What a difference a year makes

Anna Murray,
Spy News,
Publish Date
Thursday, 2 February 2017, 11:44PM
Photos / Instagram
Photos / Instagram

It's not just the citizens of the United States who are feeling like things are quite different to what they were a year ago.

It's also been a year of change for a number of famous Kiwis (including a few who were largely unknown just 12 months ago).

For better or worse, life is quite different for these individuals now than it was at the beginning of 2016...

Hilary Barry

Virtually every single presenter on New Zealand's early morning TV shows is facing different circumstances to those they were presented with a year ago, now that TVNZ and TV3 have gone for complete overhauls of their breakfast programmes.

Jack Tame has given up his US correspondent posting to take a seat on the couch over at Breakfast; Matty McLean has cut short his London OE to join him on set; and Paul Henry has sailed off into semi-retirement.

But the biggest change is seeing one Hilary Barry on the Breakfast set.

This time last year, Barry was still MediaWorks' standout star, reading the news on Paul Henry and presenting on Newshub at 6pm every day. But after 23 years at the network, she sensationally quit, later telling a magazine "I couldn't take it anymore."

It wasn't long before TVNZ snapped up Barry to front their revitalised Breakfast show, which is where we find her now. Will she still be surrounded by her current gang of co-hosts come this time next year?


A photo posted by Hilary Barry (@hilary.barry) on Dec 15, 2016 at 12:31pm PST


Sam Wallace

Life is also looking quite different for broadcaster Sam Wallace, even if his day-to-day routine remains largely unchanged.

After getting up at a ridiculous hour to present the weather on Breakfast this time last year, Wallace will soon be getting up at a ridiculous hour to co-host a new morning radio show alongside Toni Street and Sarah Gandy on The Hits.

The fact he won’t have to spend any time in a make-up chair before getting on with work might allow for the tiniest of sleep-ins, however.


A photo posted by Toni Street (@tonimstreet) on Oct 27, 2016 at 6:07pm PDT


Liam Malone

The world's new face of blade running, Kiwi sprinter Liam Malone, would be forgiven for still pinching himself when he thinks about how much his life has changed in a year.

After winning two gold medals at the 2016 Paralympics – and charming the masses while doing so – Malone is in hot demand off the track.

Just this week, Malone was taking selfies with "the powerful Sam Neill" at a wine conference he was asked to speak at in Wellington.

"When I look back to myself training along in Wellington’s horizontal rain, I knew one day it would be all worth it," he told his Instagram followers.



Hayley Holt

A year ago, much of Hayley Holt's professional life was being taken up with her role on Prime show, Crowd Goes Wild.

Then she began co-presenting on political show Back Benches. And then she took her political ambitions a step further by announcing she was formally signing up as a Green Party candidate.

With the general election called for September 23, much of Holt's year is now going to be spent hitting the campaign trail.

"My lack of experience is going to hinder me a little bit," she told the Herald in December, when she announced her candidacy.  

"But I am quite a fast learner, and I am quite good at taking these opportunities and running with them."


A photo posted by Hayley Holt (@theholtbolt) on Oct 9, 2016 at 3:50pm PDT


Jordan Mauger

A year ago, fans of reality TV were fizzing at the prospect of yet another series of The Bachelor NZ.

Following the success of the first season with Art Green and Matilda Rice, viewers perhaps naively expected more of the same. And perhaps the new Bachelor himself, Jordan Mauger, did too.

But what followed was an absolute circus, with Mauger eventually vilified for dumping Bachelorette Fleur Verhoeven just days after she "won" the show.

After going to ground for a little while, Mauger is now back at work (on MTV show The Shannara Chronicles) and in love, albeit with someone he found in real life (American DJ Gina Middleton).

So while some things may not have changed for Mauger after the last 12 months, there's no doubting life is different now with a public perception he is still struggling to shake off.


Journeys end. Or has it begun? 🇺🇸🇲🇽🇹🇭🇳🇿... #travel #jordabroad @color.music.love

A photo posted by Jordan Mauger (@jordypordypuddingpie) on Jan 10, 2017 at 8:52pm PST


KJ Apa

Former Shortland Street star KJ Apa might have always known he was destined for big things, but after the year he’s just had, the rest of us know it now, too.

After spending much of 2016 working on and promoting new US TV show Riverdale, Apa is now about to reap the rewards of that effort.

Riverdale has finally premiered, with Apa well and truly breaking out Stateside. And he's reportedly just signed up with one of America's largest talent agencies, United Talent Agency.

Working alongside agents who also represent Angelina Jolie and Benedict Cumberbatch, Apa is certainly keeping some swish company these days. 



A photo posted by KJ Apa (@kjapa) on Dec 16, 2016 at 12:53pm PST


Julia & Libby

The sisters behind the hugely popular health and wellness site Julia & Libby have also seen their lives turned upside down since this time last year.

Julia Matthews recently returned to New Zealand from Sydney after splitting from her partner of five years, league player Lewis Brown.

She told Spy in January she's now adjusting to single life back in Auckland.



There's also been a significant life change for her sister, Libby, who is currently living in South Africa with her partner, footballer Michael Boxall – and their brand new baby girl, Maxwell.

In a blog post in July last year, Libby freely admitted her pregnancy was completely unexpected.

"I almost passed out in shock," she wrote of discovering a baby was on the way. "Me? Pregnant? Ahhhhhh! How is this going to work? I'm not married, I'm not engaged. This is not how I planned my life."

But life is certainly looking peachy (or as peachy as it can get with a newborn) for Libby now.



Julian Dennison

Around this time last year, teen actor Julian Dennison may not have been quite aware just how far his star was about to soar, thanks to a little film by the name of Hunt For The Wilderpeople.

With the Taika Waititi-helmed movie premiering at the Sundance Film Festival in January last year, word quickly spread about the delight that it was – and the young man at the centre of the action.

And now that the influential Hollywood Reporter has named Dennison as one of last year's breakout talents, acting opportunities for this young man must surely abound.