Bevan Hurley

Bevan Hurley is the Herald on Sunday chief reporter.

Tamati's got talent when it comes to hosting

Tamati Coffey is keen to act as a mentor to contestants on 'New Zealand's Got Talent'. Photo /  Janna Dixon
Tamati Coffey is keen to act as a mentor to contestants on 'New Zealand's Got Talent'. Photo / Janna Dixon

Weatherman Tamati Coffey has been unveiled as the host of New Zealand's Got Talent.

The Breakfast television star will be the face of the multi-million dollar talent show which begins its search for the country's top talent next month.

And the popular star says he has already told TVNZ bosses who he wants to see on the judging panel.

"Australia had Mel B so I said why don't we get Mel C in New Zealand; we all know her, she's got international kudos. I don't know if she's on the cards but I'm still crossing my fingers."

Coffey says he will act as a mentor for contestants, providing a shoulder to cry on as well as words of encouragement.

"I think people know me and know that I am actually the good guy and I'm not there to win any points off anybody. Minimise the tears, operate the hugs - that's where I see my job."

He believes "peer pressure" will be important in convincing talented Kiwis to sign up for the show.

"It's your friends telling you you don't need to get drunk and do that thing that you always do, it's about saying you can do that sober," he says.

"And know that I'm going to be there. I'll be there with them holding their hands through the whole process."

Pre-auditions will begin on Breakfast from the end of April and the roadshow will kick into gear after that with auditions being held in dozens of towns around the country.

The show will screen twice a week from September to November, with the winner receiving a cash prize of about $100,000. Toyota and NZ On Air are the foundation partners.

A TVNZ spokeswoman said: "We do genuinely want to hunt out talent, nurture them and give them a showcase. It's not about getting people to make fools of themselves."

But she admitted it would be a tough ask.

"Open auditions will be a cattle call - you have to prove yourself really quickly. It can be pretty brutal, depending on the judges we get."

* To enter go to tvnz.co.nz/newzealandsgottalent

- Herald on Sunday

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