Barry Soper, MC
Barry Soper joined the Parliamentary press gallery as political editor in 1980 for private radio but during his time he has made frequent appearances on television commentating on politics. He has spent time as a radio talkback host. He was the political editor, along with his radio duties, for Sky TV for nine years.
Through his work he has known and travelled abroad with 10 Prime Ministers, the first of whom was Rob Muldoon. He has also met some of the most celebrated world leaders, including Nelson Mandela, Margaret Thatcher, Jimmy Carter, most of the Australian Prime Ministers, among them Paul Keating who once called him a “blow fly”, and American President Bill Clinton.
Soper covered all the Fijian coups and was the first international journalist to secure an interview with rebel leader, George Speight and was the first to be locked up in the Rabuka coup in 1987. He was also the only New Zealand broadcast journalist to stay on in Suva after the shooting started within a week of the coup.
Soper has been named Individual Radio Journalist of the Year at the New Zealand Radio Awards several times, the most recent this year.