Ryland Hutana

Ryland Hutana

Content Producer, Māori Television
Bachelor of Communication Studies in Digital Media

Ngāti Porou

He has always been interested in media and filmmaking, says communication studies alumnus Ryland Hutana who is now a content producer at Māori Television.

“My role involves a little bit of everything, from concepting and writing ideas for content pieces, to shooting and editing. I also conduct interviews, and manage social media platforms, as well as some graphic design and animation when the time calls for it. My work primarily centres around the social platform TUKU, but I’ve also been involved in various other productions at the company.

“As someone who loves all aspects of production, it’s a real joy to be able to get my hands on all the facets that make this machine work, and skill myself up in all those areas, while improving on the things I really enjoy and am proficient at.”

Ryland loves being part of a community that strives to create content by Māori for Māori, and share this unique perspective with the rest of Aotearoa and the world.

“I enjoy working with the variety of people here at Māori Television, from those that have been at the company since it started, to others that have been around the world and back. It really is an opportunity that I did not think I’d find myself in right after I graduated, especially with COVID-19 really kicking into gear at the time.”

A fresh start
For Ryland, the first step towards his TV career was enrolling in AUT’s Bachelor of Communication Studies, supported by a McDonald’s Te Tai Tokerau/Te Tai Rawhiti scholarship for Māori students.

“I chose communication studies at AUT due to its practical elements and its scope; covering many different areas, including journalism, advertising and digital media. At the time, while I had my ideas of what I wanted to do, I appreciated that the degree enabled me to get a feel for other avenues I could apply my skills to. I loved my time studying at AUT, and as well as Auckland providing a unique living and social experience, it was great to be able to meet like-minded people who shared my interests.”

Having grown up in Gisborne, for Ryland starting university also meant moving from the East Coast to Auckland.

“It was a massive undertaking moving from Gizzy to Tāmaki, yet it was something I always looked forward to and was moderately prepared for. As for a lot of others, there was a lot of adjustment to do, living with random people and on your own, but it was exciting as well as it was terrifying. As someone who was eager to take on the world, I thoroughly enjoyed the independence the move to Auckland offered.

“I have to give a big thanks to the McDonald’s scholarship I received, as well as the Māori Liaison Services team at AUT who brought all of us Māori scholarship recipients together. That did so much to alleviate any tension and brought some normality to the wild circumstances of moving out for the first time.”

Advice for other students
Ryland, who graduated from AUT at the end of 2019, has some great advice for other students.

“Don’t funnel yourself into a particular avenue, even if you don’t see yourself doing anything else. Try out an array of things, whether that is different courses or things outside of uni. You never know what might come out of the blue. Don’t fret if you decide you want to change pathways. Nothing is wasted, even if you move on before finishing a course; the skills are still there and that avenue has allowed you to find something else you’re even more passionate about.”

Be confident, he adds.

“Don’t be afraid to apply for things that you may seem underqualified for, and once you’ve studied, be confident that you are indeed an expert in that field. That mindset will take you wherever you want to go.”