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Native Affairs Welcomes New Reporters

Friday February 1, 2013

Native Affairs Welcomes New Reporters to Its Award-Winning Team

Maori Television is excited to welcome journalists Ruwani Perera and Billie Jo Ropiha to its award-winning current affairs show, NATIVE AFFAIRS, which returns to air on March 11.

Producer Annabelle Lee-Harris says she is delighted with the new appointments.

"Ruwani and Billie Jo are top television journalists who bring with them a wealth of experience in news and current affairs broadcasting and we are thrilled to have them join our team.”

Ropiha (Ngapuhi, Te Rarawa, Te Atiawa) comes to NATIVE AFFAIRS after eight years at Television New Zealand. She reported on One News, Tonight and 4.30pm news shows before moving into a presenting role on TVNZ News Now and news at 8pm for three years.

Ropiha, who grew up in Moerewa in the Bay of Islands and Waima in the Hokianga, says she is excited about her role at NATIVE AFFAIRS.

“I’m committed to continuing their philosophy to produce in-depth current affairs news stories from a Maori and Indigenous worldview.”

Perera, a familiar face on the nation’s television screens, joins NATIVE AFFAIRS after 12 years with Television New Zealand.

During that time she worked on several shows within their news and current affairs department including Breakfast, One News and four years on consumer watchdog programme Fair Go.

Born in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Perera spent most of her childhood in Kawerau in the Bay of Plenty, which has given her a deep appreciation of Maori culture and the issues important to Maori.

“There are some incredible stories out there that affect Maori. I’d like to highlight injustices but also celebrate the amazing ‘good news’ tales that are out there”.

Perera and Ropiha join reporters Iulia Leilua, Adrian Stevanon and Semiramis Holland on the NATIVE AFFAIRS team.

Presenter Julian Wilcox was this week promoted to the role of General Manager of News and Current Affairs at Maori Television. His replacement on NATIVE AFFAIRS will be announced at the end of February.


NATIVE AFFAIRS kicks off on Monday March 11 at 8.30pm for another year of 100 per cent New Zealand-produced news and current affairs.

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