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Shortland Street

Weeknights at 7pm | TV2

Shavaughn Ruakere joins the Street

Shavaughn Ruakere as Roimata Ngatai

Roimata Ngatai is played by Shavaughn Ruakere on Shortland Street

Roimata Ngatai and Jill Kingsbury in Shortland Street's cafeteria

Shortland Street welcomes an exciting new addition this week, when Shavaughn Ruakere joins the cast as Nurse Roimata Ngatai.

Beautiful, intelligent and intriguing, Roimata quickly makes an impact on Ferndale.

With extensive presenting experience in New Zealand, Ruakere is well-known for her work on What Now, C4, and Mai FM.

Keen to make the shift into full-time acting though, Ruakere was thrilled to be offered the role of Roimata.

"It's been a big shift for me, but it's something that I've wanted to do for a long time. I feel like for the first time, I can call myself an actor," says Ruakere. "It's really exciting for me. I'm soaking it all up and loving it."

Ruakere says Roimata is a lot of fun to play, describing her as having a 'cutting sense of humour'.

"Roimata is pretty cheeky and can run rings around anyone who challenges her," says Ruakere. "She's also got a very strong sense of right and wrong. Once she gets an idea in her head, it's very difficult for anyone to change her mind."

Working closely with Ben Mitchell (TK Samuels), Ruakere the well-known actor has been a delight to work with.

"Ben's taken me under his wing. He's a very generous actor and I'm learning a lot from him," says Ruakere. "The rest of the cast and crew are fantastic too. Everyone has been so welcoming and lovely."

So what can Ruakere reveal about what's coming up for her character?

"In true Shortland Street style, there's some exciting romance on the cards for Roimata," says Ruakaere. "We've been filming some really great stuff. I think fans will really enjoy it."

And Shavaughn isn't the only new face on the Street- catch up on casting news here.