Chantal Napa and Haydn Adams who run the Kia Orana Podcast recently sat down with Cook Islands Prime Minister Mark Brown. Photo: REBECCA TAVIONI-TAUTALA 21011201
The permanent smile on her face shows that Chantal Napa is a go-getter. In partnership with American Haydn Adams, she turned a bad situation initiated by Covid-19, into a golden opportunity.
life is an apprenticeship to the truth that around every circle another can be
drawn; that there is no end in nature, but every end is a beginning; that there
is always another dawn risen on midnoon, and under every deep a lower deep
opens.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Napa absolutely loves this poem – to her, raw talent, a spoonful of courage, a
dash of inspiration and a cup of perspiration is all you need to make a
successful go of anything.
after 13 years of being back home, Napa still finds herself learning more and
more everyday about Cook Islands people, history and culture.
the Kia Orana podcast which she co-hosts with American author Haydn Adams, she
is now able to share what she’s learnt with other people worldwide.
multitask when I’m listening to a podcast. I can drive my car, weed my garden,
rake my yard tree leaves, tackle household chores, go for a walk, meditate or
enjoying the company of friends and family, all while listening to a podcast,”
the launch of Kia Orana Podcast, Napa says on her Apple devices she had seen
the icon for Podcast and had never opened the application up.
convinced Napa to persevere, was the fact that there were no other podcasts
coming out of the Cook Islands yet.
accepted, to pioneer and trail-blaze,” she says.
August last year both Napa and Adams said the aim of the podcast was to create
a new media channel for the Cook Islands.
Orana Podcast is a weekly broadcast of audio episodes to a world-wide audience,
showcasing what you will and won’t find in the Cook Islands.
was launched, the free podcast has a strong following with 2968 downloads in
Oceania, 929 downloads in North America, 294 downloads in Europe, 104 downloads
in Asia, 12 in South America and three downloads in Africa.
has she learnt in the last eight months with podcasting?
to be the listener and my guest is actually the star of the show,” Napa says.
of you that know me personally, know that I’m usually always the talker. We all
think we know people but if we take the time to listen, we learn more about
them and such interestingly enough that others would also be interested to
surface you see people around school drop off/pick up, says Napa, adding while
out grocery shopping or at work and because of respect for each other’s
privacy, we often hesitate to take the time to ask leading questions about them
you do, you truly find the layers of characteristics and experiences of people,
which is so important.
their podcast sessions, Napa listen to their passions, their background, what
drives them, their motivation, their accumulated skill sets, their dreams and
you start asking people about their story, they can take you on a life long
journey. So what you unearth is the pearl inside the oyster,” Napa says.
said so many times during my last 37 recorded weekly interviews, ‘Oh wow! I
never knew that’, or ‘I’ve known you seven years and I never knew that about
you’, or ‘As you all know when Chantal is quiet, she’s learning’.”
Covid, Napa says it’s given people more time to talk and engage with each
other, “not having to rush off and be somewhere else”.
having the 167,000 yearly visitors that the Cook Islands usually welcome and
care for has in some ways been a silver lining.
we were not monetary rich as we had lost a large bulk of our revenue streams,
but hey we instantly became time rich! I chose to take a step back and help
provide a stage for our people to share their voice and their stories - locally
and internationally,” she says.
Adams, Napa’s American co-host, has been instrumental in the application and
futuristic design technology of this project.
with Adams, they have interviewed some amazing local people including Anthony
Brown, historian Jean Mason, Prime Foods managing director Daniel Forsyth and
Island Craft’s Fletcher Melvin and they are so appreciative of the positive and
inquisitive response that they have received since launching.
one person who Napa showed the most restraint to approach and request an
interview, purely out of respect and awe, was Cook Islands Prime Minister Mark
thought - don’t approach, don’t annoy, don’t ask, he’s a busy man!
late December and after two hours sitting in the same relaxed social gathering,
our Prime Minister says to me: ‘Chantal, E no’o mai rā koe ki taku pae, ka
inangaro au i te tuatua kia koe”. My response: ‘Kua pa’u au, e te Prime Minita,
e akapeea koe, i te kite, ka kite au i te tuatua Māori?’. To which he laughed
and said, ‘I’d like to speak to you about your podcast. I’ll go on as a guest
and let’s see if that helps to lift the profile of the Cook Islands podcast
I tried to look relaxed and calm but inwardly I was excited and I responded:
‘That would be amazing Mark, I appreciate your support. Your presence on the
podcast will not only lift the profile, but also the integrity of the
Brown’s podcast episode shines through in a relaxed manner, his personality is
brave, his perspective is courageous, his vision is confident and his love for
the country and people very endearing, she says.
Prime Minister has a great sense of humour!”
along with businesses, close friends and family have mentored Napa through
podcasting and supplied her with honest feedback - all with the best intentions
of helping her to be better.
appreciate each and every one of you for your time and love to help me, along
this challenging yet exciting podcast journey,” she says.
also received feedback via email from overseas clients requesting me to
interview certain local people. As they would like to hear their stories. The
list of guests that we could interview is endless and we are willing to guide
them through the process that podcasting can offer.”