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Ernestina Bonsu-Maro with the three Māngere College hosts, from left; Kasey Wehi, Tulei Salu and Manuia Fox-Romia on their new podcast Teens of the 275.

Ernestina Bonsu-Maro with the three Māngere College hosts, from left; Kasey Wehi, Tulei Salu and Manuia Fox-Romia on their new podcast Teens of the 275.

Photo/ PMN News


High school podcasters hope to inspire Pacific youth to dream big

New PMN podcast is giving Māngere students a chance to grill some of the Pacific's leading media personalities.

Justin Latif
Justin Latif
01 December 2023, 3:48pm
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A new podcast is aiming to inspire young people to take on industries not normally associated with Pacific communities by giving students the chance to interview those who have managed to break down stereotypes and succeed where others haven't.

The Teens of the 275 podcast is a produced by PMN News in partnership with the Māngere-based community news initiative 275 Times.

In the first two episodes Māngere College’s Kasey Wehi, Tulei Salu and Manuia Fox-Romia hosted two amazing guests who have excelled in journalism and fashion, Mariner Fagaiava-Muller and Ernestina Bonsu-Maro.

In the first episode, the students spoke with Fagaiava-Muller about his journey from shy kid at De La Salle College in Māngere East to becoming one of NZ’s most well-known Pacific media personalities.

Fagaiava-Muller also speaks about what he sees as the biggest challenges facing his community and how we need to see more Pacific youth getting into the world of journalism.


In the second episode, the students interviewed Bonsu-Maro, who is a former Miss Cook Islands NZ and radio host about how she went from being a carefree Māngere College student to starting her own modelling agency and hosting a show on 531pi.

In a lively conversation she also shares her plans for helping others find their own place in the entertainment industry.

And for the debutant hosts, the experience of interviewing guests on a podcast has made an immediate impact.

Year 12 student Tulei Salu says its already one of the most “memorable moments” of her life.

“It has helped me in so many ways possible, from enhancing my confidence skills to making new connections,” she says.

“Furthermore, it was a great opportunity to meet such inspiring and intelligent people like Mariner and Tina.”

Kasey Wehi, who’s in their last year at college says interviewing successful Mangere residents was particularly inspiring.

“I learnt that regardless of your upbringing, you are able to thrive in 'white spaces' and you can succeed in any career of your choosing. The fact that we were able to learn about these stories of successful brown people and share it to others is an honour.”

The youngest of the hosts, year 11 student Manuia Fox-Romia, says she was initially quite nervous about hosting a podcast, but the PMN staff and her fellow hosts “made me feel super comfortable and supported”.

And she hopes others are inspired by what’s discussed in the first two episodes.

“I hope that young people especially the ones in Māngere see themselves in these successful role models and aim to reach for the stars no matter how far away those stars may seem.”

Māngere College communications manager and co-editor of 275 Times Jo Latif helped produce the podcast, along PMN's Joseph Safiti, Eroti Navuku and Justin Latif.

She says it's so important giving young people the chance to get more involved with the media.

“We have so many talented young people in our communities, and so opportunities like this are a great way to showcase that - and also allow them to shape the story rather than someone else doing it for them.”

*Watch out for future episodes on the PMN website video section.

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