My professional highlight was being a contestant on Dancing with the Stars. It was a fun show to be a part of, and to be chosen as runner-up for my chosen charity, Youthline, was an amazing feeling. I learnt some pretty awesome dance moves – and got some great tips about life in general from Sir Paul Holmes.
Rebecca Murdie chats with Megan Alatini…
Running in heels is no easy task, but Megan Alatini makes it seem as simple as counting 1–2–3. The energetic mother of three and wife of former All Black, Pita Alatini, has many strings to her bow: actress, TrueBliss band member, Dancing with the Stars contestant, NZ Idol judge, Miss Universe NZ judge, presenter and TV personality to name a few.
• What do you do to chill out and relax?
I love a night in with my family! On nights like this you can find me on the couch, wrapped in a blanket, with a load of junk-food and a drink at arm’s length, watching a good movie!
• What’s the scariest thing you’ve done?
Uprooting my family from the comforts of home to go and live in Japan. But it was also one of the best things I’ve ever done. I loved the experience of living in such a different society.
• Can you name other highlights – personal and professional?
Personal: raising beautiful, well balanced children.
Professional: being a contestant on Dancing with the Stars. It was a fun show to be a part of, and to be chosen as runner-up for my chosen charity, Youthline, was an amazing feeling. I learnt some pretty awesome dance moves – and got some great tips about life in general from Sir Paul Holmes.
• Is it hard judging shows like NZ Idol and Miss Universe NZ?
Well, all I can do as a judge is be fair and honest. I’m not there to shatter their dreams, but sometimes, yes, it is hard. Either way, whether you’re good or not-so-good, I’ll tell you.
• What do you find most challenging about your life?
Keeping the right balance between my professional and personal commitments so that neither one suffers. This is harder than it sounds, but my family are my first priority.
• You’re also a flight attendant now – how’s that working out ... and have you met any fans while flying?
I love my new job in the aviation industry. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. I once met a young girl claiming she was a lifelong fan of TrueBliss. She knew all the songs and dance moves – in fact, I think she knew them even better than I did!
• You were a teen mum with your firstborn – what encouragement do you have for teenagers out there?
Safe sex is key! The lifelong responsibility and struggles involved in having a wee baby are real! I gave birth to my firstborn when I was 18. It was a shock to my system – and a shock to those around me! But I chose to give her the best life and upbringing I possibly could. I wanted to prove to myself, my family and my friends that I was not going to let my child down. From that moment on my focus changed.
• You and Pita have been together since school. What’s in your marriage-survival kit?
For us it’s about open honest communication … quality time together … and good sex! Lose the latter and you’re in for a disaster. Pita’s a great man with fantastic qualities. He’s such a super Dad, and our kids adore him! We waited until our daughter was five before we married to make sure we were taking that step for the right reason, not because we had a child together.
• How do you both cope with your colourful cultures?
Both Pita and I are proud of our Tongan and South African cultures – their traditions and their differences. I love the combination of our NZ-Island-Africa-ness. My mother says we’re COWs. Citizens of the World – I like that!
• What’s it like being the supportive wife of a rugby star?
I love all sport, especially Rugby. It’s not hard to watch and enjoy a sport when someone you know is playing in the team or participating – even more so if it’s the All Blacks. So supporting Pita during his rugby years was easy. I loved him way before he became an All Black. Yes, I guess it was difficult at times when he played away or toured internationally, and we were often at opposite ends of the country, or overseas, and spent weeks apart. But we always made up for it with duty-free shopping, home cooking and good loving!
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