John Utanga is a Cook Islander, born and bred in Rarotonga. He moved to New Zealand to attend Auckland University and "never went home".  John has been a journalist in New Zealand for nearly 20 years and joined Tagata Pasifika part-time in 1994 after a few years on newspapers.

With a background in hard news reporting, John has carried that on into his television career. Apart from a year in the independent television production wilderness, John has spent all of his time in television at TVNZ.

John is on AUTs Pacific Media Centre advisory committee and is a founding member of the Pacific Islands Media Association (PIMA) and is the co-author of Patterns Of The Past: Tattoo Revival In The Cook Islands. Outside of work, Johns interests include politics and endurance sport