30 May 2020
Barbara was born and brought up in her mother's home island of Kiribati and has always been passionate about the Pacific Islands and fighting for Pacific Islands issues to be covered in mainstream media.
As Pacific Correspondent for 1 News, Barbara's coverage of stories has included Fiji's cursed "cannibal village" and the sinking islands of Tuvalu. She has broken many stories including the discovery of live chemical weapons lying at the side of the road in the Solomon Islands. As well as international stories, Barbara has also concentrated on issues facing Pacific Islanders living in New Zealand, including exposing a scam targeting Pacific Islands.
After graduating from Auckland University with a Bachelor of Arts, Barbara began her career in journalism in 1990 as a reporter with the Rarotonga-based Cook Islands News. From there she co-owned and edited a weekly newspaper Cook Islands Press that won a regional Freedom of the Press award. After eight years, she returned to New Zealand in 1998 where she worked as a business columnist and freelance feature writer for the NZ Listener and editor of Achievers magazine. Barbara started working for TVNZ in 2002 and became a Pacific correspondent in 2003.
Last week, Barbara won 2 major awards at the Voyager Media Awards for the Best TV/Video News Item and Best Coverage of a Major News Event for her leading coverage of the Samoan measles crisis last year.