Daniel Faitaua has never been to Samoa, his parents’ birth country, but he speaks fluent Samoan. He honed his skills growing up in Christchurch with his grandmother, who helped raise him. She wouldn’t allow English in the house but Faitaua, who took ESOL classes for years, formulated a plan: he’d translate Days of Our Lives, the TV soap his grandma loved but couldn’t understand, if she’d let him speak English and bring schoolbooks home. It was win-win.
“I was looking at Bo and Hope with their marriage and their drama and there I was explaining it to Grandma and she loved it.”
Faitaua, a newsreader for TVNZ’s Breakfast show came to journalism after a 10-year stint flying as cabin crew. Always nosey, fascinated by even the small things, he figured broadcasting was a good fit. Education, his parents insisted, was a golden ticket. “I owe a lot to my parents.”
These days his alarm rings at 3.30am and he’s at TVNZ half an hour later prepping for his 6am show. At 12.30pm he takes off his makeup and drives home, arriving in time to hang out with his three sons aged 7, 9 and 11.
Despite the early starts he’ll often go to bed late, which can catch up with him while reading his youngest a bedtime story. “I often fall asleep and he’s reading to me.”
Yesterday, Breakfast celebrated 21 years on air. In honour of the occasion, Faitaua took our grill.
Karaoke Dance floor
Salt & Vinegar Ready Salted
Play sport Watch sport
Night in Night out
Recipe Wing it
Christmas Eve NYE