Dynamic and polished MC, Samantha Hayes has worked as a journalist and presenter for Three’s News and Current Affairs Division since 2006. She currently co-anchor’s the channel’s flagship programme Newshub Live at 6pm with Mike McRoberts, a role she’s held since 2016.
Samantha has worked in the television industry as a journalist and presenter for more than 15 years fronting an array of popular news programmes and travelling the world reporting on everything from Antarctic climate change research to the Syrian refugee crisis and the rise of Kiwi pop icon Lorde. Samantha is also Three’s go-to presenter for special programmes and events. She co-anchored Newshub’s US Election Special: America Decides alongside Tom McRae in both 2016 (Hillary Clinton vs Donald Trump) and 2020 (Joe Biden vs Donald Trump), the wedding of Prince Harry and Megan Markle with AM show host Ryan Bridge and many corporate client facing events for MediaWorks, Three’s owner prior to the channel’s sale to Discovery Inc.
Her path to anchoring the 6pm news began as a 17 year old journalism student, when on work experience for the cult evening news show Nightline she landed an international scoop. Samantha would go on to present the popular show at the age of 23 making her the country’s youngest ever newsreader at the time.
After several years presenting the news, she took on a reporting role focussing on environmental and climate change stories. In the Australia Correspondent role based at Channel 7 in Sydney she covered US President Barack Obama’s visit downunder and several political leadership spills and changes of Prime Minister. Samantha has also filed stories from Europe, Africa, America, India, Antarctica and the Middle East interviewing global environmental leaders Dr Jane Goodall and Sir Richard Branson, celebrities such as Reece Witherspoon, Robert Pattinson and Orlando Bloom and many private citizens facing extraordinary circumstances.
A highlight of her career was working for the current affairs programme 3rd Degree (later renamed 3D and 3D Investigates) presenting alongside Duncan Garner. Her stories have seen her venture into Mongrel Mob and Black Power gang headquarters, sit down in the recording studio with Kiwi singer Lorde and cage dive for great white sharks.
She is deeply passionate about Antarctica, having visited the icy continent three times to report from New Zealand’s Scott Base and campsites in the Dry Valleys and on the Ross Sea Ice Shelf.
2020 and 2021 saw Samantha and co-anchor Mike McRoberts present a huge number of live shows covering the Covid-19 pandemic. These unplanned shows broke into normal programming, were largely unscripted and featured hours of live interviews; a high pressure situation Samantha thrived under.
Samantha is also somewhat adept on the dance floor, winning the 2018 season of Three’s Dancing with the Stars with dance partner Aaron Gilmore, raising more than $120,000 through public votes for her chosen charity NZ Riding for the Disabled.
Prior to her work in television, Samantha worked in radio with roles including news editor, DJ and event manager for Radio Active’s Handle the Jandal music video competition and One Love music festival.
Samantha has a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and Media Studies from Wellington’s Victoria University, as well as a Certificate in Media Communication from Aoraki Polytechnic in Dunedin.
Samantha enjoys mountaineering, baking and spending time with her fiancé Jay and two young children, Marlow and Amaya. She is vegan and supports KidsCan, World Vision and So They Can, a New Zealand based charity educating children in East Africa. She joined the Board of Trustees for So They Can in 2019 and enjoys working behind the scenes to realise the charity’s many initiatives to help disadvantaged children.
It was an absolute pleasure working with you and we are very glad that we chose you to MC our event. Your poise, grace and talent for being an MC is second to none. You took the time to unde ... keep readingrstand our event and what was important to us and executed everything to perfection. We have also received some exceptional feedback in regards to you from patrons in the Fashion Village and we would highly recommend you to any other company as an MC. Wellington Racing Club
Samantha was awesome - the perfect fit for this event. She was friendly and happy to stand afterwards for over an hour while people were photographed with her. Would definitely use her again.
Samantha was amazing as usual. Despite her having a migraine, she turned up well prepared, looked fab and did an incredible job as MC at our awards ceremony. The highlight was her doing some ‘breaking news’ when Winston Peters announced his decision to form a coalition with Labour mid-ceremony. Feedback from staff about Sam is great and she is so lovely to deal with, always accommodates selfie requests and is so approachable and everyone gets a buzz that she is part of our awards evening.
Samantha is professional, well-prepared, approachable and brings just the right tone and style to our Excellence Awards. We had numerous staff members comment on how great she was, and hoping we will have her again next year.