Barry began her career as a reporter for radio 89.3 TODAY FM (now More FM Wairarapa). She became a TV3 news reporter in Christchurch in 1993 then moved to Auckland to work as a reporter on 3 News. She read the morning news on radio station More FM and participated in the morning shows for 10 years.
Barry presented 3 News on weekends for six years, before presenting the weeknight 3 News. Former regular anchors John Campbell and Carol Hirschfeld moved on to respectively present and produce the 7 pm current affairs show, Campbell Live, in March 2005.
At the 2006 Qantas Television Awards she was voted Favourite New Zealand Female Personality.
Barry won the Best News or Current Affair Presenter award at the 2011 Aotearoa Film and Television Awards. She hosted The Coca Cola Christmas in the Park in December 2011. In March 2012, Barry won TV Guide's Best on The Box award for Best Presenter. In May 2012, Barry won the Radio Award for Best Newsreader. In March 2013, she once again won the TV Guide's Best on The Box award for Best Presenter.
She and husband Mike, a teacher, have two sons.
- "TV3 Announces 7PM Current Affairs Show". Retrieved 3 June 2010.
- "TV3's Hilary Barry to join Radio Live". MediaWorks. Retrieved 3 June 2010.
- "AFTA winners pay tribute to Christchurch". 3 News. Retrieved 23 November 2011.
- "Hilary Barry's Facebook bio". Retrieved 3 June 2010.
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