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John Cowan hosts ‘Real Life’, a weekly nationwide chat show on Newstalk ZB featuring a different high-profile guest every week. John talks with them about their life, their upbringing, their passions and their view of the world.
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Join us on-site at some of the greatest locations seen in movies as we talk to the filmmakers and cast members who were there when it all happened. You can also find us on Apple Podcasts. Jared is a photographer and film journalist who has written extensively on the subject of filming locations for various Los Angeles publications. His first article was about the San Fernando Valley filming locations of "The Karate Kid." Jared also leads filming location tours of the San Fernando Valley, Pas ...
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Awakening Consciousness with Asher and Jesse: Creating Communities That Thrive- Childhood friends Asher and Jesse have been exploring and unveiling the truths hidden behind various public narratives for over a decade. Together, they bring to you enlightening dialog and actionable information designed to help you develop and grow your own community of like-minded people, with the tools you will need to thrive in the new world. Join Asher and Jesse for friendly debate and great conversation on ...
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show series
 
Tommy was born in New South Wales, Australia. He received his first guitar in 1959 (at age four) and was taught by his mother to accompany her, playing lap steel guitar. By age six, he was a working professional musician after his father created a family band, sold their home, and took his family on the road. Tommy would go on tour with country mus…
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Gary Chapman, born in a small town in North Carolina, USA, has become widely known for his work in the realm of relationships, particularly in marriage and family counselling. He has written more than forty books with The 5 Love Languages, one of his most popular titles, topping various bestseller charts for years. He also hosts radio programmes A …
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As a child, acclaimed illusionist and mentalist Scott revelled in mystery. Born and raised in Glasgow, he found a mentor in the owner of a magic shop in Glasgow. As a teenager, he took a hypnosis course in Milan and went on to study drama and performance at the University of Edinburgh. Scott is making his New Zealand debut in March 2024 at the Auck…
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After working as an English teacher and then as an Anglican clergyman near Liverpool, UK, Peter and his wife Miranda moved to Portugal in 1983 to establish and run A Rocha, a global family of conservation organisations working together to live out God’s calling to care for creation ​and equip others to do likewise, and the first field study centre …
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Dave Brebner grew up with undiagnosed and debilitating Tourette Syndrome. Despite the hardships of his teenage years, as a person who was not going to fit the mould of a standard high school education without difficulty, he has gone on to complete an electrical trade qualification, a Bachelor's Degree of Education in Adult Vocational and Workplace …
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Ella Harris is a 25-year-old New Zealand professional cyclist, currently riding for UCI Women's Continental Team Lifeplus Wahoo. She won the Zwift global stationary trainer competition in 2018, which earned her a contract with Women's World Tour's Canyon SRAM team. At home, she won the national under-23 time trial in 2020 and has earned a number of…
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Educated in Sri Lanka, Selina Kumar went on to study in the Philippines and the United States. She then returned to Sri Lanka to work with underprivileged children. After a 26-year civil war in Sri Lanka left thousands widowed, homeless and without livelihoods, Selina wanted to help smallholder dairy farmers out of poverty. She created something su…
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Mikey Havoc first became a DJ on the University of Auckland's 95bFM radio station in the early 1990s. He was on the breakfast show from 1996 to 2002, winning Best New Broadcaster at the 1997 New Zealand Radio Awards and later moved to the afternoon-evening "Drive" show. He once again took over as the breakfast show host in 2006. In 2010 Havoc retur…
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Dr Claire Achmad is an advocate for children, having worked in various areas relating to children's rights. She was appointed as the Deputy Chair of the Children and Young People's Commission in July 2023 and, from November 1st, took up the role of Chief Children's Commissioner and Chair of the Commission for a five-year term. From 2021 to 2023, Cl…
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Shane Hales, known by the stage name Shane, grew up in Surrey, England, before moving to Australia and then New Zealand. He started his career in 1966 as a member of the Australian band The Pleazers before forming his own band, Shane. He became a regular singer on the television pop programme C'mon and was part of the C'mon 1968 national tour. His …
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Dr Phil Bagshaw was an Associate Professor of Surgery at the University of Otago Christchurch until he retired in 2010. He practised as a specialist General Surgeon, did research and taught surgery. In 2007, he opened the Canterbury Charity Hospital for patients who can’t access public hospital care and can’t afford private care. He is chairman of …
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Benedict is a political journalist working for 1News in the Wellington press gallery. He has a strong interest in covering anything to do with illicit drugs and enforcement. He's covered punitive drug-testing sanctions applied to beneficiaries, attempts to legalise pill-testing at festivals, the 2020 cannabis referendum, and, in 2018 helped expose …
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Craig is a former banker from Dunedin who started his music career in the late 1960s. After involvement with the bands Klap and Fantasy, Scott joined the band Revival who won a Battle of the Bands contest in May 1969. Their song Viva Bobby Joe which peaked at #14 on the related singles chart. After leaving Revival, Craig released a series of commer…
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Chris was born and raised in Lower Hutt and studied film and English literature at Victoria University of Wellington, where he also completed an MA in Creative Writing at the International Institute of Modern Letters. Chris’ first full-length poetry collection, How to be Dead in a Year of Snakes, was published in 2014. In 2016, Snakes was a finalis…
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Together with her husband Andy, who passed away suddenly in 2018, Nikki has been a Co-Founding Director of FamilyLife NZ, a Christian charitable trust. For 25 years, she has taught healthy relationship skills to couples across New Zealand. Nikki is also an accredited certified life coach, a neuro linguistic programming trainer and a lightning proce…
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Robert Vennell is an ecologist and best-selling natural history author. His first book, The Meaning of Trees, was listed as one of the best non-fiction books of 2019 and was longlisted for an Ockham New Zealand Book Award. His second book, Secrets of the Sea, was selected as a finalist in the illustrated non-fiction category of the Ockham New Zeala…
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Born in Rotorua, Clint is co-host of ZM's drive show, Bree & Clint, with Bree Tomasel. Clint started working at The Edge in 2006. After filling in on the breakfast show at the end of 2013, he started co-hosting The Edge Afternoons with Guy, Sharyn & Clint and The Edge Fat 40 with Guy, Sharyn & Clint from 2014. In 2015, he hosted Hot Right Now on Th…
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Zennon walked out of school at 16 years old and talked himself into a job in a restaurant kitchen at Titirangi’s Barossa. After six months, he moved to Auckland's Euro restaurant, then helmed by Simon Gault. Three years later Zennon moved to Australia, where he honed his skills in some of Australia’s most esteemed kitchens. Zennon returned to Cibo …
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Michèle trained in journalism and has a degree in English literature and drama from Victoria University of Wellington. She started doing stand-up comedy in the 1990s and has toured New Zealand and international venues with her stand-up comedy shows. Michèle has appeared in many TV shows, including What Now, 7Days and The Project, and was the winner…
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Born and raised in Christchurch, Matt attended Burnside High School. He performed in the improvisation comedy Scared Scriptless. Matt started as a teenager presenting kid's television show Squirt, before moving on to Studio 2 Live. He recently returned to New Zealand after 6 years in Sydney where he was a Senior Producer for the Australian Broadcas…
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Kaitlin completed a Bachelor of Broadcasting Communications in Journalism at the New Zealand Broadcasting School. She was a newsreader and editor at Mediaworks from 2012 to 2014 before moving to TVNZ in 2015, starting off on Breakfast, before reporting for 1 NEWS, and most recently as a reporter for Fair Go. In that time, she has made her mark cove…
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Todd was born in Te Aroha and was raised in Te Puna, north of Tauranga. He attended Tauranga Boys College before earning his Master’s Degree from the University of Waikato. He joined the National Party in 1989 and from 1994 to 1997 he served as Executive Assistant to Jim Bolger during his second term as Prime Minister. He is a former University of …
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Petra has worked in TV and radio for over 30 years. She grew up in Christchurch and attended the University of Canterbury, where she completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts. She began her television career at local TV station Cry TV and later co-hosted youth TV series Ice TV and Ice As. She went on to host What’s Really In Our Food? and present TVNZ’s Br…
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Alfred Ngaro was raised in Te Atatū where he attended the local schools, played for the local Rugby clubs and was an active Te Atatū St Giles Church member. He trained and qualified as an electrician and also completed his theological degree at the Bible College of New Zealand. Prior to entering Parliament, Alfred was a consultant in community-led …
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Born in Melbourne, Antony Loewenstein is an Australian-German freelance investigative journalist, author, and filmmaker. He co-founded of Declassified Australia in 2021 to uncover Australia’s often secretive relationships with the world. He’s worked in dozens of countries worldwide and was based in South Sudan in 2015 and East Jerusalem between 201…
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Since becoming the first-ever winner of the competitive cooking reality show MasterChef over a decade ago, Australian mum-of-three Julie Goodwin has become a household name. Formerly an IT professional, Julie was thrust into the limelight and TV shows, best-selling books, radio, appearances, columns, and endorsements were all to follow. Her long-ti…
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Originally from Whangarei, Brad completed his undergraduate studies at Victoria University of Wellington, finishing with a BCom and BA. Brad joined Infometrics in July 2015 as a part-time data analyst while studying and has risen to be one of New Zealand’s most prominent and youngest economic commentators. He was appointed Chief Executive and Princ…
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Bronwyn has a background in social science education and textbook, curriculum and resource development. She researches in the fields of education policy, citizenship education, youth sociology, youth politics and geographies. She has strongly advocated for lowering the voting age to 16 in New Zealand and enhancing civics education in schools. In 20…
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Rangi's career in Māori astronomy began in 1995 when he asked his grandfather about Matariki. He went on to write his MA thesis on traditional Tūhoe weaponry, and his 2006 PhD at Massey University was titled Te Reo Pāho: Māori Radio and Language Revitalisation. He moved to the University of Waikato, becoming a Māori and Indigenous Studies professor…
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Courtney Johnston took up the role of Tumu Whakarae | Chief Executive at Te Papa Museum in 2019. Raised on a dairy farm in Taranaki, Courtney has lived and worked in Wellington since 2000. She holds a Masters in Art History from Victoria University of Wellington, and was the 2015 recipient of a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Scholarship to resear…
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Lan is a proud mother who grew up in Wellington and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in ecology from Massey University before moving to the South Island to work for the Department of Conservation in freshwater ecology, which prompted an interest in freshwater fish. She completed a Master of Science in ecology at the University of Otago. Lan was…
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The CEO of one of the country’s most prominent international aid agencies believes “rampant inequality” in our supply chains makes it near-impossible to make totally ethical decisions about the things we buy. Ian McInnes, who heads up Christian non-profit Tearfund, says Kiwis “haven’t got a clue” how to avoid buying consumer goods that have involve…
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Shaun Wallace is almost always the smartest person in the room. Known best as the ‘Dark Destroyer’ from TVNZ1’s The Chase, Wallace is a quizzing master and one of just five people deemed clever enough to be among the show’s chasers. But he was never meant to make it to these heights. “People think I was born rich, they think I was born clever, they…
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Lotta Dann is a former TV journalist, producer, and director turned author when she got sober in 2011. She became a household name when she confessed on national television in 2014 that she had a drinking problem. Lotta grew up in Christchurch, the second of four sisters. Her dad, leading QC Chris McVeigh, was famed for his role in the iconic Kiwi …
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Location Manager Kelly Stuart joins us at Majers Coin Laundry, the San Fernando, CA laundromat featured as the home and business of the Wang family in the Best Picture-winning film "Everything Everyhwere All at Once." In what is arguably our most candid conversation to-date, Kelly talks about meeting with the film's creators, the challenges of find…
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It was the height of Covid-19 in 2020 when Emma Espiner graduated from medicine school. The broadcaster, political commentator and now-surgeon had mixed emotions about being thrown into work at Middlemore Hospital in the middle of a global pandemic. “It was really frightening, but it was also really interesting because I was glad to have something …
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Warning: This article contains discusses depression and suicide. Brought up in a family that made its living through gang activity and robbing banks, David Letele wasn’t expected to make anything of his life. The ‘Brown Buttabean’ – who now runs a large and highly successful social enterprise – was born the son of the Mongrel Mob’s Auckland leader.…
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For a long time, all Sarah Page of the Kindness Collective and her husband wanted was a baby. But when she finally got pregnant, she hated the experience. The difficulties continued when their son Max was born in 2012. Page, trying to juggle a career, had a severe case of post-natal depression. But the final hammer blow in a “period of real challen…
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Folk duo Terrible Sons may well be the most famous New Zealand band you’ve never heard of. Hailing from Ōtautahi, husband and wife Lauren and Matt Barus only launched the band seven years ago, but their music quickly garnered international attention. One track has had 20 million downloads on Spotify, and data from the streaming service reveals they…
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Te Tai Tokerau boxer Mea Motu is on top of the world after claiming the IBO super bantamweight world title last week, but she knows what it’s like to be at rock bottom. In a new interview, the 33-year-old told Real Life with John Cowan there was a time she wanted to “give up on life” when she was homeless, on the run from her abusive husband, and r…
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Deborah Hart is the daughter of Ronald and author Inge Woolf, who arrived in Wellington after fleeing persecution in Europe. Until her death in 2021, Inge was working on a book, Resilience: A Story of Persecution, Escape, Survival and Triumph, about her remarkable life story, which was picked up and finished by Deborah and released this month. Debo…
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“I may as well just grab six-month blocks while I can and use them to their full potential.” After a major health scare, former Tauranga Mayor Tenby Powell is committed to making the most of the life he’s got left. The Kiwi businessman is the director of Kiwi K.A.R.E, a humanitarian organisation providing medical care and evacuation services to peo…
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Helen Manson is a multi-award-winning humanitarian photographer and storyteller from New Zealand. Helen’s work has taken her around the world to some of the most challenging environments, documenting famine, refugee settlements, post-war environments, child sponsorship, micro-enterprise, trauma counseling and disaster zones. She’s travelled to more…
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When David Seymour was 17, a fight broke out between his principal and a visiting MP. An enthralled Seymour watched on as his Auckland Grammar headmaster John Morris and Trevor Mallard, then the Minister of Education, went head-to-head over the merits of NCEA. Witnessing that heated argument, something happened. Seymour didn’t know it at the time, …
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Genevieve is the co-founder and general manager of Voices of Hope, a not-for-profit organisation aiming to break the stigma around mental illness. She spent most of her teenage years battling mental illness, and as part of her recovery, she has made it her mission to offer hope to those fighting mental illness. Along with Jazz Thornton, she publish…
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Bree was born and raised in Stanthorpe, Queensland, on an apple farm. She gained a degree in communications and journalism before moving to radio, where she worked with Nova Entertainment for five years. She has hosted several programs on the Central Coast of New South Wales. Bree is one half of Bree & Clint, ZM’s drive show. Previously, Bree hoste…
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Bev has worked in the music industry for over 20 years from music management to event coordination, working alongside Ricky Martin, Janet Jackson, Mick Fleetwood, and many more. She has been on the Homegrown Festival team since 2001 and was director for NZ Street Dance for 8 years, developing the talents of many young dancers and facilitating oppor…
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Maria is a lecturer and researcher at Auckland University of Technology. She works in the School of Clinical Sciences and has a background in social work, Māori-centered research, and history. Her work has particularly focused on Māori experiences of whāngai and adoption. Her PhD, Closed Stranger Adoption, Māori and Race Relations in Aotearoa New Z…
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Byron Clark is an activist from Christchurch who has been involved in various forms of activism since his teenage years. Since 2019, he has focussed on the re-emergence of the far-right and spread of misinformation online, much of his activism taking place on YouTube as video essays. Byron recorded an oral history of the ‘Occupy’ protest in 2011 an…
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