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Radio host Mailigi Hetutu has been a broadcaster for an amazing 29 years and can currently be heard on Wellington Access Radio’s Punaaga Vagahau Niue.

The programme was initiated by the Pacific branch of Wellington Hospital and is funded by Te Whatu Ora – Health New Zealand. The aim is to raise awareness of illnesses that surround Niuean people here in New Zealand and throughout the world, and covers what and where to look for help, places to access for support and what to do to maintain a good and healthy life for you and your family.

The programme is also a platform for promoting Niuean language to the NZ born Niuean people living here in Wellington.

Mailigi says the best thing about broadcasting is getting to talk to other people. ‘That is my favourite time on air. I have interviewed doctors, young people, survivors from illnesses, people who have struggled with mental or physical difficulties, and people on all sorts of topics such as gambling, violence, smoking and safety.’

Because of the health focus of Punaaga Vagahau Niue, Mailigi has found the last few years of Covid a particularly busy time.

‘We had to be on air every day through lockdown,’ she says. ‘We needed to talk to our people and make sure they had all the information and knew what to do’.

Mailigi may have been broadcasting for 29 years but you won’t see her retiring anytime soon.

‘My future plans are to bring on and train our young people in the language,’ she says, ‘and I also want to livestream so young people can be with me.’

Tune in to Punaaga Vagahau Niue every Wednesday 7-8.30pm on Wellington Access Radio 106.1FM or stream via www.accessradio.org.nz