Miriama Smith will play Cupid's assistant when she hosts new show Finding Aroha.

The reality dating show has friends and whanau shooting Cupid's arrow instead of letting contestants choose for themselves. Smith, who was born in Rotorua and spent her first four years in Whakarewarewa, guides romance seekers and puts suitors to the test with hilarious results.

"I loved it. I met some beautiful people and I had a real laugh because when you have got family and friends involved it is just a really nice, light-hearted take on love.

"Everyone has got your best interest at heart. What makes it different is you see the cute relationships of the family. The brothers' and sisters' digs at each other, and their laughter, which is different from the relationships with the nanas. It's all very funny and lovely."


She said while other dating shows focused only on the romantic couples, the benefit of this show was whanau and friends knew the history and dating disasters of their loved ones, and had the power to make changes for people.

"People have types and they always date the same type. The family know the track record of their loved one and we see them choosing people completely different from the track record.

"We can all obviously go for the chocolate cake, but the whanau say, we are choosing fruit- it's better for you!"

While Smith admires the contestants' courage in allowing other people to make choices for them, she wouldn't be keen for that to happen to herself.

"I take my hat off to them. I wouldn't want my friends and family choosing for me. I wouldn't have that much faith. Let's just say, I like to be part of the process."

She said while the show was very funny, there was wisdom along with the shenanigans.

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"I see love and life is actually about timing. If something doesn't work out, it's not actually that they are not the right person for you or that they did something wrong - it's just the timing might not be right. You have to be truly open to love manifesting."

■ Finding Aroha starts on Maori TV on August 4 at 8.30pm.