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From The Mouths Of Sporting Greats

26 April 2005

From The Mouths Of Sporting Greats On Maori Television

Maori Television has secured a coup with the premiere of a dynamic, new sports interview show presented by some of New Zealand’s top Maori sportspeople within a Maori context.

CODE will premiere on the channel on Thursday May 5 at 8.30 PM with rugby league legend Tawera Nikau, former Silver Fern / media personality Jenny-May Coffin and former New Zealand women’s number one tennis player Rewa Hudson at the helm.

Filmed each week at Maori Television’s studios, the interview-based half-hour series also introduces ‘The Brofessionals’ (aka former Super 12 and New Zealand Maori representatives Matua Parkinson and Slade McFarland) who will examine the lighter and quirkier side of sports – from Flair Bartendering to checking out Auckland’s latest attraction, Snow Planet.

The team is captained (self-appointed) by award-winning Maori broadcaster Julian Wilcox and keep all eyes peeled for cameo appearances from the Maori Elvis himself, Ray Bishop.

Tawera Nikau (Tainui) doesn’t stop at being an inspiration for Maori – he is an ambassador for the resilience that New Zealand prides itself on. An athlete of exceptional abilities with a solid background in the Australian NRL, he has overcome the tragic suicide of his wife Lutetia and a motorbike accident that resulted in the amputation of his left leg to become an iconic figure for all New Zealanders. Nicknamed ‘T’, the friendly giant from Huntly continues to coach at-risk youth and coach a local league team, while aiming his sights at the next Paralympics.

Jenny-May (Tainui) makes another notch to her media profile with her debut as co-host on CODE. A regular ‘auntie’ on Maori Television’s panel talk show Ask Your Auntie, Jenny-May is becoming more media savvy by the minute with her recent television exposure. Born in Te Kuiti, Jenny May forfeited an earlier career with the New Zealand Police to return to study at the University of Waikato after the demands of being a Silver Fern representative took precedence. A player with superb speed, agility, flair and vision, Jenny-May has played for three National Bank Cup Franchise Teams – Wildcats, Force and Magic. She is also a dual international – having represented New Zealand at touch rugby.

Huddy – otherwise known as former New Zealand Women’s tennis number one Rewa Hudson (Whakatohea) – is another welcome face to the CODE ranks. Fluent in te reo Maori, Rewa will co-host the interview segments alongside her peers, while also presenting the Nga Mata Kokori segment, which profiles up-and-coming Maori sportspeople. Rewa is the baby of the CODE crew, yet her youth is by no means an impediment as she held position as the Number One NZ Champion in 1998 and again in 1999.

The core presenting team is rounded out by the lingual expertise and sporting prowess of Maori Television presenter Julian Wilcox (Ngapuhi, Tuwharetoa, Te Arawa). Julian is a self-professed sports nut and aside from holding the titles of 400m champion at Te Aute College, Julian was the (self-appointed again) inspirational team leader of Maori Television’s social rugby league team!

Matua Parkinson (Te Whanau A Apanui / Ngati Hauitui) and Slade McFarland (Tuhoe) have paired up to become ‘The Brofessionals’. Suavely fitted in fashionably tight flares with the essential 70s-style headband, Matua cuts a fine figure when investigating the quirkier side of sports. The former Super 12, New Zealand Maori and New Zealand Sevens representative is destined for a cult following once The Brofessionals are launched. And, Slade – also a veteran of Super 12 and New Zealand rugby – will provide the staunch back-up required to pull off a ‘serious’ sports segment as a Brofessional. There is a reason why Slade’s nickname is Buddha!

CODE includes topical interviews each week with sportspeople making headlines in Aotearoa and abroad. It also features the I-Spy segment, which offers viewers an exclusive chance to find out what top sportspeople get up to away from the limelight. From Luke McAllister taking viewers for a spin in his pimped-up Ford Explorer to spending some quality time with Rico Gear and his beloved kuri Jobo, this segment sheds an exclusive light on the private lives of New Zealand’s sports stars.

CODE will continue to screen over 24 episodes, every Thursday night only on Maori Television at 8.30 PM.


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