When New Zealand's gay community needed a voice in the media, Steven Oates answered the call. Indeed, he reaches out to cross-over audiences through his work on a range of radio, television and print media and the way in which mainstream New Zealand percieves the gay community is being revolutionised as a result.

He started off over a decade ago with 'Around the Bend'; one of 95bFM' s flagship shows. Over four years, he built up a significant and loyal audience for the Sunday night slot which featured news, music and chat.

Steven was then snapped up by TV2 to be one of the presenters and directors of their award winning show, 'Queer Nation'. Again, his ability to communicate with both gay and straight audiences proved invaluable and Maori Broadcasting soon recognised this talent and offered him a job with their groundbreaking show 'Takataapui'.

Steven enjoyed drawing on his Maori heritage (Tainui – Ngati Rahiri Tumumu) to interweave the straight and gay Maori communities. Using his trademark mix of humour and insight, he brought to the screen never-before-seen stories about what it means to be Maori and gay in New Zealand today.

It was only a matter of time before New Zealand's biggest broadcaster came knocking again and Steven seamlessly hit the mark with mainstream audiences when he joined TV One's Frontseat team. He worked as a reporter/director on the show for two years and created up to two segments a week which took viewers the stories and issues behind the arts. Involvment in the deadline focused show further developed his television making skills and audiences who were unfamilair with him instantly fell in love with is unique and cheeky reporting style.

Frontseat's end of season coincided with an offer from a totally new show; 'The Outlook'. Here, Steven directed a no-holds-barred look at the life behind the nationwide 'Express' newspaper. While in this role, he was approached by ALT TV who wanted him as an on-screen presence for their core weekend lineup. 'Sparkle on Sunday' was born and quickly became one of ALT's most popular shows. A wide-ranging and loyal audience gave the show rave reviews and it was twice moved to an earlier time slot as a result of its popularity and excellent ratings.

Aside from television, Steven has always had a love affair with the stage. A qualified speech and drama teacher, he reguarly acts in plays and has trained under several leading actors and teachers including Raymond Hawthorne. He is a sought after MC and appears around the country at various events and concerts. He regularly hosts key community events such at 'The Big Gay Out', 'Out in the Square' and a variety of charity auctions. He is also a popular judge for various competitions ranging from GoGo dancing to 'Mr Gay Wellington'.

Add to this mix a range of game shows, celebrity debates and corporate and charity speaking engagements as well as an extensive range of print and radio commitments and it's no wonder that Steven is considered one of the most recognized personalities in his community.

Steven's hit list

  • Around the Bend
  • Holmes
  • Shortland Street
  • Mai Time
  • Good Morning
  • Queer Nation
  • Takataapui
  • Pacific Beat Street
  • Frontseat
  • The Outlook
  • Sparkle on Sunday
  • Rocked the Nation
  • The Uncles