She laughs at being called New Zealand's Simon Cowell.

And while Whanganui's Hinera O'Rourke may not be a rich and famous music producer, she could be on the way.

Working from a back bedroom of her Castlecliff home, the 25-year-old has a knack for discovering new talent and exposing it to the world.

Acts like Ratana's Jackson Owens who was picked up by Tim Coombes, the United States producer of major bands the Back Street Boys and Nsync, after featuring on Hinera's Facebook and You Tube channels.


At just 17 he's already performed in Europe and the US, and features in a video with American Idol winner Jessica Sanchez singing a spine-tingling rendition of Georgia On My Mind.

Hinera runs Aotearoa's Most Talented and since 2013 has published videos of more than 100 New Zealand music acts, including around 20 from Whanganui.

Her You Tube channel has over 4.5 million views and 20,000 subscribers. Her Facebook page peaked at 180,000 likes before it was taken down for alleged copyright breaches, but is up and running again and has already climbed back up to 44,000 likes.

Hinera has quit her job with Maori Television and now works fulltime on her project.

"I would hop onto Facebook and find artists trying to get exposure for themselves and thought it would be great if they were all featured on the one page so I started linking to them and featuring them on my page," she explains.

Before too long artists "and their aunts" started approaching Hinera wanting to appear on her page. She started a companion You Tube channel featuring the acts also. She has a smaller presence on Instagram and Snapchat.

Occassionally she discovers raw talent - artists who don't have a video - and she brings them to her home to record them from a makeshift studio in a back bedroom.

"Some have never used a microphone before."


She's recorded two older ladies performing "hard out metal and rock" but prefers dealing with younger artists who are less set in their way and open to playing around with their music.

Ultimately she says she wants the music industry to use her channels as a resource to source new talent and produce new acts.

"I also want to tour some of the acts up and down the country. No, I will make that happen."

It is the sort of determination that has seen her teach herself lots of advanced computer and video editing skills, along with business planning and of course knowledge of the music scene.

She has 201 videos featured on her You Tube channel and is excited when some take off in popularity. "Seeing videos go viral is a crazy thing and so good for the artists. We have so much talent here in New Zealand, I'm glad I can help let the rest of the world see that too."

"Over the past few years, we have watched these young talents grow, upskill and move forward in their journeys. We are beyond proud of them for the things that they have accomplished and the confidence that they have gained while being apart of the 'Aotearoa's most talented' movement.

"We hope that this platform will grow even bigger, that people from the industry will see the fire that we see in these rangatahi and open doors of opportunity for them. We have an awesome audience that love seeing new talents rise up and share their souls with the world."

Hinera's channel on facebook and You Tube can be found by searching for Aotearoa's Most Talented.