What's on

Would you let your friends and family choose your lover?

Miriama Smith Finding Aroha

Can you imagine your parents choosing your perfect partner?

Māori Television’s newest dating show, Finding Aroha, premieres August 4th, and the format is certainly one that wouldn’t fly with all singletons… In a blind date set-up (we’re cringing with joy already), single Kiwis are set up by their friends and whanau in hopes of finding love. Hopeful suitors are paraded in front of a panel of the singles’ nearest and dearest to determine their compatibility – kind of like Tinder, but on TV!

We caught up with host Miriama Smith – the woman responsible for putting potential suitors to the test – to find out more about the show.

FQ: How does the show differ from other dating shows?
Miriama: This is a really lighthearted take on dating shows. Having the whanau and friends choosing the date for the ‘unlucky in love’ single, means there is a lot of opportunity for laughter to flow freely. Often having their presence on set meant our single contestant could relax and be themselves, which brought out some funny anecdotes. Plus, the whanau and friends always had their singleton’s best interests at heart, so there was a lot of aroha in the room even if there wasn’t chemistry.

What was it like working with the whanau and learning about their different approaches to helping the contestants find love?
It was great working with the whanau because they knew our single contestant so well. They knew their track record from past relationships. They knew ‘the types’ that our singleton would normally go for, which, in their eyes, wasn’t necessarily the ‘right type’. They were also real ‘straight shooters’ which made my job easy. So, if they disagreed with what their friend or whanau were saying, they didn’t hesitate to say so.

Do you have a favourite moment from filming you can share with us?
Gosh, I’m a hopeless romantic at heart, so I loved meeting each and every one of the contestants and their whanau. I take my hat off to all of them. I don’t think I would have the courage to agree to let my friends and whanau choose a partner for me, so I really respected their willingness to give it a go.

Has being part of this show taught you anything surprising about relationships?
Yes! There’s a LOT of really good fish in the sea just waiting to be snapped up out there in Aotearoa! It’s great to see that the dating scene is alive and well.

Finding Aroha premieres on August 4 at 8.30pm on Māori Television.