Neil Waka is a former Television News Anchor of 22 years.
He spent the first 11 years of his television career at TV3 before taking a short break then moving to TV One News which also included time on radio.
He was a pioneer of sorts, one of the first people of Maori decent to break into mainstream television news presenting and led the way with many firsts in New Zealand.
Following arguably one of the most successful television careers on mainstream networks in this country and foregoing international opportunities Neil did something unprecedented in this country, he left on his own terms for the corporate world taking up a role as Head of Corporate Affairs with General Motors Holden NZ. He went back to University studying advanced Marketing and Public Relations and read multiple papers with PRiNZ, he was also fortunate to spend time with General Motors in Europe.
After five years at the global motoring giant he left to take up a role at Coca-Cola Amatil NZ as Head of Corporate Affairs NZ & Fiji.
Background: He also has a sports background. A former Kickboxing champion, Rugby Union, Rugby League and Basketball representative. He’s run two marathons and competed in 16 triathlons. He was a competitive Touch player for many years, has jumped out of planes, bungy jumped more times than he can remember and continues to challenge himself both physically and mentally.
Neil is able to share many stories and learnings from his extensive career in television and radio travelling the world reporting and interviewing, his corporate experience with General Motors Holden and Coca-Cola. Also, his time playing sport.
He has helped to raise millions of dollars for charities over the years but the two closest to his heart are Child Abuse and Domestic Violence, two charities which he continues to support today.
Three principles Neil lives his life by:
Outside of his family life and sport, his interests for which his is incredibly passionate about and highly driven include the following:
Helping to create a more sustainable environment
Greater education to prevent littering
Utilising plastics in a more sustainable way
Work closer with our communities to be more self-sustaining
Provide more opportunities for our lower socio-economic communities
Offer more education to our communities
In business as well as life people always come first for Neil. He has also been a long-time advocate for the rights of the Rainbow community and used to take the walk for HIV support over 20 years ago.