Brendon Pongia played basketball with the Tall Blacks for nearly a decade, and was involved in the historic win over Australia to qualify for the World Championships.
Playing in the National Basketball League for sixteen years through the 1990s, Brendon earned greatest recognition in 2001 as a member of the Tall Black squad that defeated Australia to qualify for the 2002 world championships. Although he saw little actual court time, he was front and centre in the pre-match build-ups as leader of the haka. He captured an NBL title with the Waikato Titans in 2002.
Television and Radio
Following his basketball career Brendon was subsequently offered a presenter's role with TVNZ and, later, Sky TV in 2003 where he stayed for three years. Brendon was also part of the very popular radio morning crew on Flava FM. Brendon then returned to TV One to present and co-host the Good Morning Show. In addition, Brendon has appeared on several Maori Television programmes and has been a basketball commentator for the New Zealand Breakers.
Brendon was a contestant in Dancing With the Stars (2007) with dance partner Hayley Holt. The couple was eliminated in the penultimate episode. He also appeared in Shock Treatment (2006), the reality television show where celebrities are surprised and put through the wringer. In 2010 Brendon appeared in a moving documentary ‘The Missing Piece’ where he traced back his Maori ancestry.
Brendon plays an active role in charity work. Brendon is an ambassador for the Blue September charity and he gave a poignant speech about losing his father-in-law to prostate cancer. He also made his debut as an auctioneer at the Placemakers Charity auction raising over $37,000 for the Cranford Hospice. The delegates responded well to his cheeky and entertaining style which contributed to the result. He is an ambassador for Cure Kids and Kiwanis, and has been involved in many charities including the Heart Foundation, Kidney Foundation, Plunket, Canteen, just to name few.
Brendon is a popular and entertaining MC and can deliver to a variety of audiences. His most recent MC events include Sport Bay of Plenty Sports Awards, World of Wearable Arts, Hokonui Fashion Awards, Hawkes Bay Fashion in the Field, Hawkes Bay Edible Art Awards, Wellington Architecture Awards, Kowhiti Matariki Festival of Maori Contemporary Dance.
Brendon grew up in Greymouth and is of Maori decent. He is married to human resources manager Michelle and the couple are based in Wellington. His interests include sport, fitness and health. He completed his first Ironman in Taupo in 2009.