Hikurangi Jackson (Greenbank, 2004-08) - OC of the Month - September 2022
Friday, 14 October 2022

For our September OC of the Month, we speak with Old Collegian Hikurangi Jackson (Greenbank, 2004 -08).

Hikurangi currently works as a producer for the current affairs show Te Ao with Moana which recently won Best Current Affairs Programme at the 2022 Voyager Media Awards. This is the second time the show has won this prestigious award. Hikurangi is also a journalist in his own right and has been nominated on numerous occasions including Reporter of the Year for his critically acclaimed journalism and the stories he is bringing a light to.

Hikurangi is our OC of the Month in September for services to Te Ao Māori and for his role in enabling the Māori perspective to be accessed by a greater audience. The KCOCA wish to recognise the work of Hikurangi particularly for the month of September when, as a country, we celebrate the language of Te Ao Māori. This year is of particular relevance as New Zealand reflects on the anniversary of 50 years since Te Petihana Reo Māori — The Māori Language Petition was delivered to parliament by representatives of Ngā Tamatoa, Victoria University's Te Reo Māori Society, and the New Zealand Māori Students Association with over 30,000 signatures.

Te Petihana Reo Māori has a personal significance for Hikurangi and his whānau as it his great Uncle Syd Jackson who was leader of Ngā Tamatoa at the time and it was Hana Te Hemara (Jackson), Hikurangi Jacksons great Aunt, who carried the petition up the steps of parliament.

In our interview with Hikurangi we hear about the work he does now as a Journalist and Producer and also recollections of his time at King’s College.

When you were at King’s College, what did you want to do for a career
after you graduated?
I wasn’t too sure. I wanted to work in the creative space, so I was keen to do something in the movie or television sector. Journalism was something I just fell in to when I joined a production company. That was Pango Productions who create entertainment shows, sports and reality shows and a current affairs show called ‘Marae’.
What is your best memory of your time at King’s College?  
Joining the chess club was fun. I didn’t have many friends in my first year and felt like the chess club was a place I could just chill and have some fun. That same year there was the House Chess competition and we made it to the final. I had to beat the Head Boy to secure the championship for Greenbank. I managed to do it. I felt pretty cool, people were pretty shocked that I beat him. Academically, I was struggling big time in my first year. I think I even got 0 in some exam lol. But chess is all about problem solving and strategy. I didn’t tell anyone that my granddad (His team beat King’s College teachers in the final) won a NZ Chess championship title with his team and that the Head Boy was really a beginner at chess. Anyway, I made out it was a tough match, and it was pretty cool beating the Head Boy to clinch the win. I also beat Auckland Grammars best player when I captained the King’s team which was good fun.

Which staff member do you remember most favourably from Kings
College and why?

Mr Carrington and Rev Wilder. Both were there for us Māori students in our first year. Mr Clark too – his classes were a crack up. I miss playing golf in his class! Mr Curnow and Mr Bryant always told great stories. Mr Watts, Ms Butler and Mr Barclay had really positive influences on me during my time there.

What advice would you give to your school age self?
To be fair I didn’t love my first few years at King’s. It was a totally different environment having come from Kura Kaupapa where we only ever spoke English a couple hours a week Literally, everything felt new to me. But I grew to really enjoy my time. I would just tell my younger self not to be so nervous about everything.
Tell us about yourself now and what you do for a career?
I’m a journalist. I also produce the current affairs show ‘Te Ao with Moana’.
What does/did your job involve?    
I guess I interview people, although my style is always conversational. I’m often with people during the lowest and the highest points of their lives. It’s a rollercoaster ride but it’s a rewarding one. I’ve worked on 100 plus stories over the years, so I have met so many people from all walks of life.
 What are the most challenging parts of your job?
Covid has been difficult for everyone. I was originally at TVNZ, now that I’m at Whakaata Māori (Māori TV) the new challenge is attracting a Pakeha audience to watch our show. We have a strong social media presence so that really helps. Interview wise – it can be hard asking people tough questions. Sometimes I feel bad about it but it’s a part of the job and it’s not personal. As long as you do it in a respectful manner then everything is ka pai.
What would you say is your biggest achievement to date?
Being a father. My one year old son Wiremu-Bobby will hopefully be a future blackcap or a country singer. I’ve also been lucky to be nominated and win a few awards at the NZ Voyager Media Awards and the TV awards. Winning Best Current Affairs show two years running beating heavy hitters like Sunday, The Hui and Newsrooms is definitely a highlight. I’ve had 5 or 6 nominations in my career but being nominated for Reporter of the Year alongside fellow ex King’s student Michael Morrah was pretty cool!
What is the single thing that would most improve the quality of your
Deleting social media. It takes up too much of my time but I kind of need it because of my job. I miss the old days when everyone just chilled with each other without their phones.
What are the three objects you would take with you to a desert island?
A surfboard, a fishing rod, and a gas cooker. I can’t surf so it would be cool to pick up a new skill, fishing for the kai and the gas cooker to cook it up. How good?!
How would you like to be remembered?
As a proud Māori man. 

If you know an Old Collegian that would make a great 'OC of the Month' then please get in touch at: kcoca@kingscollege.co.nz