ILA COUCH (Waitaha, Kāti Mamoe, Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Mutanga)

Ila was born in Auckland in 1971 to Rewi and Claire Couch. When she was two the family moved to Rāpaki. For a time they lived with Rewi’s Grandparents Hinerua and George Couch (Togi) in the new house on the hill above the pa.  Ila remembers feeding the chickens with Togi and jumping into open wool bales with her cousins. To this day she still has a small zig-zag scar on her heel from standing too close to the sheep and sheers in the wool-shed. When the family relocated to Auckland, Rewi and Claire made cassette recordings of Ila and brother Reuben to send home. Hine returned the tapes with tales from Rāpaki.

Ila majored in journalism and has a Bachelor of Communication Studies from AUT.  She has over twenty years of broadcast television experience in New Zealand, UK and USA where she currently resides. Ila specializes in story producing as well as filming and has worked for numerous companies including BBC America, MTV and ABC. Her recent credits have been on two ABC Network shows. Director on "My Diet Is Better Than Yours, and Self-shooting Director for Save My Life, a medical docu-series she filmed with paramedics and doctors in emergency rooms across Boston.

Over the years Ila has returned to Te Waipounamu to direct for Māori Television and write and create digital content for Te Karaka Magazine. It is a dream of hers to document stories in her homeland, especially as they relate to Rāpaki.


Jake shooting in Thailand...


Jake Slaney was born in New York and raised in Birmingham, Alabama. His love affair with audio began early in his childhood. From age six he was making his own field recordings and dismantling cassette tapes to edit. Jake has studied Recording Engineering in Nashville Tennessee as well as the School of Audio Engineering (SAE) in Byron Bay, Australia.

With nearly 15 years of production industry experience, Jake has worked on major motion pictures,  Award winning documentaries including The Quilt-Makers of Gee’s Bend, ATL: Rise of the Dirty South and National commercials for Chevrolet, Capitol One, and Comcast.

He has been Audio Supervisor, Mixer, Recordist and Consultant for reality & scripted television, sports, news, and music videos. Some of Jake’s clients include Coca Cola, Chevrolet, and American Express. His network credits include ABC, AMC, BBC, CBS, NBC, and Showtime among many others.