Matariki live updates: Aotearoa celebrates Māori New Year

Former news presenter Joanna Paul-Robie has revealed she is dying of cancer while attending Matariki ceremony.

Matariki is a traditional time to reflect on the year past, and remembering those who have passed on. Prime Minister Christopher Luxon spoke earlier at the ceremony at Treble Cone skifield near Wānaka, where about 200 people have gathered above the clouds.

Paul-Robie, who is a familiar face and voice after a long career in radio and television, shared the news on RNZ’s Matariki programme that she has terminal cancer.

“I am unfortunately dying,” she said, as she talked about receiving the Icon Award during the Ngā Tohu Toi awards last night.

Paul-Robie said the award was the “most honourable experience of my life”.

“I was so touched because this award means so much to me coming from Tauranga Moana.

“But more importantly because I am, unfortunately, dying, I have terminal cancer, and really to have this award before one posthumously gets it is an even better break.”

She said she received the award with her whānau at her side.

“I can’t tell you the lightness, the brightness, the feeling of aroha inside me last night.”

Paul-Robie began her career at Radio New Zealand, was a newsreader for TV3 and a programmes and production manager at Māori Television.

Starting out as one of the few wahine Māori on New Zealand’s screens was tough, she said.

“The newsroom was really, it was being run by mostly, a pair of middle-class middle-age white men who had the audacity and the balls to say ‘if it bleeds it leads’ but these guys you know they had never been in a Māori world.”

She said it was her life’s work to bring together her wahine Māori side and her work as a broadcaster.

Listen live to RNZ’s Matariki Morning Special Broadcast with Mihingarangi Forbes and Justine Murray

Watch RNZ’s live coverage from around the motu here:

According to the news on Radio New Zealand

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