In the same period Paringatia-Lemisio joined Mātai Smith for a stint co-hosting Māori language learning programme Kōrerō Mai.
Paringatai-Lemisio left I AM TV in 2008 at the end of the show's first year, to become a parent. She bowed out in this end of season special, shot on the rooftop of TVNZ's Auckland headquarters.
After concentrating on raising children, Paringatai-Lemisio returned to television to research and write for TVNZ's Good Morning, until the show moved to Auckland in 2012. She went on to contract to Wellington company Te Amokura Productions as a writer and researcher, where she has worked on shows Gate to the Globe and quiz show Patapātai.
Paringatai-Lemisio has also developed and designed education resources in both te reo and English, for teachers and students.
'Gabrielle Paringatai' (Interview) Wicked website. Accessed 19 February 2018
Poi Hopes and Dreams: Gabrielle (Web series) Director Lanita Ririnui-Ryan (Through The Fire, 2017)
'Gabrielle Paringatai-Lemisio' LinkedIn website. Accessed 19 February 2018
Unknown writer, 'Our People - Gabrielle Paringatai-Lemisio' Te Amokura Productions website. Accessed 19 February 2018