Olly Coddington won fame as one of the presenters of bilingual youth show Mai Time, and its successor I AM TV. Since leaving I AM TV in 2009, he has taken on a range of screen roles, from on air work to producing Māori Television reality show Game of Bros. Coddington is a fluent speaker of te reo Māori.
Māori and Cook Island producer and director Lanita Ririnui has made a career telling the stories of youth, women, Māori and Pacific Islanders. Her extensive CV includes Pasifika youth show Fresh, Māori Television's flagship sports show Code, and interactive website Poi 360.
Quinton Hita's broadcasting career has included stints as DJ, writer, actor and producer. His abilities in te reo first took Hita to radio, then a gig co-presenting TV's Mai Time. He went on to act in Crooked Earth and Shortland Street, where he also did time as a writer and Māori script editor. These days head of Kura Productions, Hita has produced many shows for Māori Television — plus his first feature, reggae tale Mt Zion.
Ex rapper Te Hamua Nikora cut his screen teeth as an early presenter of pioneering Māori youth show Pūkana (back when it was called Tūmeke). Later he became well known as a host of Kai Time on the Road, and as the bald-headed, big-hearted frontman of popular Māori TV karaoke shows Homai te Pakipaki and its successor Sidewalk Karaoke. In 2017 he teamed up with Laughing Samoan Tofiga Fepulea’i, for comedy show Hamu and Tofiga. Nikora has stood twice for the Mana Party in the Ikaroa-Rāwhiti electorate; he has hosted music and sports awards, Te Matatini, and is a motivational speaker and advocate for men’s health.
Kim Webby first began directing while working as a TVNZ reporter. Alongside stints on Fair Go and 60 Minutes, she has directed a range of documentaries for both TVNZ and Māori Television. October 15, her film on the 2007 police raids, was nominated for an Aotearoa Television Award; in 2015 she helmed feature-length companion piece The Price of Peace, which screened at the 2015 NZ Film Festival.
John Anderson got busy directing a run of television dramas in the 1980s, including award-winning Polynesian road movie Mark ll, and two of the final works by playwright Bruce Mason. The onetime actor reinvented himself as a documentary filmmaker in the 90s, then relocated to Kiribati, where he worked on more than 400 films covering everything from climate change to dance. Anderson died in Kiribati on 19 August 2016.
Actor, writer and director Rawiri Paratene, ONZM, first sprang into the public eye on the iconic Play School and comedy shows like Joe and Koro. In 1999 he played gangmember Mulla Rota in the sequel to Once Were Warriors, and four years later was seen around the globe as the stubborn grandfather in Whale Rider. In 2010 he won further acclaim after starring in movie The Insatiable Moon.
Lisa Taouma has a laufala bag spilling over with Pasifika screen credits. She has directed on Tagata Pasifika, helmed TV2’s Polyfest and made documentaries on subjects from Samoan tattoo to fa’afafine. She produces pioneering PI youth show Fresh with Mario Gaoa, and in 2014 launched Polynesian online community Coconet. Taouma also wrote short films Brown Sugar and Talk of the Town.
His name was synonymous with entertainment in New Zealand. Dubbed Ol' Brown Eyes — Māoridom's version of Frank Sinatra — Howard Morrison's voice and charisma carried him through decades of success both here and abroad. From the Howard Morrison Quartet to time as a solo performer, Morrison's take on songs like 'How Great Thou Art' ensured his waiata an enduring place at the top of local playlists.
Kimo Houltham was raised in Rotorua, and grew up speaking Māori. He performed kapa haka for tourists as his first job, and got his screen break as a 16-year-old at a speech competition, when a TV producer suggested he audition for Māori Television’s flagship youth show HAA. Hosting gigs on music series LIPS, rangatahi shows I AM TV and talent quest The Stage - Haka Fusion followed. Alongside work as a high school teacher, Houltham has also acted: he was one of the warriors in te reo action feature The Dead Lands, and the heroine’s gay best friend in Rotorua-set TV drama This is Piki.