‘You just have to be yourself’: Ingrid Hipkiss on taking over from Samantha Hayes on the 6pm news

''You just have to go in there and hope your experience and integrity comes through.''
Ingrid Hipkiss

Taking over the prime role of a Newshub 6pm newsreader would be a career highlight for many journalists, but for TV3 veteran Ingrid Hipkiss it’s just one of many in her lengthy career.

“I’ve been so lucky to be a part of this place, and when I look back it’s all been one big highlight really,” smiles Ingrid.

The 46-year-old now sits in Samantha Hayes (35) chair on the news desk. Samantha gave birth to her wee boy Marlow on September 19.

Her maternity leave was originally covered by Melissa Chan-Green, who herself has now gone on leave to have a bub, so Ingrid’s not sure how long she’ll be sitting in the presenting chair while Samantha is on maternity leave.

“She’s great at the job and loves it, so I’m sure she’ll be back quick smart, but as a new mum that’s not some-thing you can always do easily. I know she has her mum with her at the moment, which is such an amazing gift when you’re a new mother.”

Ingrid is no stranger to the Live at 6pm studio, having worked as the show’s weather presenter since her role on The Paul Henry Show ended in January 2017.

“I’ve worked with Mike McRoberts in that studio for years and we have a really good team environment going so I know I’m in safe hands,” she tells.

“I’ll be part of the same team, just playing in a slightly different position!”

Ingrid has been preparing for the role by reading the Newshub weekend editions for a month.

“It’s great being back and immersed in news at the production stage, watching it all come together,” she says.

“Seeing the script come in, the calls in from reporters, it’s an exciting thing… Being part of all that going to air is a real privilege.

“Mike is very supportive and I can’t think of anyone better to be seated next to when you’re going into a relatively new role.”

But at the end of the day, Ingrid says it’s all about just being who you are.

“You just have to go in there, be yourself and hope your experience and integrity comes through. There is no point trying to be what you think a newsreader is supposed to be, or trying to be like someone else because I think the audience sees through that.”

Experience is something Ingrid has in spades, having spent 17 years at TV3 in a variety of roles.

“I’ve done everything from weather presenting to working on The Paul Henry Show, a stint on Campbell Live and covering politics! It was exciting to see things unfold every day, political leaders coming and going, big law reforms and seeing history happen right in front of you.”

Recently though, the TV team found themselves at the centre of the news when MediaWorks announced it had put Three up for sale. Ingrid confirms that came as a shock.

“Everyone was reeling for a bit, but after a day or two we’re showing up at work and we’ve got a job to do and everyone’s just getting on with it,” she confides. “We’re fighters at TV3.

“It’s part of our DNA. Since we started there have been ups and downs the whole way. I think it is part of the character of the place that we just get up and get on with it. There are so many talented and committed people who work there, so it’s a joy to go into work every day.”

Ingrid scooped up the chance to work as a weather presenter when The Paul Henry Show wrapped up in 2017.

Ingrid says she never had a grand career plan in mind, with her time at TV3 being more about the fact she says yes to everything.

“I’ve never said no, right from the start. I was working in print when I started out at the Shore News newspaper and I had a meeting with the then new boss Mark Jennings. He said, ‘So you want to get into television’ and in my head I was thinking, ‘Oh no, that sounds far too scary and way out of my comfort zone.’ But, then I heard myself say, ‘Yes, that would be great.’

“Sometimes putting myself outside my comfort zone has paid off, and the skills do carry over. I just think of myself as someone who communicates, whether it’s telling a political story, a weather story or a news story, you’re taking information and then hoping to package it up in a way that is useful for people to watch and listen to.”

On the home front, nothing will change much for Ingrid’s husband, cameraman Jack Tarrant and sons Hunter (12) and Brody (8).

Ingrid may not be there for dinner, but she makes up for it by being a parent who loves being on the sideline at sport in the weekends.

“Both the boys are sporty and I’m one of those rare breeds who just loves spending my Saturday mornings on the cricket sidelines.

“I’ve been working the same hours doing the weather, so it’s business as normal for them. They’re really supportive and it’s actually quite nice when you have a stressful day and you come home. They’re not worried, it doesn’t bother them, you are still you and it’s a nice reset to walk into that.”

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