Wellington Scoop

Cheers and applause for Geoff Robinson, after his last Morning Report

geoff rob
Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

News from Radio New Zealand
Morning Report presenter Geoff Robinson has signed off after 35 years hosting New Zealand’s most popular radio show and 44 years in public broadcasting.

As the pips struck nine o’clock this morning he said a last goodbye to listeners. Emerging from the Wellington studio, where television cameras had been filming his final show, he was cheered and clapped by a crowd of fellow Radio New Zealand workers. Former co-presenter Sean Plunket was there as well.

Paying tribute to Geoff, RNZ head of news Don Rood said: “You have made Morning Report what it is.”

Tuesday was also co-host Simon Mercep’s last day on Morning Report before moving to the weekday afternoon slot on Radio New Zealand National. Morning Report’s new presenters, Susie Ferguson and Guyon Espiner, take up their roles on Wednesday.

Probably the nation’s best-known radio voice, Geoff Robinson joined the New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation in Dunedin in 1970 after emigrating from Britain. He first filled in on Morning Report on 6 June 1975 but was soon presenting the show full-time – and with only a slight detour to read commercial news in the late 1970s, he has been the voice of Morning Report ever since.

Of the many major international news events the programme has covered, he rates the 9/11 terror attacks on the United States as the biggest.

“It was exciting. It was horrible. Probably the most important news story I’ll ever cover. You get carried along by the excitement of the story but then when you finish, the emotional realisation of what you’ve been talking about takes over. I came down quite heavily that day.”

Geoff has also reported on many of the major local news stories of the past 40 years, including the crash of Air New Zealand flight 901 into Mt Erebus in Antarctica in 1979, the sinking of the Rainbow Warrior in 1985 and the Aramoana shootings in 1990.

He says of the Aramoana massacre: “I had one enormous advantage over my then co-host but the advantage was that I had lived and worked in Dunedin for five years when I joined broadcasting, so I knew Aramoana. I felt the shock as much as any but that little bit of extra knowledge, I think, helped.”

More recently, Geoff has been the mainstay of Radio New Zealand’s coverage of the Christchurch earthquakes, including anchoring the memorial for those who died. He has anchored many other memorial services and state occasions: the funeral of Sir Charles Upham, the memorial service for Sir Edmund Hillary and the tangi for Te Arikinui Dame Te Ata i Rangi Kaahu. He also anchored the Cave Creek memorial service and the service for the victims of the Asian tsunami.

Read the complete RNZ report here