QUINTON HITA | Executive Producer

Quinton Hita started his decade long career in the media with a job writing Māori news for Kia Ora FM in Manawatu whilst teaching Māori at the local city council. This led to a job presenting Mai Time on TV2 for two years, working at the same time for Ruia Mai where he produced, wrote, and presented Ka Hao te Rangatahi.

After Mai Time, Quinton was approached by Harper Collins to write a book teaching Māori language to rangatahi – Q’s Course in Māori was the result. Quinton then went north for six months to work at Tautoko FM as an announcer, after which, he returned to Auckland to take up a full time announcer’s job at Mai FM.

During this time, he produced Te Kete Takiwa for Ruia Mai and the Ministry of Education. Shortly afterwards Quinton joined the Māori children’s television series Pukana as the show’s anchor, a three year stint covering a number of positions including presenter, writer, director and Te Reo Māori consultant.

An appointment to the board of the Māori Language Commission began a six year term as a youth representative on that board.

Quinton took time off throughout this period to act in three films, culminating in a two year contract as part of the core cast of Shortland Street, where he eventually traded in his acting hat for that of writer and Māori script editor.

Now head of Kura Productions (a joint venture with South Pacific Pictures), Quinton has executive produced or produced over 250 hours of television. He has also produced two internationally acclaimed short films - The Speaker and Taua.

More recently Quinton took on the role of presenter as well as Executive Producer in Kura Productions’ latest series, Kōwhao Rau.

KAREN WAAKA | Producer

Karen Te-O-Kahurangi Waaka is a highly motivated Maori woman with an impressive career that spans tourism, health and the arts and is inspired by her commitment to progressing Māori development.

With over 25 years experience as a cultural entertainer, promoting New Zealand and Māoridom through China, United States, Germany, and Japan, Karen has had management roles with The Rotorua International Māori Entertainers, Tarawera NZ Ltd, NZ Māori Arts and Crafts Institute.

She chaired the Māori Regional Tourism Organisation – Māori in Tourism Rotorua for 10 years and has served on national boards at key strategic levels for the industry; including the Māori Tourism Advisory Group to the NZ Tourism Strategy 2010, the Ministerial Advisory Group on Immigration, NZ Tourism Research Council and the Aotearoa Māori Tourism Federation.

Karen currently heads the Māori Trademarks Advisory Group, which provides advice to the Commissioner of the Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand on trademarks that include references to Māori that may be likely to cause offence. She has also worked for Māori health provider in Rotorua as an independent contractor.

Karen found a new niche in 2004 providing production services to independent Māori television companies. Karen met Quinton Hita through her partner and when Kura Productions was formed, Quinton called on her services to assist with word research and finding the talent for the first series of his new Māori language quiz show Kupuhuna. Following this, Karen has continued to produce shows for Kura Productions, including:

Kupuhuna, series two - four,
The children’s show Pukoro, series two - four,
Search4Stars – Rangatahi Talent Show,
Kōwhao Rau
three series of TŌKU REO.

“We are building a great pool of talented, motivated Maori speaking crew, and making cool innovative shows for our Maori communities. I love being able to do what I love and get paid too!”

background image