Māori Television announces new Native Affairs line up

Respected New Zealand broadcasters will launch a new direction for Māori Television’s current affairs leader Native Affairs.

Award-winning sports journalist Rewa Harriman, pioneer broadcaster Wena Harawira, political newshound Maiki Sherman and multiple award-winning presenter Mātai Smith are joining the Native Affairs team.

Co-presenters Billie-Jo Hohepa Ropiha and Ward Kamo will anchor the refreshed format, combining insights and acute analysis.

Head of News and Current Affairs Maramena Roderick says Native Affairs is poised to trail blaze a new era in New Zealand journalism.

“Audiences are changing.  We need to respond to this with a team who can face the challenge head on,” says Ms Roderick.

She said Ms Hohepa Ropiha had proven her mettle in recent investigations and is more than ready for a leading role.

Mr Kamo cut his teeth on the long format interview show, Focus, but his experience in senior advisory roles in government and private sector will bring a unique perspective on the issues.

“Native Affairs has proven it’s not afraid to ask the hard questions and Ward’s broad understanding of issues will help cut through the spin.

“Rewa, Maiki and Wena will join the existing reporting team and file stories from around the country and Mātai will file from Australia and New Zealand.”

Ms Roderick says securing such highly regarded broadcasters to join the reporting team of Ruwani Perera, Iulia Leilua and Renee Kahukura is testimony to the standing of Māori Television’s news and current affairs offering. 

Ward Kamo (Ngāti Mutunga, Ngāi Tahu) has been the general manager at Ngāti Mutunga o Wharekauri Iwi Trust since 2012.  Ward has worked in the diplomatic service and has advised across health, immigration and forestry sectors.

Billie-Jo Hohepa Ropiha (Ngāpuhi, Te Rarawa, Te Ātiawa) will co-host the show with Mr Kamo. She joined the Native team in 2013 after working as a TVNZ reporter and presenter for eight years on shows including One News and Tonight.

Mātai Smith (Rongowhakaata, Ngāi Tāmanuhiri, Ngāti Kahungunu) is a well-known and experienced television personality who has appeared on Pūkana, Kōrero Mai, Whānau and Hōmai Te Pakipaki. He has also been a Good Morning show host. He won the best male te reo Māori television presenter award at the Māori Media Awards in 2005, 2006 and 2007. In 2012 he won best presenter in the entertainment/factual category of the New Zealand Television Awards.

Maiki Sherman (Ngāpuhi, Te Whakatōhea, Tainui) has worked at Māori Television as political reporter based at Parliament in Wellington since 2013. Prior to that she spent three years as a reporter with Te Karere.  She also worked in print media at the Whakatane Beacon and has a Diploma of Journalism from Waiariki Polytech.

Rewa Harriman (Te Whakatōhea, Te Māhurehure) was a professional tennis player. She spent two years learning te reo Māori and then landed a job at Radio Waatea in 2004. Ms Harriman joined the Te Kāea news team as a general reporter in 2010 and is now a senior reporter and producer. She won the Māori Sports Awards media award in 2014 for coverage of the Māori All Blacks Tour.

Wena Harawira (Ngāi Tūhoe, Ngāi Te Rangi, Ngāti Ranginui) is a pioneering female Māori journalist and was the first female presenter and reporter on TVNZ’s Te Karere news more than 20 years ago. She is a published author and editor, radio and magazine journalist and is one of the most respected broadcasters in New Zealand.


Lana Simmons-Donaldson
Communications Manager
Tumu Whakapā
Email: lana.simmons-donaldson@maoritelevision.com
DDI: + 64 9 539-7159
Cell: +64 21 821-483