Entertainment | Television

Newshub axes Oriini Kaipara show in push to ‘digital’, ‘social’ storytelling


Newshub is to dump its AM Early and Newshub Live at 11.30am programmes on Three starting next week.

The decision to discontinue the half-hour shows comes as the company’s owner Warner Bros. Discovery makes a strategic shift towards digital and social media platforms.

AM Early, broadcast from 5.30am to 6am on weekdays, pitches itself to early risers seeking an update on weather, news, sports, and business, before starting their day.

Newshub Live at 11.30am, also a weekday bulletin, has been helmed by Oriini Kaipara (Ngāti Awa, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Ngāti Rangitihi, and Ngāi Tūhoe) since 2021.

In 2019, Kaipara gained international attention by becoming the first woman in the world with a moko kauae, to anchor a mainstream television program.

“It is vital we give fair, accurate and balanced views of Māori political issues that affect not just Māori but all of Aotearoa New Zealand,” Kaipara said in a statement following her appointment to her hosting role.

Kaipara held hosting responsibilities for Newshub at 4.30pm, which the network discontinued last year, initially blaming Covid-related employee illnesses. However, it is no longer on the schedule.

$35 million loss

Fluent in te reo Māori, Kaipara has previously reported and anchored for TVNZ, Whakaata Māori, produced documentary films and presented for Mai FM. has asked company representatives if Kaipara will take on other presenting duties, following the final broadcasts of AM Early and Newshub Live at 11.30am, slated for August 25.

Last month Warner Bros. Discovery reported a loss of $35 million for its NZ unit, to the year ended December 2022, as costs and expenses rose.

A spokesperson for the company at the time said the result filed with the Companies Office “did not fully reflect the total model of the local operation”, and it was satisfied with the performance of its Australian and New Zealand entity.

Newshub news director Sarah Bristow pointed out audience trends towards digital and social media platforms for news, had prompted the move.

“Our talented colleagues who are contributing to the production of these shows will be broadening their focus within the newsroom to areas that concentrate on the growth and performance of digital and social,” she said.

A spokesperson for Warner Bros. Discovery says there will be no job losses as a result of the move.

Kaipara has been approached for comment.

Discovery representatives told Kaipara will continue to present programmes on the network in an ad-hoc basis, ‘as well as reporting on stories with a Māori lens as she has done previously’.