The grandmother of a young teenage girl who was forgotten and left alone at a Ministry for Vulnerable Children’s office after hours is speaking out.
Ngāti Kahungunu, Rongomaiwahine, Waikato Tainui, Ngāti Rārua o Te Ātiawa
Renee was born and raised in Waikato and educated at Te Wharekura Kaupapa Māori o Rākaumangamanga. Soon after leaving school she toured the world as a Polynesian dancer and a cultural youth ambassador for Aotearoa. Renee then went on to study dance at Auckland University but when she saw a news story about the establishment of a Māori television station, she decided to hang up her hula skirt and came up with a plan to shimmy her way into Māori Television. She soon graduated with a Diploma from NZ Radio Broadcasting School and landed a job at Radio Tainui hosting 3 on-air shows. A year later, Renee joined Te Kāea where she worked as a reporter for 5 years. She took a little time off to have babies and get married before returning full-time in 2012 to join the Native Affairs team. Renee says, "It’s like a dream job for me, working here at Māori Television is an absolute honour and privilege."