Whetu Fala (Ngā Rauru ki tahi, Te Ati Haunui-ā-Paparangi, Samoa)
Te Kaiwhakahaere matua: Station Manager
Whetu leads the Awa FM team. Born and raised in Aramoho beside Te Awa Tupua she is an award winning actor, Director and Producer in Māori perfoming arts, film, media and television. Her first job however, was working for kaumatua that included Matt Huirua, Mike Osborne, Dave Teki at Māori Affairs Whanganui, Eddie Ashford, Sir Archie Taiaroa and Sir Hepi Te Heuheu in Taumarunui. Whetu is an elected Te Mātāwai representative on Māori Television Board, an elected Aō Māori trustee for Ngā Taongā Sound & Vision Film archives and an executive member of Te Whakaruruhau o ngā Reo Irirangi o Aōtearoa that represents the interests of 21 iwi radio and media stations. She feels fortunate to be at home working for Awa FM during this time of rapid transformation of platform and media.
Eruera Rerekura (Ngāti Rangi, Ngāti Ruaka)
Te Kaiwhakahaere hōtaka: Programme Director : Kai Pāho Parakuihi: Breakfast Show host
Eruera began his broadcasting career while still at St Augustine’s College (Now Cullinane College) as a 15 year old on Awa FM in its first year 1991. After that, he trained as a Journalist at NZ Broadcasting School worked at Te Korimako o Taranaki, and then going on to work at Radio NZ for ten years as Manu Korihi lead Māori reporter. He then transitioned to television news, as Political reporter based at the Press Gallery for Te Karere, Television NZ, a role that he held for five years . During this time he also found time to work at the prestigious Wellington iwi radio station, Te Upoko o te Ika as breakfast host and also on their flagship weekly current affairs show. Erueras’ return home as Programme Director has been a journey that has now come full circle.
Jane Peeti (Ngā Paerangi, Ngāti Rangi)
Kai Pāho Te Matapihi: Afternoon show host
Jane, a member of the well-known Peeti whanau, is active in local hapu, iwi and Māori community kaupapa. In between raising a teenage son and being part of the support team for her kōroua, Jane is the Chairman of Te Whariki Manaaki o Tatou Trust that aims to cater for all family members affected by domestic violence. In 2020 Jane graduated in an iwi radio course from Whitireia Polytechnic with a Diploma in Iwi Radio Broadcasting.
Manahi Cribb ( Ngā Paerangi, Te Arawa)
Kia Pāho mo Te Ata Hou: Morning show host
Manahi is a graduate of Te Kura Kokohuia and also holds a Diploma in Iwi Radio Broadcasting. A second generation announcer at Awa FM he is a proud partner and parent of two sons. Manahi is involved in local music and is a member of well-known Te Matapihi Whanganui kapa haka roopu. He has already stood at five national championships, Te Matatini representing Aōtea region and is looking forward to many more.
Rima Ririnui (Ngāti Tuera, Ngāti Hineraro)
Te Kaikaute: Administrator Kāi pāho Kanikani: Lunch Dance hour host
Rima our administrator also doubles as the Awa FM lunch hour R & B maestro. She has a background in local and national government administration and joined Awa FM in 2010. Based in Ratana Pā her whakapapa to Te Awa Tūpua includes iwi and hapu from the moungā all the way to the sea. On her Ririnui side, she also close ties to her Tauranga family. Although her son is now an adult, Rima remembers well the fundraising voluntary work for their local Kohanga reo and traces her interest in Whanganui reo music to growing up with Native te reo Māori parents.
Moana Ellis (Uenuku, Tamahaki)
Local Democracy Reporter Awa FM 2021
Moana is the first Māori to be appointed as a Local Democracy Reporter in Aōtearoa and also the first full-time journalist at Awa FM. Moana has worked in Wellington and around the world as a reporter, but Ruapehu has always been home for her. She has 30+ years professional and community leadership and is a mum of three with a business degree and has worked for Ruapehu in Treaty settlements. Prior to taking up her role for Awa FM Moana was a Whanganui Regional Museum board member and the Uenuku representative on Te Kōpuka strategy group for Te Awa Tupua.
Ngāmetua Areaiiti (Mangaia, Cook Islands)
Kai paho Rarotonga: Cook Islands language show Saturdays 5pm – 6pm
Ngā was born and raised on Mangaia, the southernmost island of the Cook Islands, South Pacific. His Saturday show takes in the news and events of the local Whanganui-Manawatū Cook Islands community. A proud Papa and grandfather of Te Awa Tupua mokopuna, he is also a well known ukelele player. His show is one of the longest running Cook Island radio shows in Aōtearoa after he took over from Papa Tom and Mama Nina who broadcast the show for over 22 years on Awa FM.
Silo Naqasimaratu and Ben Seru (Fiji)
Ngā Kai Pāho Fiji: Fiji language show Saturdays 6pm – 7pm
Silo emigrated to Whanganui – Manwatū region over 25 years ago from her village in Fiji. Well-known in local Pasifika circles due to her advocacy for supporting Pasifika women survivors of domestic violence, she is joined by fellow Fijian Ben Seru who works as a social worker for Te Oranganui. Together they bring the Voice of Fiji from Whanganui show each week for their regional and national fellow Fijians.
Hamuera Wiparata (Ngāpuhi)
He reo pāho akongā : Awa FM media intern
Our 2021 Awa FM media intern Hamuera graduated from Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Tūpoho Whanganui with NCEA 1 (Merit) 2, 3 in 2020. During that year he also participated in the AWA FM kura kaupapa taiohi weekly broadcasting programme where we offer senior students an opportunity to gain work experience in Māori media.
Hamuera has represented his kura at Waka Ama Nationals 2016 – 2019 and also in Marae Wars Whanganui 2016 – 2019. In Kapa Haka he has stood at 2015 – 2016 secondary school nationals.
As our 2021 intern Hamuera will focus on reo journalism.