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Davidda is The Profiles new feature writer. Photo: DAVE MIDDLETON

New Valley Profile feature writer called home

Family, community, and less time sitting in city traffic are some of the things that have called me back to my home town of Paeroa.

Kia Ora, my name is Davidda Hikatangata and I am the new Feature Writer at the Valley Profile. I am really passionate about working in the community I grew up in, finding out who people are and what they love to do. The opportunity to talk with people from all over the region and find out their stories gives me a feeling of connectedness. I cannot believe how much goes on in our region, so many wonderful events and inspirational stories from our people here.

At The Profile, I will be working closely with our editor, Teresa Ramsey, and advertising manager Nikki Sanders to gather those wonderful advertising feature stories, advertorials and news stories from local people, groups, events and businesses.

The majority of my schooling life was spent at Paeroa College, and prior to that, Tirohia Primary School, which is where I got to hone my love of writing with our Tuesday letter writing sessions. At one point I was pen pals with the late Sir Edmund Hilary (and I even received my fax license when he replied to my first ever fax!), received some tips from legendary news presenter Judy Bailey, and a postcard from my childhood hero, Suzy Cato.

I have lived in Auckland for the past six years, mostly for the music scene (and because it saved me a bit of time and money not having to travel there every weekend!) Being a lover of music, going to gigs, and crafting my own music made it feel like a no-brainer to head to the city.

Weekends and evenings were filled with the sounds of my favorite artists, and sometimes, a bunch of friends. I met lots of people who were the same as me, wanting to spend time with other musicians, crafting songs and putting together big elaborate musical concoctions.This was and is still one of my big passions! However, it does not replicate or come close to the feeling of being back home with the people I love. Lucky for me, I come from a musical family, so one or more of us are always gigging somewhere.

Speaking of family shin-digs, from time to time you will catch me on the drums and singing backing vocals with my cover’s band, King Cool. Led by my brother, Kristian Bennett, on guitar and vocals, and joined by our friend Ty Gage on the bass, we are gearing up for summertime corporate functions, weddings and other celebrations, so keep an ear out for us.

I’m happy to be back home, hoping to write more songs and hopefully meet you and hear your story.

DETAILS: Contact Davidda for information about advertorials or advertising features for your business, club or community organisation: Ph 022 174 3988, email: