25 Oct 2018

Legend of television: Tini Molyneux

7:36 pm on 25 October 2018

Renowned Māori broadcaster Tini Molyneux of Tūhoe will be this year's recipient of the Television Legend award.

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Photo: RNZ / Eden More

The award recognises her 30 years in broadcasting and the huge impact she has had on those reporters and journalists who are following in her footsteps.

Ms Molyneux worked at Te Karere, Waka Huia, Marae and for 10 years was the One News Māori Affairs correspondent.

Her television career came about quite by accident after a chance meeting with Hone Edwards, Robert Pouwhare and Derek Wooster which then led to an invitation to audition for newsreading.

"My sister worked in the media industry and thoroughly enjoyed it, as well as all the drama and everything that went with television."

She said they heard her speaking Māori and that's where it all started.

At the time she was working at Air New Zealand which she thought was the 'be all and end all' career because of the cheap flights and holidays.

"I thought that's where I wanted to be and it would allow me, my husband and my family to travel the world a lot more."

She didn't think she could cope with being on television as she's not a person that puts herself out there.

"I was sitting in this big huge studio and there was nobody else around except somebody speaking down my ear.

"I couldn't actually read an autocue because I didn't realise that the faster you spoke the faster the auto-cue rolled."

Tini Molyneux was a fixture on New Zealand television screens from the late 80s starting as a presenter on TVNZ's Te Karere.

She also fronted Marae and Waka Huia before becoming the long time One News Māori Affair's correspondent.

During her career she covered the controversial foreshore and seabed legislation, the formation of the Māori Party and the death of the Māori Queen, Dame Te Atairangikaahu.

"The issue that sticks in my mind, and something that I feel privilaged to be apart of, was the sad occasion of the death of Dame Te Atairangikaahu.

"To be at a funeral where there's over 100,000 people there it was just magic - I never think I'll ever have another experience like that again."

She tried retiring recently - but it didn't work out for her and she's still mentoring young reporters at Māori Television and the current affairs show Marae.