Jack Tame on why he quit Breakfast: 'It is a brutal, brutal life'

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Thu, 13 Feb 2020, 4:51PM
Jack Tame is the guest on Six and a Song. (Photo / NZ Herald)

Jack Tame on why he quit Breakfast: 'It is a brutal, brutal life'

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Thu, 13 Feb 2020, 4:51PM

A sense of shame pushed Newstalk ZB host Jack Tame to learn te reo Māori.

Speaking to Simon Barnett and Phil Gifford for Six and a Song, Tame was asked about what pushed him to learn te reo. 

He says that while living in America as the correspondent for TVNZ, he lived in Spanish Harlem. His neighbours, most of whom spoke multiple languages, used to ask him to speak Māori, and he had to admit that he couldn't do that. 

"I felt that Kiwi identity a lot more when I moved away from home. And I thought, when I get back to New Zealand, I'm going to make at least a little bit of an effort to speak a bit more Māori. 

"It's been really, really rewarding." 

Moving back to New Zealand, Tame picked up the role as co-host of TVNZ's Breakfast show. He did the role for close over two years, and loved the role, but he felt it was having a negative impact on his health. 

"It is a brutal, brutal life," he says of early mornings. He says that waking up at 3:30am every morning and having to be perky and bright every day was having a negative impact on his health. 

"I felt like I was ageing three days for every day that I woke up." 

Tame says that there aren't many jobs at that level in New Zealand, but he wants a lengthy career rather than getting burnt out at 35. 

When the job to host Q&A came up, Tame says he went to his boss and asked for the change, thinking in part that it would silence the people who think he is too young for his job. 

"This is an opportunity for me to do some really serious, thoughtful broadcasting and prove to any doubters in that space what I'm capable of." 

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