Orewa-raised Emily Robins began acting and singing as a child. Later she juggled high school with acting on Shortland Street. Playing spoilt rich girl Claire Solomon, her character survived strip clubs and morphine, before being murdered by the Ferndale Strangler. Robins then headed for Australia to star in two seasons of The Elephant Princess, playing a musically-talented teen who learns she is princess of a magical kingdom.
She's the best screen sis I've ever had. She couldn't be further from her character. She is incredibly sweet, but plays her part with such spirit. Paolo Rotondo, on acting with Robins on Shortland Street
On Valentine's Day 2006 Shortland Street featured its first civil union, between lesbians Jay Copeland (Jaime Passier-Armstong) and Maia Jeffries (Anna Jullienne). The ceremony was aptly flush with pink decor and took place in Parnell’s Rose Gardens. Alas it was picketed by Serenity Church protestors and the union later ended — after Jay had an affair … with a man! In 1994 Shortland Street had earlier broken mainstream ground for the LGBT community with a lesbian kiss, between Dr Meredith Fleming (Stephanie Wilkin) and nurse Annie Flynn (Rebecca Hobbs).
Shortland Street is a fast-paced serial drama set in an inner city Auckland hospital. The long-running South Pacific Pictures production is based around the births, deaths and marriages of the hospital's staff and patients. It screens on TVNZ’s TV2 network five days a week. In 2017 the show was set to celebrate its 25th anniversary, making it New Zealand’s longest running drama by far. Characters and lines from the show have entered the culture — starting with “you’re not in Guatemala now, Dr Ropata!” in the very first episode. Mihi Murray writes about Shortland Street here.