After playing Tane Samuels — nephew of fan favourite TK Samuels — on Shortland Street in 2007, Dominic Ona-Ariki took a break from screen acting. He'd previously had another lead role — as the time-travelling Fred on sci-fi series P.E.T. Detectives. From 2016 he became a regular on New Zealand screens — he acted on Filthy Rich, and played All Black Eric Rush on mini-series Jonah. He went on to take the lead role in local detective drama One Lane Bridge (due in 2020), as a detective with spiritual gifts. Ona-Ariki's big screen roles include 2017 comedy Gary of the Pacific, and 2019 gang drama Savage.
One Lane Bridge is a character-focused crime drama with a dark, supernatural edge. The series stars Dominic Ona-Ariki as Ariki Davis, an ambitious young Cook Island Māori Detective who, during a murder investigation at Queenstown’s infamous One Lane Bridge, inadvertently reawakens a spiritual gift that endangers the case, his career and his life. Press release on TV series One Lane Bridge, September 2019
In the first feature film from high-flying creative collective The Downlow Concept (7 Days, Hounds), the company's longtime 'muse' Joss Thomson plays a struggling real estate agent who becomes the chief of his family's sinking Pacific Island — while simultaneously striving to offer his girlfriend Chloe (American actor Megan Stevenson) her dream wedding. Shot largely in Raratonga, the film also features Dave Fane and Matt Whelan (Go Girls). The trailer promises male corsets and fat jokes, plus plenty of deadpan downlowconcept mayhem.
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.
What Now? is a long-running entertainment show for primary school-aged children. Filmed before a live studio audience on weekend mornings, What Now? is a New Zealand TV institution; it was the first TV show to have live phone-ins. The series is known for its challenges that sometimes result in participants being 'gunged'. A roll-call of presenters includes Steve Parr, Danny Watson, Simon Barnett, Jason Gunn, Michelle A'Court, Tamati Coffey, Antonia Prebble, and more. 'Get out of your Lazy Bed' by Matt Bianco is the theme song memorable to generations of Kiwi kids.