Te Arahi Maipi is a kura kaupapa graduate from Huntly who grew up wanting to be a rugby league star. He quickly realised that wasn’t going to happen, so his dream shifted to being a sports commentator. For the past 10 years he has lived his dream working on some of the biggest sporting events in the country. Te Arahi is really excited about working on Ata Mārie Waitangi this year with co-host Billie Jo Ropiha-Hohepa.
|What is your most vivid childhood memory of Waitangi Day?
I can’t really remember but now that I have my own tamariki I love taking them out to Cornwallis Beach for the day. There’s a big pohutukawa tree we always set up under, hopefully when they grow up they’ll have really fond memories of Waitangi Day with the whānau at the beach under our tree.
|What are you looking forward to the most in presenting the upcoming Waitangi show?
Meeting incredible, motivational people. We’ve had some incredible guests from all walks of life so I can’t wait to get a glimpse into their interesting lives.
|Which Waitangi show talent are you most excited about meeting?
The WAILERS! How cool is that?! I’m a huge Bob Marley fan and I love reggae music. This group is iconic not just for their music but for the messages they’ve given the world about rights, beliefs and their indigenous culture. I couldn’t think of a better band to share the day with.
|What is the best thing about living in Aotearoa?
It’s so relaxed and it really is a beautiful place. My favourite thing is going to watch tamariki play netball or league and heaps of people on the side lines are encouraging and supporting their kids in Te Reo Māori. It’s the only place in the world where you can get that, plus the food here is unreal!
|Who is your New Zealand idol?
Willie Apiata is my ultimate hero! He’s courageous, humble and straight up cool. Plus a man with a beard like that demands respect!
|What makes New Zealand great?
Everything! It’s beautiful, the people are cool, it’s relaxed and it’s a great place for our tamariki to grow up. Everything you could ever want to do isn’t too far away.