There would not be many New Zealanders unfamiliar with the flame-hair, blue-eyed force of nature that is Samantha Hayes. One of TV Three’s cornerstone news anchors, Samantha has been presenting and reporting current affairs since her early 20s.
South African-born to a Kiwi dad and SA mother, Samantha’s family moved to the small NZ town of Milton when she was six months old, where she grew up playing netball and riding horses competitively.
Samantha kicked off her media career as an intern with TV3 when she was 17 (while studying for a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Media and International Relations from Victoria University), which eventually led to a role as entertainment reporter on Nightline when she was 22. At 23, she became anchor of Nightline, and has now been with the network for over 10 years, in a variety of presenting roles for shows including Newshub Late, 3rd Degree, 3D, 3D Investigates, Newsworthy, Nightline and Firstline.
She took up the position of Newshub Live co-anchor, alongside Mike McRoberts, in 2016 (following Hillary Barry’s resignation). Mike now affectionately refers to Sam as his “work wife” and they are known for their close and synergistic relationship behind the newsdesk. Sam also travels regularly to film and file investigative reports from all over the world, most recently from Antarctica and Syria.
In 2018 Sam took home the coveted disco ball as winner of the seventh series of Dancing with the Stars NZ. Her time on the dance floor revealed a whole new – vulnerable and emotional - side of Sam to Kiwi audiences.
She loves a challenge, and has never been one to coast, or rest on her laurels – personally or professionally. After DWTS finished, she set off mountain-climbing in South America. Samantha has been a vegetarian since she was 11 years old, and is passionate about animal rights.
She has a wealth of experience MCing, and has hosted events all around NZ over the years. Her live TV experience ensures Sam can carry any event effortlessly; timed to the minute, with her signature warmth and enthusiasm. Corporate or intimate, Sam is as comfortable hosting boutique events for smaller groups, as she is managing a room of hundreds of people.
Sam gave birth to her first child, son Marlow, in November 2019, and is thoroughly enjoying balancing motherhood with presenting and MC roles!