Finalists have Hawera connection

DEENA COSTER
Last updated 05:00 12/04/2014

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A former Hawera couple are in the running to win a national radio award.

Phid and Charis Oldfield, co-hosts of weekly show Hashtag Radio, were announced as a 2014 NZ Radio Award finalist in the category of Best Community Access Programme - best spoken/informational English language programme.

Oldfield said he and his wife Charis, who had lived away from Hawera for about six years, first met on campus at Taranaki Polytechnic, now known as Witt, where he studied radio and she film and television.

The couple, now based in Te Awamutu, have been co-hosting the radio show for about two years along with Otorohanga-born Matt Bartley.

He said the trio were "absolutely over the moon" with the nomination their programme received this week.

"It's something we truly love doing," the 32-year-old said.

Hashtag Radio is aired on Waikato's community access station Free FM but is also available to listen to online.

The innovative programme takes a look at social media, web technology and video games and boasts a large, sometimes international, online audience.

Oldfield said people from around New Zealand, Australia and as far away as Silicon Valley in California listened to the show and interacted with them through live-tweeting. "It's grown into a bigger beast than it was ever intended to be," he said.

The radio programme forms part of Hashtag ME, which produces content for the award-winning Hashtag TV series as well as its website.

Two other finalists from Taranaki are up for a NZ Radio Award. Mediaworks Taranaki's Zoey May is nominated for Best New Broadcaster - creative and technical division - while the 93.2 More FM team of Nichola Maclean, Kenneth Swan and Anna Richardson and their Kids Choose a Wedding competition are nominated in the Best Single Market Radio Station Promotion category.

Winners are announced on May 8.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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