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Gabrielle is a TV presenter on I AM TV working alongside Olly Coddington and Candice Davis. When she applied for her job she thought she’d blown her chances because she was so nervous, but the next thing she knew, she was the new Mai Time presenter with her friend, Olly, and were then joined by Candice for in 2008 for I AM TV.
Tell us about yourself, your whānau, hapū, iwi, and school
Ko Mau Whakaarahia Paringatai tōku ingoa, he uri Nō Ngāti Porou Ngā Rauru me, Ngāti Ruanui ki Taranaki. I tipu ake ai au me te mōhio ki taku Poroutanga me taku Taranakitanga. Hēoi anō, he hononga hoki tāku ki ngā Iwi o Ngāti Kahungunu (Tākitimu Waka), Ngā Puhi me Tūwharetoa. I grew up in Wainuiomata and loved every minute of it. I went to Sacred Heart Girls’ College in Lower Hutt, and I’m still very close to the friends I made there. An awesome thing about going to college is that you learn a lot and make great friends.
How did you first get into television?
I was watching TV one day and saw that they needed a presenter. Like any job that you really want, I applied for it. The scariest part was the auditions. I thought I’d ‘blown my chances’ because I was so nervous, but the next thing I knew, I was the new Mai Time presenter with my friend, Olly, and were then joined by Candice for in 2008 for I AM TV.
Who are some of the people who have influenced you?
My whānau. Whether it was good or bad, they always had something to say about my performance on television, but I learned to appreciate what they had to say and learn from it.
Tell us about some of your major achievements.
Realising that I’m doing OK, and that I’ve achieved a lot of what I wanted to do – from teaching to presenting, and marrying my partner of ten years. The exciting thing about achievements is that they require a new level of thinking every time.
What do you like to do when you’re not working?
Anything and everything! ‘Munch’ out, watch DVDs and movies with family or friends, do a bit of shopping, and go for walks and runs (yeah, right).
How important is being Māori to you, and how does this influence your work?
Well it’s who I am, and so everything I do, comes from a Māori perspective.
What are your goals and dreams?
My goals are to pay off my student loan and mortgage, and look back in a couple of year’s time and be mortgage free. I’m a bit of a dreamer, and one of my many dreams is to be rich. I just haven’t thought of a fabulous way to do so.
What advice can you give to young people that want to get into television?
If you want to get into television, then ‘go for gold’. Regardless of which area of television you want to get into, you need to have passion, dedication and whatever makes you, – you.
What is your favourite kai Māori?
Boil-up with bacon bones and dough boy.
What is your most embarrassing moment?
One day when I was catching the bus home to Wainuiomata after school, the bus driver was not in a good mood and kept loading the bus with passengers. I should have known then that the ride home was going to end in disaster. As we got near my bus stop, I started pushing past everybody to get to the back door. I tripped over somebody’s foot and toppled out the door onto the sidewalk at my bus stop. The bus driver didn’t care and drove off, and I was left there with a bruised forehead, scratched knees, and choking on the exhaust fumes from the bus.
But wait there’s more – the same thing happened the next week, on the same bus, with the same bus driver at the same bus stop.