Entertainment | Mike McRoberts

Mike McRoberts says ‘Pō mārie’ to news: a timeline of his career

It’s an end of an era for Ngāti Kahungunu journalist, Mike McRoberts, as he ends his 23-year-long career for TV3 when its news arm, Newshub, rolls into the hands of Stuff.

Te Ao Māori News decided to showcase the history and highlights of the soon-to-be ex-Newshub presenter’s career.


McRoberts wasn’t meant to be a journalist. While attending Hillmorton High School in Christchurch, he was aspiring to become a lawyer.

His life shifted when he took a high school journalism course run by the Department of Māori Affairs, where he witnessed the local radio station staff rushing to get the news ready.

The iconic journalist started his career by winning a coveted cadetship at Radio New Zealand in 1984.

During his time at RNZ, the rugby fan was transferred to the sports department, and when he was 24-years-old, he became the head of the department.


He was still working in the RNZ sports department in the early 90s.

But, McRoberts was given a new contract in 1995 for TVNZ’s sports news department after hosting a basketball show at TVNZ for a year.

Leaving RNZ, he started handling all things All Blacks and where he began presenting bulletins for sports.

A year after joining the TVNZ sports department, he won rugby journalist of the year for his coverage of the All Blacks tour of South Africa.

The story was then Springbok winger James Small being spotted by McRoberts in a bar the night before the first test, Small lost his place in the team.

McRoberts also began doing fill-in shifts presenting the six o’clock news.

In 1998 he moved away from sports and started sinking his teeth into foreign assignments for the Holmes show.

During his time there, he would fly overseas to cover many topics such as the George Speight-led coup in Fiji.


After the first year of the new millennium, he was invited by TV3 to be a reporter and a backup news presenter for John Campbell for 3News’ (now Newshub) 6pm bulletin.

Shortly after 9/11, he reported from Peshawar, Pakistan, as bombs struck nearby Afghanistan. Amid riots and tear gas, he briefly lost contact with his team but emerged unharmed.

Two years later, he and his cameraman ventured to the Iraq border from Kuwait City, encountering US soldiers and receiving insider information from a Kuwaiti sergeant contradicting official accounts of the invasion.

In 2003, after a challenging voyage in the Solomon Islands, he secured an exclusive interview with warlord Harold Keke three weeks before Keke surrendered.

He took over the show full-time in 2005, when the resident anchors, Carol Hirschfeld and John Campbell moved on to launch Campbell Live.

Hilary Barry joined him for the evening bulletin.

While presenting fulltime, McRoberts still covered huge national and international stories and was constantly on the ground for many of them.

In 2005, he did the Iraq elections, the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza strip, and a magnitude 7.6 quake in Pakistan.

He had filed 10 stories for 60 Minutes that year while simultaneously presenting the news.


McRoberts had debated the role a journalist plays in their own stories after pieces showed him helping an injured Haitian girl get to hospital after the 2010 Haiti earthquake.

The Christchurch-raised man covered both earthquakes that devastated the city in 2010 and 2011.

After three weeks of covering the second round of quakes in Canterbury, he flew back to Auckland but was immediately sent off to Japan to present the 6pm news from a studio in the semi-deserted city of Tokyo, Japan after a 9.0 magnitude earthquake caused devastation and a tsunami.

He didn’t take a break as, when he returned to Aotearoa, he co-hosted the coverage of the Christchurch memorial service.

In 2011, McRoberts published a book called Beyond the Front Line, which spoke about his journeys on the field.

A year later he would become the anchor of Three 60 a current affairs show focusing on international news, politics, and business. The show is no longer running.

At the 2017 New Zealand Television Awards, McRoberts was judged Best News and Current Affairs Presenter for his work on Newshub Live at 6pm.

He didn’t only do news. He competed in New Zealand’s version of Dancing with the Stars, where he only made it five episodes before being eliminated in ninth place.


In 2021, McRoberts celebrated 20-years working for TV3, celebrating on live television with a quick recap of his reports and presenting over the years.

After the video aired, he thanked Aotearoa for allowing him to present the news each night and that he felt “privileged”.

During the same year he made his way back into reality television and appeared on the Masked Singer NZ, where once again he was eliminated on the fifth episode.

He was the Orange Roughy, his final performance was the song Catching Feelings by Drax Project featuring Six60.

The following year, McRoberts was part of the Newshub team that pulled together the Newshub Investigates: Generation COVID programme

He and a team of journalists investigated how the coronavirus affected Kiwis, and they split the stories up by generations.

While doing investigative reports, McRoberts still did a few sports stories on the side.

He was part of the team that attended the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England.

In his story for the recap of the games, he referred to it as the “best games ever.”

During Te Wiki o te Reo Māori 2022, McRoberts made a documetary, Kia ora, Good evening shairng his personal journey of learning te reo Māori.

A year later he joined a full-immersion study at Te Wānanga Takiura in Tāmaki Makaurau.

When Kiingi Tuheitia called for a national hui in reaction to the coalition government’s policies on te reo Māori and the Treaty of Waitangi earlier this year, McRoberts was on the ground Tūrangawaewae Marae in Ngāruawāhia to cover the event, which swelled to 10,000 people.

He also attended Waitangi Day events a few weeks after.

End of an era

In late February, Warner Bro. Discovery (WBD, Three and Newshub’s parent company) announced it would shutter its news operation.

In mid-April, following an extensive consultation process that included desperate pitches from the newsroom to switch to an entirely digital offering, WBD confirmed the closure, with up to 300 staff to lose their jobs come early July.

After the news broke, McRoberts told Te Ao Māori News he felt aggrieved for Māori.

“I went to and covered the hui ā-motu this year. Also Waitangi, and just thoroughly enjoyed the experience of telling those stories, of showing te ao Māori, and those opportunities aren’t going to be there anymore, and I’m really saddened by that,” he said.

It was only this week that TV3′s 6pm bulletin was saved by Stuff Group.

Yesterday McRoberts announced he wouldn’t be joining the new era for the new show.

“Ka mutu taku haerenga hei kaikawe kōrero, he haerenga i hīkoi tahi ai tātou - my journey as a news presenter is coming to an end, a journey we have walked together. Newshub’s last six o’clock bulletin... will be my last presenting the news,” he said in a statement.

McRoberts said he would miss the whanaungatanga of the Newshub team - but it was the right time to step away and pursue other opportunities.

His final show will be on July 5 at 6pm on TV3.