Greg Bruce meets Moana Maniapoto and her son and producer Hikurangi Kimiora Jackson.
He says: "I feel like Mum could be one of the best hosts in the country."
She says: "That's very nice, darling."
"She gets nervous all the time for some reason," he says. "She's like that when she's singing, too - she gets nervous before she goes on stage. It's just giving her that confidence. It's a bit weird eh, because I'm the son and she's the mum."
She is Moana Maniapoto, the host of Māori TV current affairs show Te Ao With Moana, and he is Hikurangi Kimiora Jackson, her producer and firstborn.
She says: "I always get the ultimate last say, not because I'm the mother but because it's got my name on it. So it's quite a respectful relationship. I say to people: 'I've got to go now: the kid boss wants me to do this.'"
He's a successful journalist, with multiple national media award wins and nominations, and nearly a decade of experience; she's a novice with lofty ideals. He says: "I remember when we first started she said, 'We're going to do investigative journalism every week' and I was like, 'That's impossible.'"
She says: "Oh, I didn't know anything."
He says: "I was like, 'Every week? Where do you think you'll get all these stories from? How are we going to find 35 investigative stories? Melanie Reid might work on one for two years.'"
She says: "I have learned to listen to him now."
Scotty Morrison on where Māori came from and why it matters
Thousands want to hunt with Pania Tepaiho-Marsh. She will never turn them away
She grew up in Invercargill and Rotorua, became a qualified lawyer, formed Moana and the Moahunters, had a hit song with Black Pearl, married trade union organiser (later broadcaster and MP) Willie Jackson (they divorced in the early 2000s) and appeared regularly on hit 90s TV3 panel show The Ralston Group.
He was born 29 years ago. She wanted to call him Kimiora. His father wanted to call him Hikurangi. Neither of them would give way. "They're both stubborn," he says. He got both names. His birth certificate says Kimiora Hikurangi but he usually writes Hikurangi Kimiora. His mum's family call him Kimiora; his dad's family call him Hikurangi. His friends use both. Whenever he changed schools as a kid, he says, his parents both used to rush in to assert their preference.
He grew up in a strongly Māori world speaking only Māori at home with his parents and also at preschool and primary school. His only experience in the Pākehā world, he says, was at secondary school.
"We sent him to King's College," Maniapoto says, "just to rark it up a bit."
"Go and learn some English," he says.
"It was actually good," she says. "It was good for him because he was out of that little echo chamber. So kids would come up to him and say, 'You're only here because you got a scholarship,' or say really racist things."
It was the time of Don Brash's Ōrewa speech and the ensuing rubbing of our collective racial rawness. It was also the time of the foreshore and seabed march and the Tūhoe raids.
Jackson says: "I remember arguing with all my mates, saying, 'Tame Iti is not a terrorist' and they were like, 'No, he's a terrorist, he's got all these guns, he's trying to take over New Zealand.' I was like, 'Are you guys crazy?' It's funny, eh, when you're in your little world."
Maniapoto says: "I thought it was really important that he got outside his comfort zone because the world isn't a nice little kohanga reo, cosy little space."
He says: "Everyone at King's was blue, team blue. It's quite interesting, sitting there listening to what everyone's saying. No point arguing with everyone, because you are the only one in the room that thinks the way that you do."
She says: "You would want to lash out, eh?"
He says: "I lashed out a couple of times."
She says: "We would go, 'No, this is the real world and you have to try and man up and argue or figure out another strategy. You can't just dong people.'"
He says: "I would just come home and tell Mum and Dad, 'This is what they said at school today.' They said we killed all the Moriori and they were the first people here in New Zealand or teachers were using the 'N-word' because they think it's normal.
"I don't want to throw King's under the bus," he says. "Students would use it without realising that's not a very nice word. Most of the people there were cool."
Jackson says the school thought his parents were radicals. Maniapoto says she was often invited to talk there around Waitangi Day. She told the students to rebel and protest and demand to learn te reo at King's.
"We would always say to the principal: 'Why aren't they teaching Māori?' They would say they couldn't find a teacher. We would say, 'What a load of rubbish.'"
He left school and became a journalist. Last year, during the first season of Te Ao with Moana, he was still working as a reporter on Marae, where his stories had garnered both national awards and national recognition. At the end of the year, he resigned from Marae and signed up to become her producer. He says he didn't want to compete with her anymore.
During the first lockdown, her house in Muriwai became their de facto studio and they lived together for the first time since he moved out of home at 18.
"That's when we almost had a big fight," he says. "I had to live with her 24/7."
"He's so untidy," she says. "Oh my God."
"24/7 work and living," he says.
"And we started drinking every night."
"I started drinking wine," he says. "I'd never drunk wine before."
She says: "He would go, 'Let's watch a movie.' It actually was fun. I actually enjoyed it."
He doesn't say whether or not he enjoyed it.
He says: "If it wasn't work, it would be all good but it's just like 24/7: 'What are we doing about the show on Monday?'"
She says: "Yeah, but he's like me. He's like a workaholic. We just always talk about it. We enjoy it."
He says: "My big goal, just to go back to the start, has always been to cut through with the mainstream audience, Pākehā audience."
"Oh, yes!" she says.
He says: "Trying to make our Māori voices mainstream. I got offered to work on a few mainstream shows this year and then I kind of had an epiphany that we should try and mainstream our shows."
"That's right!" she says.
She says Pākehā might feel challenged by some of their stories, but that they shouldn't get their knickers in a twist over them: "They should think, 'Okay, I'm up for that' and get excited, as opposed to feeling hopeless or helpless."
He says: "It's not a good feeling, feeling threatened if you're watching something, because that's how I felt growing up, watching bloody mainstream TV. We always felt like they were never on our side."
He says: "It's like a team effort with us and The Hui who are on at 9.30am on Sunday - a lame time - and Marae, who are on at 10am on Sunday on TV1 and us on Māori TV. So we are trying to get Pākehā to watch Māori TV, trying to build that Māori voice collective, so the people know who Miriama [Kamo] is, or Mum is, or Mihi Forbes is - that our opinions matter."
In a recent episode, they gathered Hannah Tamaki, Labour MP Tamati Coffey and Māori Party candidate Rawiri Waititi in a restaurant for fish and chips. Moana opened the conversation by asking if they could all agree that Destiny Church does good things.
She says now: "Well, it's kind of the elephant in the room isn't it?"
He says: "We thought it was but maybe it's not for other people."
She says: "Well, we didn't know what they were going to say, eh? That was the first time they had met, all of them together and I was outside with Hannah and then Tamati comes and I thought, 'How is this going to go?' and they were all really polite and really nice and warm and it turns out Tamati's cousin or something runs a church down there - the Destiny thing - so that's the Māori world."
He says: "You can't be Māori if you don't have a conflict."
She says: "It's not nepotism; it's whanaungatanga."
He says: "We're all related."
She says: "She was really lovely but totally out of her depth."
She says he often suggests things she's not comfortable with, and that he makes her anxious. "His thing will pop up and I will go, 'Oh God,' and he'll go, 'Mum, I've had a great idea for an interview - Billy TK - and it's like, 'Noooo.'"
She says she did not want to interview TK, who appeared on her show in July: "I felt conflicted," she says, "and the sense that amplifying that voice …"
Jackson interrupts: "I thought it was justified because he is Māori and he's got a big Māori following."
"Of course," she says. "That's why we ended up doing it."
He says: "And we are a Māori current affairs show. It's just like how we're allowed to do stories on Destiny Church if we want to, even though a lot of people clearly don't like them. I got criticised when I was at Marae for doing a story on them. It's justified: big Māori following, Māori-led, we are a Māori current affairs show. It should be us telling the stories - the good and the bad."
She says: "My whole thing was, 'Let's just pretend it's not there' and he was like: 'Let's bring the elephant out into the room.'"
They say they have both known TK for a long time.
"Te Ao Māori is so small," he says.
"He played in one of my music videos," she says.
He says: "I think he's related to my grandmother somehow."
The interview was very uncomfortable.
She says her son will often chase stories others won't: "Sometimes Māori media is …"
He interrupts: "I know what you're going to say. We are left-leaning in the Māori media."
"Yeah," she says. "So he will interview people who are not obviously across Māori media, like David Seymour, who is Māori.
He adds: "Paula Bennett and Simon Bridges."
He says: "I'm used to seeing all the other lot on Māori media, Marama Davidson, the Māori Party. I don't often see the National lot on Māori media."
She says: "We don't understand their point of view sometimes or hear their point of view in terms of Māori things."
He says: "And we have a bit of a snobbery towards the Māori in the National lot because they didn't grow up in Te Ao Māori. So we did an opinion piece this year about what defines a Māori because we kinda got sick of that whole kōrero, that whole talk about, 'Well Simon Bridges isn't a real Māori' and Paula Bennett. Māori were saying, 'They're not real Māori.'"
She says: "I hate that, so I did an opinion piece on that: What defines a Māori? 'You have to look a certain way, you have to speak a certain way, you have to think a certain way.'"
He says: "You have to speak te reo Māori."
She says: "You have to unpack a lot of stuff and go, 'The reason people think and speak and act a certain way is because, if you tied it back, it's colonisation and marginalisation.' Stop slamming them. That really resonated with heaps of people."
He says: "My definition of Māori, of being Māori, is just whakapapa. That's not what everyone thinks, for some reason."
She says: "That was the end part of our opinion piece, that it's about whakapapa. It doesn't matter if you've got blue eyes or blond hair."
He says: "I guess we challenge our own people sometimes, as well as the mainstream."
Her interviews with American academic and activist Angela Davis and great pro-independence leader of the Pacific Oscar Temaru have been highlights but she also liked David Seymour.
"What I like about somebody like Seymour," she says, "is that even if I disagree with their philosophy, they do have one, whereas there are a lot of people out there who are not driven by any particular political ideology."
Jackson says: "You mean there's MPs out there and you don't know what they stand for, right?"
"Yeah. yeah," she says. "Like, they don't stand for anything. It's just confusing when you ask them what they stand for."
She says: "You can meet people who genuinely want to make change, like I interviewed Paula Bennett and she's sincere about wanting to uplift Māori, to do things for Māori, except that the strategies that she advocates don't bear that out. They're not going to."
He says: "In your opinion."
She says: "Can I have one? In my honestly held opinion, you just tweak around the edges and not much is going to change. You've got to dig in deep." She says: "I think it's good based on a conversation to challenge your own mind, to think, 'Okay, am I clear on this?'
"It's provocative thinking," she says, "and it makes you consider whether, you know, just looking at the edges of discussions - things aren't always black and white."
She says she has thought about going into politics but the timing has always been off.
He says: "She's almost been recruited a few times. Why don't you join the National Party, Mum?"
She says: "Oh, shut up!"
She says: "A few times you think, 'Should I?' and then you think, 'Nah, I've got a band or just had a child' and then you think, 'That was lucky. Thank God'." She says: "Being a politician - what a stink job."
She says: "I know I rabbit on about constitutional transformation but it is about trying to find a different model - and we're not. We don't have enough confidence in ourselves as a country or as people to experiment, to think outside the square."
He says: "I think Mum would be a good politician, to be honest. It's just whether she's tough enough and, in terms of that ruthless political world, you need thick skin. My dad's got it; I think my mum does but she's really nice, too. I would hate to see how she would react when someone had a massive go at her in the House. But Mum is clever-as, staunch-as."
She says: "Oh I've had people have massive goes at me."
He says: "I don't know what party she would be in."