This week's Newsmaker is Peter Peeti who is the director and presenter of Maori Television's longest running series Kai Time On The Road which is into its 10th season

Tell us about yourself.

If you have heard about the saying "Burning the candle at both ends" - that's me, no rest for the wicked as some say. I tend to try and make the most out of every day and night whether it's work, family time, hunting, fishing, diving or sport.

Starting my career as a chef, I accomplished my goal completing my apprenticeship years here in Rotorua. I continued working as a sous chef and executive chef in various restaurants around town before stepping off the beaten track to dive head first into the world of television.


Eleven years as director/presenter for Maori Television's Kai Time On The Road produced by Maui Productions Television has been an exciting journey with the 10th series, 256 shows, now back.

As a hearty league and rugby player over the years I had to retire the rugby boots as a broken arm or black eye from a contact sport does not look good on TV. Once you have a deadline set for on air dates these need to be met no matter what it takes. So the boots are hanging up - for now.

I traded my boots in for squash shoes which takes up at least four evenings during a normal week but as soon as the weekend arrives it's time to head to the bush to hunt or to the sea to harvest depending on the weather conditions.

What do you do?

Kai Time On The Road has provided many opportunities for me. I started as a presenter working alongside great friends like Ngarue Ratapu, Te Hamua Nikora and Kingi Biddle all with their own unique flare on and off camera. As the shows progressed I accepted the role as director which set up a whole new path to follow and to learn about on the go. Indeed this is a full time job, one that I enjoy as I get the privilege to meet the many people and taste the variety of kai around Aotearoa.

What were you doing before Kai Time On The Road?

I was working as sous chef at the Heritage under executive chef Vincent Knipmeyer of Germany - an experienced person who kept the talk about chefs in a kitchen. Lucky for me I was still playing rugby league at the time so big hits were mainly concentrated on the field and not in the kitchen.

What do you most enjoy about being part of the show?

Visiting places I have never been to before and meeting the wonderful people from that area.

What do you find most challenging?

The challenging part for me is to keep the show exciting for each episode so people are tuning in every time. Exploring new angles for cooking and finding different kai to cook is a challenge. Finally have you ever tried to direct a wild deer, a frisky boar, a spooky trout or a timid duck to hold till the cameraman is ready, now there's a tricky skill to try and master.

What is your favourite dish?

I enjoy cooking up all food from seafood to fish, meat, pasta, vegetables, breads and desserts. I have a weak spot for desserts. Rhubarb and apple crumble with fresh cream and icecream tops the list.

Other than your show what are your favourite food shows?

I have to say that Rick Stein has been a favourite chef. His recipes are so simple. His show is similar to Kai Time On The Road as he travels around the country harvesting food, meeting people and whipping up meals with whatever equipment he can find wherever he is. I still tune in to his shows regularly.

Who is your mentor?

Within the hospitality industry again it would have to be Rick Stein for the simple reason that his knowledge about food is so vast. The whole show comes across well with good descriptive words to help sweeten the food.

But to keep things real nothing can compare to the words of wisdom from my mother.

If you could do anyone else's job for a day what would you do?

I'd really enjoy presenting Mazda Outdoors or Gone Fishing. Everything these presenters do on screen is what I do on a weekly basis plus it's a good opportunity to hit main screen television.

Tell us three things about yourself that most people probably wouldn't know.

Some people say never trust a skinny chef. Just to give you a heads up I do eat my own food I cook up, sometimes too much.

I get butterflies when it's time to go live to air, it keeps the adrenalin pumping.

Being a presenter will never change who I really am and what I enjoy the most, family and hunting. As the boys from Koutu and Awahou put it B.T.P - Born to Provide.