Temuera Morrison was acting on screen at age 11. Two decades later he won Kiwi TV immortality as Dr Ropata in Shortland Street, and rave global reviews as abusive husband Jake Heke in Once Were Warriors. Since reprising his Warriors role in a well-regarded sequel, Morrison has starred in Crooked Earth, Tracker and Mahana, hosted a talk show and a variety show, and played Jango Fett in two Star Wars prequels.
Rūātoki-raised Reuben Collier cut his screen teeth reporting on Waka Huia. In 2001 he founded Maui TV Productions in Rotorua. Collier's producing and directing credits include Marae, Matatini coverage, award-winning documentary Sciascia, and long-running food show Kai Time on the Road. in 2017 Collier was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the television industry and Māori.
The versatile Hori Ahipene became a 90s comedy fixture thanks to The Semisis — playing a Samoan matriach — bilingual sitcom Radio Wha Waho, and a run of TV sketch shows: Away Laughing, Skitz and Telly Laughs. He also directed on the latter two series. Later the Toi Whakaari acting graduate would co-star with Te Radar on two seasons of Māori Television sitcom/chat show B&B. In 2017 he took on dual roles as a coach and an aunt on kapa haka comedy The Ring Inz. Ahipene has also acted on Outrageous Fortune and fantasy Maddigan's Quest, and appeared on the big screen in Jubilee.
Cliff Curtis alternates a busy diet of acting in the United States (where he's forged a reputation as the actor to call on, for roles of varied ethnicity) with smaller scale New Zealand projects — including co-producing Taika Waititi smash Boy. His CV of Kiwi classics includes playing Pai's father in Whale Rider, Uncle Bully on Once Were Warriors, and bipolar chess champion Genesis Potini in The Dark Horse.
Roimata Fox graduated from Auckland's South Seas Film and Television School in 2006. Since then she has mixed roles on stage and screen, including a recurring role on Māori Television hit Find Me a Māori Bride, te reo soap Kōrero Mai, and appearances on Outrageous Fortune and Shortland Street. In 2014 Fox made her feature film debut in music drama The Pā Boys: three years later she appeared in ensemble drama Waru, which debuted at the 2017 NZ International Film Festival. The same year she featured in Māori TV comedy The Ring Inz, as partying kapa haka princess Koakoa.
An outstanding project designer, Logan Brewer first made his mark on television with ambitious period drama Hunter’s Gold. In the early 80s he went freelance, producing cop show Mortimer’s Patch and children’s drama Terry and the Gunrunners. His major project work included opening and closing ceremonies for the 1990 Commonwealth Games, and NZ pavilions at Expos in Brisbane and Seville. Brewer passed away in August 2015.
Kimo Houltham was raised in Rotorua, and grew up speaking Māori. He performed kapa haka for tourists as his first job, and got his screen break as a 16-year-old at a speech competition, when a TV producer suggested he audition for Māori Television’s flagship youth show HAA. Hosting gigs on music series LIPS, rangatahi shows I AM TV and talent quest The Stage - Haka Fusion followed. Alongside work as a high school teacher, Houltham has also acted: he was one of the warriors in te reo action feature The Dead Lands, and the heroine’s gay best friend in Rotorua-set TV drama This is Piki.
Rangi Rangitukunoa has a background in performing, kapa haka and theatre — he has shared stages with Te Waka Huia, Mika, and Moana and the Tribe. His screen credits include acting roles (indie comedy Crackheads) and presenting Māori Television motoring show Meke My Waka. Behind the scenes work as a cameraman led to a run of directing gigs on Māori TV programmes, from preschool to talk shows, to setting the tone for The Stage - Haka Fusion, as director of the first episode. In 2016 he created and directed Māori warrior series Kairākau, which dramatises legendary stories and skills from the past.
From Kawhia, broadcaster Anzac Pīkia began reporting on TVNZ Māori news show Te Karere in 2002. He shifted to Māori Television to produce for news show Te Kāea for five years, before returning to Te Karere as senior producer and occasional presenter. A noted "kapa haka connoisseur", he was one of few in broadcasting who used the Ngāti Maniapoto dialect. Pīkia died suddenly in July 2015, aged 35.
Māori and Cook Island producer and director Lanita Ririnui has made a career telling the stories of youth, women, Māori and Pacific Islanders. Her extensive CV includes Pasifika youth show Fresh, Māori Television's flagship sports show Code, and interactive website Poi 360.