About John McBeth

John McBeth grew up in Timaru and began his career in broadcasting on leaving school. He has remained in the broadcasting business for some 50 years, finding a niche in sports commentating.

He ‘called’ his first rugby game from Carisbrook when he was living in Dunedin in the 1970s and later became New Zealand’s top radio rugby commentator.

In 1987, at the inaugural Rugby World Cup, John was the radio commentator for all the big matches including the final against France. He’s since been involved in all the Rugby World Cups – either as a commentator or, more recently, as the leader of a supporters group.

John commentated for a variety of sports at eight Commonwealth Games and seven Summer Olympics. He was part of the 2018 international commentary team in Korea – his 3rd Winter Olympics. He was also the television presenter for New Zealand’s historic winning of the America’s Cup in San Diego.

In recent years, John has extended his career portfolio by adding ‘funeral celebrant’ to his resume. He stepped into this role (’unwittingly’ at first) when he found himself being asked to be MC at the funerals of some of NZ’s well-known sporting figures. His celebrant-skills were soon being requested by those outside of just the sporting fraternity – especially in and around the Kapiti/Wellington region.

John continues to take up other Master of Ceremony and guest speaker engagements at a variety of public events.

In 2015, John was appointed a Member of the Order of New Zealand (MNZM), for his services as a sports broadcaster.

John McBeth - Sports Commentator
Interview with Ian Thorpe
Member of the Order of New Zealand (MNZM)