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PMN Cook Islands will receive a special commendation by the NZ Radio & Podcast Awards.



Pasifika to be recognised at prestigious media awards

From the PMN Cook Islands language show to PMN Tonga and Tagata Pasifika co-host John Pulu, PMN News lays out who's up for what at the upcoming media awards.

The talent and trailblazing work ethic of Pacific people are renowned across the motu, serving their loved ones, and communities.

Their dedication and innovation have not gone unnoticed.

As a result of those undying qualities and commitment, some of them have been recognised for prestigious awards this year.

NZ Radio & Podcast Awards - Best Pacific Language Programme

Due to insufficient entries, this category will not be awarded, however, PMN's 531pi radio show PMN Cook Islands will be given a special commendation due to the quality of the entry.

Hosted by Tauraki Raea, Jeannie Pera, Susnation Seta, Ernestina Bonsu-Maro, Caroline Bishop and Ngaire Karati, PMN Cook Islands aims to uplift their culture and motherland.


The commendation includes the aforementioned hosts alongside PMN's Language Programme Director Matt Tufuga, General Manager of Content Susana Guttenbeil, and Tavake Kamana.

Airing every Monday from 3 PM to Tuesday at 6 AM, the show encourages Cook Island communities from around the world to speak their language and share their community notices and stories.

They also have a Facebook page where you can catch interviews you may have missed.

NZ Radio & Podcast Awards - Best Sports Podcast

PMN's Audio Engineer Harrison Edwards has been named a finalist alongside his team for RNZ National's Fair Game: Pacific Rugby Against the World podcast.

The nomination includes Edwards alongside Katy Gosset, John Daniell, James Nokise, Justin Gregory, Tim Watkin, Rangi Powick, and Jeremy Ansell.

The podcast acknowledges how rugby brings joy, money, and a sense of identity to the Pacific Islands but questions how badly they are treated by those who run the game.

Episodes have featured talanoa on whether Pasifika players are compensated for their contributions to the game, structural racism, geopolitical resource gaps, and more.

You can catch the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and iHeart Radio via RNZ's site (where you can listen to it there too).

NZ Radio & Podcast Awards - Best Pacific Podcast

The aforementioned Fair Game podcast has also been nominated for this award alongside the Flava's Island Roots, Auckland Ways.

The podcast co-hosts are longtime friends and "children of South Auckland", Mariner Fagaiava, host of Flava Drive, and Allyssa Verner-Pula, emerging academic.

Co-hosts Mariner Fagaiava and Allyssa Verner-Pula. Photo/Flava/NZME/iHeart Radio

Both in their early 20s, they share a love of cheap eats, the club, and the comfort of living at home.

Fagaiava and Verner-Pula produce weekly episodes with special guests, covering topics like mental health, speaking your language, and navigating predominantly white spaces as brown people.

Guests have included Tongan actor JP Foliaki, online sensation Lisa Perese-Collin, and Niu FM's co-hosts Sia Petelo and Henry Hohenberger.

The nomination includes the aforementioned co-hosts alongside iHeart Radio Executive Producer of Podcasts Helen King and Flava's Content Director Marty Hehewerth.

The podcast's Instagram drops clips from the show which is available on Spotify.

Voyager Media Awards - Le Mana Awards

PMN Tonga/TP's John Pulu

PMN Tonga host and Tagata Pasifika co-host, John Pulu, is one of three finalists for the Le Mana Awards.

On Pulu's PMN Tonga language show, he interviews various community members and leaders, to share the language, culture, and heritage of Tonga while highlighting issues and current events affecting Tongan communities.

PMN Tonga airs every Wednesday from 3 PM to Thursday at 6 AM and also has a Facebook page where you can catch interviews you may have missed.

The PMN Tonga Team, on air every Wednesday. Photo/Supplied

Having graduated in 2009 with a Bachelor of Communication Studies in Television from AUT University, Pulu joined TVNZ's Tagata Pasifika team in 2010, where their show can be viewed here.

1news's Indira Stewart

Indira Stewart, Multimedia In-Depth Journalist for TVNZ's 1news, is also a finalist for the Le Mana Awards.

The well-known Tongan-Fijian journalist has crucial stories across the Pacific and in NZ, including her recent exclusive The Wesley way: challenging a culture of abuse and secrecy, which covered students of the college who were subjected to, and been protectors of, a culture of abuse.

TP's Soana 'Aholelei

Tagata Pasifika's Soana 'Aholelei is the final finalist for the Le Mana Awards.

'Aholelei is Tongan and a reporter and director who has covered a range of stories including Autism's impact on Pacific families, the tributes for the passing of Pacific leader Fa'anānā Efeso Collins, Pacific Arts and more.

Voyager Media Awards - Best (shortform) Video of the Year

TVNZ's Pacific Correspondent Barbara Dreaver is a finalist for the Best (shortform) Video of the Year, from her coverage of last year's Auckland CBD shooting on Queen Street.

The Kiribati-born journalist began her career in journalism in the Cook Islands and has since then covered a range of major stories involving scam busts to tragedies such as the 2019 measles epidemic in Sāmoa.