Daniel Faitaua

Sunday Star-Times - Sunday Magazine - - THE GRILL - Pho­to­graph by Scott McAu­lay / Words by Emma Page

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.

Jan­dals San­dals

80s 90s

Speed­boat Sail­boat

Karaoke Dance floor

Salt & Vine­gar Ready Salted

Satur­day Sun­day

Play sport Watch sport

Weet-Bix Corn­flakes

Bus Train

Sum­mer Win­ter

Night in Night out

Recipe Wing it

Dab Floss

Tent Bach

Christ­mas Eve NYE

Spend Save

Thun­der Light­ning

Moun­tains Coast

Talk Lis­ten

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