Through her company Cinco Cine Films, Nicole Hoey has been a leader in te reo broadcasting from the mid 1990s onwards. Hoey founded Cinco Cine in 1987, initially specialising in commercials.
As the company approached the end of its first decade, it began moving into more ambitious productions, beginning with Dead Certs, made for TV One’s Montana Sunday Theatre slot. Written and directed by screen stalwart Ian Mune — with Hoey as producer — the teleplay involved a man (Rawiri Paratene) whose dead friend (Ginette McDonald) helps him to repeated wins at the TAB. Dead Certs got the company’s TV productions off to a roaring start — it rated highly, and Paratene won Best Actor at the 1996 NZ Film and Television Awards.
In 1998 Hoey produced documentary Dying For A Smoke, about a group of six young smokers who are forced to go three days without a cigarette.
The following year heralded the beginning of long-running series Pūkana. Having debuted under the title Tumeke, the show moved from TV One to Māori Television in 2006. Largely in te reo, the youth-oriented magazine show features contests, music, and Māori language-learning. It’s hosts have included Tiare Tawera, mutiple award-winner Mātai Smith, and future producer Quinton Hita. Winner of Best Children’s programme at the 1999 NZ Television Awards, Pūkana was nominated in the same category the following year. It was nominated for Best Māori Language Programme at the 2005 and 2006 NZ Screen Awards.
Kōrero Mai followed in 2004, and ran for eight years. The show focused on the learning of te reo; it took the Qantas TV award for Best Māori programme in 2005.
In 2010 Hoey joined Christina Milligan (The Price of Peace) to produce tele-movie Nights in the Gardens of Spain. Based on the Witi Ihimaera novel, it stars Calvin Tuteao as a man who has to confront his homosexuality in order to take over his father’s place at the head of the family. In a Variety review, Dennis Harvey found the drama "well-handled", arguing that “Helmer Katie Wolfe and scribe Kate McDermott’s thoughtful work is well supported by [the] cast..."
Among Hoey's other producing credits include a host of further Māori language shows, including Whānau, which used short dramatic stories to introduce viewers to te reo, and te reo quiz show Ihumanea. As of 2017, Nicole Hoey continues to concentrate produce predominantly Māori programming through Cinco Cine films.