Finlay Macdonald is a widely respected contributor to newspapers and publications throughout the country. He is the former editor of NZ Listener, commissioning editor for Penguin Books, and now writes columns, social commentary and edits the Sunday Star-Times books pages.
He has also worked for Metro Magazine, and as a writer for television, including documentary, serial drama and comedy.
At last year's Qantas Media Awards, Finlay was given the Best Overall Columnist Award for his weekly Sunday Star Times column. British-born Macdonald recently joined Radio Live, hosting a Sunday morning show with a focus on current events, politics and reviews.
Sir Douglas Graham
Sir Douglas is a former politician whose distinguished parliamentary career saw him oversee some of the most significant legislation in New Zealand’s history. He was the Minister of Justice for seven years and Minister in Charge of Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations for nine years, during which he initiated and developed ground breaking policies aimed at settling claims lodged with the Waitangi Tribunal. Sir Douglas was appointed to Her Majesty’s Privy Council in 1998 and knighted in 1999.
Since retiring from politics Sir Douglas has been a Visiting Fellow at Cambridge University in the UK in 2000. He has also held a number of Board appointments and is a consultant on indigenous issues, including working as the Special Envoy for the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth to the Kingdom of Tonga.
Dr Hone Kaa
Archdeacon Dr Hone Kaa is a Senior lecturer at Te Rau Kahikatea Theological College, St Johns.
Dr Kaa is the Chairperson of Te Whare Ruruhau O Meri, and has served on this board for over 10 years. As both a Senior Priest and Kaumatua, Dr Kaa has been instrumental in supporting initiatives that advance Maori education and the protection of tamariki and their whanau.
Great Music Artist Profiles
New Zealand’s soul diva, Whirimako Black has built up a loyal jazz, blues and Māori fan base with her sublime te reo Māori and English songs. She is, undoubtedly, one of this country’s finest musicians.
Whirimako has performed throughout Aotearoa, Europe and Australia over the past decade. She creates a truly unique, intimate presence in her performances with a ‘sublime and exceptionally expressive voice’ that has been described as ‘pure velvet’.
Whirimako’s distinctive sound, her use of traditional Māori musical forms and te reo Māori make her a unique and powerful voice for Aotearoa. Whirimako, of Ngai Tuhoe, Ngati Tuwharetoa, Ngati Ranginui, Kahungunu, Te Whakatohea, Te Whanau-a-Apanui, Te Arawa, and Ngati Awa descent, has performed throughout the country and has six solo albums to her credit in the last eight years
"I have enjoyed composing music that has relevance for today, plus reviving and modernising traditional waiata (songs) which stems from my early involvement with the cultural arts of the Tuhoe tribe of Aotearoa. I aspire to see the fruition of my waiata being accessed on the international market, bringing a heightened awareness to the status of Maori, and the Maori language worldwide, to fulfil the dreams of my ancestors."
The Mint Chicks
The Mint Chicks make spazzy, heavy, poppy music with lyrics about things like sports teams, love, death and obsession. Playing packed-out little venues in New Zealand since 2002, the Mint Chicks (singer and wurlitzer piano player Kody Nielson, bassist Michael Logie, drummer Paul Roper and guitarist Ruban Nielson) have climbed all the PAs, back flipped off all the drum risers, bloodied all the fingers, scrapped all the haters, broken all the hearts, ripped all the clothing and bashed all the microphones.
'Octagon, Octagon, Octagon' came in 2003, the Mint Chicks had just signed to legendary NZ label Flying Nun Records. It's influences were varied and it's local impact was felt immediately, taking student radio by storm with 4 number 1's and 5 'bnet' awards, even though it was only a six-track document of youthful enthusiasm and little bit of home-made inventiveness. The following year, after a single on the highly respected Fierce Panda label in the UK (hyped as a 'one minute masterpiece' by Kerrang) they released their second EP: 'Anti-Tiger', which placed even greater emphasis on both the chaotic and the melodic. It was well received, earning four K's from Kerrang, and '9/10' from Blunt magazine.
The year after that, the band had released a couple of EP's and toured New Zealand a trillion times (as well as doing a couple of trips to the US, one to England and half a dozen to Australia, having the good fortune to play support slots for the White Stripes, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, TV on the Radio, and the Blood Brothers). The band’s acclaimed albums include 'F**k the Golden Youth', 'Crazy?Yes!Dumb?No!' and last year’s ‘Screens’.