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Olly Coddington

Olly Coddington.

Ko Oliver Tukino Coddington tōku ingoa – Olly for short. Ko Te Arawa, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Ngāi Pākehā, me Rarotonga ōku iwi, ko Ngāti Turamakina, Tuhōurangi, me Ngāti Whakaue ōku hapū, ko Waihi me Ohinemutu ōku marae. Olly is a presenter on I AM TV.

Tell us about yourself, your whānau, hapū, iwi, and school

Kia ora. Ko Oliver Tukino Coddington tōku ingoa – Olly for short. Ko Te Arawa, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Ngāi Pākehā, me Rarotonga ōku iwi, ko Ngāti Turamakina, Tuhōurangi, me Ngāti Whakaue ōku hapū, ko Waihi me Ohinemutu ōku marae. I went to Raglan Area School, and then to Hamilton Boys High School for sixth and seventh form.

How did you first get into television?

One of my ‘bros’ was working in the tapes department at Māori Television and told me they needed a worker. So he set up an interview for me which went well

Who are some of the people who have influenced you?

  • Antonio Maioha, an actor from Whaingaroa, encouraged me into the performing arts, gave me my first acting job, and set up an audition for me.
  • My parents showed me that you can do anything that you put your mind to.

What were some of your major achievements?

  • My first paid acting job touring Aotearoa for six months doing children’s theatre.
  • Reading at primary schools for Books in Homes in 2004.
  • My job on Mai Time in 2006.
  • My first role on a feature film, Bride Flight, in 2007.
  • Helping to create a brand-new rangatahi Māori show: I AM TV in 2008 and then when I AM TV received an award at the Te Taura Whiri i Te Reo Māori, 2008 Māori Language Week Awards.

What do you like to do when you're not working?

I like to hang with my friends, joke, go surfing and skateboarding, play music, read, and watch movies.

How important is being Māori to you, and how does this influence your work?

Māori is who I am. I’m also Pākehā and Rarotongan, and it’s very important to me to recognise where I come from and draw strength from my heritage, culture, and ancestors.

What are your goals and dreams?

I want to finish this year at I AM TV with a ‘bang’ and keep delivering for the fans next year. I also want to learn about and practise organic gardening, and traditional Māori sailing and navigating.
My long term goal is to be more involved with my iwi and whenua, and operate a large organic kai garden that can supply healthy kai for my whānau and the iwi. I also want to write and direct a feature film.

What advice can you give to young people that want to get into television?

  • Always be nice and respectful with everyone you deal with, and they’ll go out of their way to help you.
  • Take any experience you can, even if it’s not the exact job you want. There is always something useful you can learn to help towards reaching your goal.
  • Studying can give you helpful tools.
  • Always have your goal in mind and stay positive. Setbacks are challenges to help you reach your goal.

What is your favourite kai Māori?

Ko te kaimoana te kai tino reka ki ahau! Paua, koura, ika, kina, kūtai, pipi … auē!

What has been your most embarrassing moment?

When I was the Kaea for my class kapa haka and we were performing in the Raglan town hall. I messed up the haka while I was leading.

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