Ernie Leonard spent time as a soldier, a railways clerk and public relations officer. His first television job was as an actor on Pukemanu, and he became a household name co-presenting wrestling show On the Mat. In 1986 Leonard became the first head of TVNZ's Māori Programmes Department. When he retired, a search of the TVNZ Archives database yielded 38,000 references to him or programmes he'd been associated with.
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.
Manu Bennett’s acting career has seen him battling Roman gladiators, teaching salsa on acclaimed movie Lantana, and creeping out both superheroes and the staff of Shortland Street.
Reporter Garth Bray’s education encompasses Kaitaia College, AUT, DJing on far north station Te Hiku 97.1 FM, and newsreading on Auckland’s 95bFM. On screen, the self confessed "politics tragic" has covered multiple elections for One News, served as a TVNZ correspondent in Australia and Europe, and was nominated for a Qantas TV Award for a 2005 Sunday report. In 2014 he joined the team on Fair Go.
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.