HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 595: 21 December2011

Maria Tanner Spends 5 Minutes With ... Marama Papau
“The first time I saw myself on TV I thought Oh I’m never gona wear that top again,” laughs Marama Papau, reporter and director of Tangata Pasifika, a pacific islands based current affairs TV show in New Zealand, who is currently here visiting the Cook Islands to grace the lineup of her cousins wedding. Chilling in the shade Marama Papau shares with us just how she got started within the media industry and the transitional career jump she took from radio to TV.
Papau’s highly decorated career all materialized from her affection for wealth, deciding on whether she wanted to be an under paid and underappreciated actor just wasn’t going to cut it, so decided journalist it was. But just how she came to this turning point has been a series of cut and retakes. It was during her formative high school years that Papau clued up, “It’s really good to be in media,” Papau thought, “because you’re practically guaranteed a job all your life instead of being a poor actor, so I decided I’d go for the money,” she laughs.
Fuelling her love of writing and performing Papau began by studying at New Zealand Broadcasting School, after which she took up a position as a radio announcer for 531pi, a pacific island radio station based in New Zealand, “It was fantastic,” Papau laughs on remembering her time with 531pi, “we had a wee little news room and you basically had to do everything.”Learning the tricks of her trade Papau would spend her days lining up artist to feature on her shows and queuing songs like ‘We Three’, “because they were the perfect cup of tea songs, nice and long!” However after a short time was approached by her then boss who asked if she would like to “get into reporting,” and since that significant career turning question has been bitten by the “journalism bug,” and has since that point stuck with reporting.
 Rolling with the punches Papau learnt fast and built up her career as a news reporter but 2005 would be the year to truly challenge her. Approached to work for Tangata Pasifika, one of only two pacific shows in New Zealand at the moment, Marama jumped at the opportunity regardless of now having to work within a different medium, “It was a huge shift for me to go from radio to TV, I knew nothing and was basically depending on my cameraman to direct me on every shoot,” she tells me bashfully. Working in a close knit team Papau, of Tuvaluan and European heritage chooses to focus and report on Pacific Island issues within the community “through island eyes” she says passionately, “doing pacific island media in New Zealand I can really look at why things are like that, covering stories that matter to us instead of just at the statistics.” However having spent the last 6 years with TVNZ in front of a camera one would think that being nervous about presenting the news wouldn’t ruffle Papau’s feathers. The now seasoned reporter who no longer makes the rookie ‘interview face’ that she first started out with has plans to try her hands at news reading, “although that means stepping out and going mainstream, that would be the new challenge to take,” Papau says grinning. -Maria Tanner

Herald Issue 554 09 March
- Norm exposes Trio of Doom
- Briefs from PM’s media conference Tuesday
- Tourism Industry ponders $5 million draft strategy
- Norman George resigns from Cook Islands Party
- Letter of Resignation from CIP
- Norman selfish says Prime Minister

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