Nayte is Samoan and joined TAGATA PASIFIKA in 2017 as an intern. He is an AUT graduate with a Bachelor of Communications.
Intern News Camera Op/Editor
Reina Vaai grew up in South Auckland and is proud to be Samoan. She attended the University of Auckland and graduated with a conjoint degree in Bachelor of Arts (majoring in English) and Bachelor of Laws and during her time there was President of the Pacific Law Association. As well as reporting for TAGATA PASIFIKA in 2017 Reina is also working as a criminal defence lawyer in Manukau. Pursuing her passion in both law and media has not only allowed her to connect with people from all walks of life but more importantly, she is grateful for the opportunity to use storytelling as a way to serve her Pacific community. Reina is fluent in the Samoan language.
Johnson is a proud Cook Islands broadcaster who joined the TAGATA PASIFIKA team in February 2016 with an interest in connecting with the Pacific Islands community and telling their stories authentically. Johnson has a background in mainstream radio (Flava FM announcer) and television presenting (What Now, Operation Hero, Polyfest). Johnson’s other interests and work includes academic education, emerging digital platforms, Pacific Island governorship and an ambassador for Variety NZ and Duffy Books charities. He has a Masters in Communications from AUT.
Alistar is of Cook Island, Māori (Ngapuhi) descent and has a Masters in Communication Studies from AUT.
She became particularly interested in broadcast journalism and won the John Foy memorial award for excellence. Alistar has been with TAGATA PASIFIKA since 2016.
Karima joined TAGATA PASIFIKA in 2012 after concluding his Bachelor of Arts degree in Film and Music at Victoria University. He worked primarily as a camera assistant before becoming a reporter in 2013.
Karima is of Samoan descent from the villages of Magiagi and Vailima. He holds the title of Anauli from the village of Tanugamanono in Upolu.
Soana joined the team in 2010 after having lived in London for a number of years and has a background in both the Finance and Airline industries.
She has covered a range of jobs for TAGATA PASIFIKA starting with co-ordinating multimedia content then moving into reporting and directing.
Born and educated in Auckland, Soana is a graduate from AUT University and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication majoring in Radio and has a certificate in Journalism.
Proud of her heritage, Soana is from Kolomotu’a and Kolofo’ou in Nukualofa, Tongatapu.
Reporter/Presenter/Director – WELLINGTON BASED
Sanele joined TAGATA PASIFIKA in 2013. Prior to this, he worked at TV3 as a 3 News reporter in Auckland.
He is a graduate of the New Zealand Broadcasting School, where he was awarded the John Foy Memorial Award for excellence in radio news in 2011. He also has an Arts degree in film and religious studies from Victoria University.
Sanele is of Samoan descent and holds the matai title Seinafolava from the village of Lano in Savai’i. He is from the villages of Afega and Lotofaga, Aleipata.
John is from Holopeka – Ha‘apai & Kolomotu‘a – Nuku‘alofa, Tongatapu.
John caught the bug for the industry since working with TAGATA PASIFIKA in 2005. Since then, he continued on to study at Auckland University of Technology graduating in 2009 with a Bachelor of Communication Studies degree majoring in Television.
John is particularly passionate about utilising the media as an outlet to convey the rich culture and heritage of Pacific people. This inspired his documentaries “Kava Commune” and “The Modern Afo of Tonga” which is influenced by his strong Tongan roots.
Whilst completing his degree, John has worked as a part-time reporter covering news items for the Tongan community on T-News and also Pacific radio. This earned him the Spasifik Prize and Storyboard Award for diversity Journalism in 2010. “I’m a firm believer that Pacific people deserve to be served by and represented in the media, highlighting social issues affecting their community.” This is a goal that John aims to work towards since joining TAGATA PASIFIKA.
Marama studied at the New Zealand Broadcasting School before gaining an internship at Radio 531pi in Auckland in 1997.
As a mid-morning afternoon announcer her show had an emphasis on current affairs with daily interviews covering issues affecting Pacific peoples.
In 2001 Marama moved into news reporting, responsible for daily Pacific and local news bulletins and updates.
In 2003 she became producer for Niu FM’s breakfast show as well as morning newsreader. Since 2002 she has also been a reporter for a weekly Polynesian youth radio show, Te Puutake. Marama joined TAGATA PASIFIKA in a freelance capacity in 2004 and since 2006 has been a regular contributor to the programme.
These days, Marama is a full time Mum and presents the show with John Pulu.
Sarah joined TAGATA PASIFIKA in 2017 as a Production Intern. Prior to this she worked in the arts sector, as a Creative New Zealand Pasifika Intern, and as a TV Caption Producer for Able NZ.
She studied at Victoria University of Wellington, graduating with a BA (Hons) in English.
Sarah is of Palagi and Samoan descent and is from her dad’s village of Sato’alepai in Savai’i.
(News Editor) Producer
John Utanga is a Cook Islander, born and bred in Rarotonga. He moved to New Zealand to attend Auckland University and “never went home”. John has been a journalist in New Zealand for nearly 20 years and joined TAGATA PASIFIKA in 1994 after a few years on newspapers.
With a background in hard news reporting, John has carried that on into his television career.
John is on AUT’s Pacific Media Centre advisory committee and is a founding member of the Pacific Islands Media Association (PIMA) and is the co-author of ‘Patterns of The Past: Tattoo Revival In The Cook Islands’. Outside of work, John’s interests include politics and endurance sport.
Ngaire has been in the television industry for 30 years and has a wealth of experience in production. Starting in the Maori & Pacific Programmes Department at TVNZ in the late ‘80s working with the late Ernie Leonard and Whai Ngata, she worked on productions from 1988 Telethon, 1990 Commonwealth Games right through to presenting on shows like TAGATA PASIFIKA, Town and Country, NZ Living and going on to production work with TAGATA PASIFIKA.
While working at TVNZ’s Maori & Pacific Programmes, Ngaire started her musical career and had some success as a recording artist. She released her debut album “Ngaire” in 1991 and is best known for her 1990 remake of the Lulu classic “To Sir with Love” which stayed at No 1 for 5 weeks on the National Charts.
Ngaire also produced the television coverage of the 2011 Polynesian Blue Pacific Music Awards (a finalist for the Best Multi-cam broadcast in the 2011 AFTAs), the 2012/2013/2014 Pacific Music Awards and the 2011/2013 NZ Pacific Island Sports Awards. Ngaire was also Associate Producer on the NZ Film Commission short film “Snow in Paradise” which debuted at the 2012 Berlinale and Producer of “Ma” that screened in the 2014 Cannes Film Festival’s Short Film Corner, Hawaii Film Festival, NZ International Film Festival and imagineNATIVE.
After many years behind the camera, Ngaire was again in the spotlight when the camera followed her on her maiden voyage to Rotuma in the TAGATA PASIFIKA documentary “Salat Se Rotuma”, a moving story about cultural identity, a professional and personal highlight so far in her career.
Ngaire is a Director of SunPix Ltd.
Stephen has worked in broadcasting since 1987. He began as a Trainee Producer’s Assistant on Koha.
Since then he has worked on other productions such as the 1990 Commonwealth Games, Marae, Telethon, and the documentary “Maori Battalion March to Victory”.
In 1991 he became a Director for TAGATA PASIFIKA and a year later became Producer of the Bugs Bunny Show. Stephen was Producer of TAGATA PASIFIKA from 1993 to 2014, when he handed over the Producer role to Ngaire Fuata and John Utanga.
Stephen also serves on a number of Community Organisations adding a Pasifika voice at board level on the AUT Council as a member – appointed 2011, and Chairperson of the Pacific Islands Dance Fono Trust. He is also a member of the YMCA Marathon Club governing committee. He was formerly on Board of the National Pacific Radio Trust until 2017, former member of the Film and Literature Board of Review, and former chairperson of the Fashion Pasifika Trust.
Stephen is the Managing Director of SunPix Ltd.
Stephen’s matai title is Taualeo’o and is from his grandmother’s village of Sagone in Savaii. Stephen was appointed as a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the 2008 New Year’s Honours.
Stephen tries to run with the YMCA Marathon Club on Sundays