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Nicola Kāwana

Actor [Ngāruahine, Ngati Ruanui, Ngāti Kahungunu]

Nicola Kāwana began acting in her Tāranaki hometown of Hawera, before graduating from drama school Toi Whaakaari in 1994. Described as "a standout talent" on TV series Jackson's Wharf, she was nominated for the role. Since then, Kāwana has played Huia Samuels — the hospital's Chief Executive Officer — on Shortland Street (2005-2006), and Senior Sergeant Pounamu Edwards on season three of One Lane Bridge. Her film work includes co-starring in horror-comedy Fresh Meat as a celebrity cook who is also a cannibal. A trained horticulturist, Kāwana juggles gardening with her acting career, and presenting for TV series Whānau Living

I still get recognised 11 years later, a lot by Māori, young people who were probably teenagers at the time, and that's when I think 'that's why it's really important, that's representation'. Nicola Kāwana on having acted on Shortland Street, Mana magazine, April 2017