Whale Watch Kaikōura is celebrating its 30th year but it’s a tough one. The award winning tourism company was shaken to its core when the 7.8 earthquake struck last year. Just as everyone else in Kaikōura rebuilds so is the whānau run, legacy business.
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."