The year started in dramatic fashion with Anne Kahu pinned beneath the debris of the collapsed youth centre. She died in Nelson's arms, but a trapped Tama survived and asked Shannon to marry him - she said yes. Dom half strangled Delphi when she accused him of murdering her brother Geoff, then wore the evidence (shoes with a distinctive tread) out of the country.
Nelson got into the property market, buying a rundown house called El Rancho which quickly became the cool place to hang out after Vinnie and Li Mei moved in. Memorable parties in 2004 included the 70s-themed housewarming party and the playboy party. Meanwhile, Chris was awaiting trial for sexually molesting Donna's ward Tash. Her accusations were false, but by the time she admitted that (in March) the relationship between Chris and Donna was over. Marshall exited the show after finding God and following his calling to a seminary in Australia. Victor, who was romancing Donna, started a drop-in medical clinic for the underprivileged and met an alcoholic homeless person Charlie who turned out to be Shannon's long lost father.
Nelson met his match in flatmate and nurse Jesse George but the couple just couldn't seem to get together. Things weren't helped by passive-aggressive nurse Layla, who took a shine to Nelson. Layla manipulated her way into El Rancho and things took a Single White Female turn when she started imitating Jesse's style and stealing her clothes. Meanwhile Barb and Sticky were engaged, but Barb was having a hard time getting to grips with commitment. Toni moved in with Logan - then discovered he had made his ex-wife pregnant. She called it quits. In a weak moment after Mrs Cotton's funeral, Li Mei kissed a handsome undertaker Norman. And Barb entered real estate hell when she was forced to sell her house - and fell foul of a dodgy real estate agent.
Li Mei was forced to overcome her dislike of children and take a job in paediatrics - and learned some lessons about being a doctor. Things took a surreal turn at the Dog's Day Inn when Waverley (encouraged by Vinnie's teasing) believed that Sticky was cultivating marijuana in his hotel room. She had him arrested but the charges were dropped when testing showed he was really testing the medical properties of herbs. Bad girl Layla, who had her hooks firmly embedded in Nelson, was finally exposed as a liar thanks to Jesse's perseverance - but her story wasn't over. A pregnant Wave struggled with feeling frumpy and tried to reinvent herself as a sexy career woman, with mixed results. Logan didn't take Toni's rejection well, first stalking her then abducting baby Harry to get her attention.
Li Mei issued a celibacy challenge to the El Rancho flatmates but while Vinnie, Jesse and Nelson struggled to keep away from the opposite sex, Li Mei was secretly seeing Norman - and blaming the noises in the night on the El Rancho 'ghost'. She was eventually unmasked and Norman became a fixture in her life. Tash was bullied at school and stood by while her friend Scarlett Valentine was victimised. Reeling from Logan's abduction of Harry, Chris clamped down on the custody arrangement, and Toni found herself replaced by a series of unappealing nannies. When Nick avoided going to Wave's antenatal class, she found a friend in Sebastian - who turned out to have a thing for pregnant women. Layla crashed back into Nelson's life after causing a car accident (and seriously injuring an innocent couple). She committed suicide in hospital and Jesse found her body. And while Tama was away on tour with his band, Vinnie and Shannon were stranded on the roof of El Rancho - they kissed and began a steamy affair.
Tama returned and he and Shannon planned their wedding - but Shannon found it hard to resist Vinnie's declaration of love. Nasty schoolgirl Chelsea cut off Scarlett's hair but eventually got her comeuppance. Chris fell for Harry's latest nanny, the gorgeous Siobhan - but then found himself attracted to medicorp exec Lucy Swinton, who he was trying to interest in investing in the proposed plastic surgery unit. Norman moved in with Li Mei. Nelson and Jesse finally got together post the trauma of Layla's death and he followed her to the Solomon Islands. Waverley went on maternity leave and her replacement Avril Lucich soon made an impression. Episode 3000, which screened on June 23rd featured the birth of Nick and Waverley's baby and the return of Dominic, who was revealed to be both Lucy's boyfriend and the head of the new plastics unit. Chris was horrified.
Victor's daughter Jay arrived in town with her girlfriend Maia. A nurse, Maia got a job at Shortland Street and moved into El Rancho but Jay didn't find it so easy to settle down, even after Victor accepted she was gay. Vinnie ran a sweepstake on the name of Nick and Waverley's baby and was stunned (and seriously out of pocket) when they chose Cortina. They were teasing him, but the name stuck and the baby was eventually christened Tina-Anne, Tina from Cortina and Anne in honour of Anne Kahu. Shannon confessed her affair with Vinnie to Tama, telling him it meant nothing - but a deeply hurt Tama threw her out. The wedding was off! The investigation into Geoff's death gained momentum with the reappearance of Dominic but he soon managed to refocus police attention onto Victor - and enlisted Rex Treherne as an ally. To everyone's shock, Victor was arrested and went on trial. Life got even more complicated for Victor's partner Donna when Tash's mum Terry returned, wanting Tash to move to Sydney with her.
Shannon was devastated at losing Tama. When it became clear he wouldn't take her back she started seeing Vinnie again. When Avril became too dangerous to Dominic he drowned her in the bath to the sound of The Chills' classic 'Pink Frost'. Meanwhile, he tried to convince Delphi he was innocent of Geoff's death and when Victor was found guilty of murder (to everyone's shock), Delphi began to accept his story. The trial brought out many old Shortland Street scandals, including Li Mei's phone-sex business and Geoff's euthanasia. Sticky looked for love on the internet but soon realised his cyber-date was dodgy. Tina-Anne was christened, and Wave's cousin Eltham arrived to be her godfather. Father and son Craig and Jake Valentine fell for the same woman - Jake's teacher Rochelle. She was interested in Craig, but when he realised Jake's feelings he dumped her. Eltham led Nick into temptation, smoking dope with him and introducing him to the temptations of on-line bidding.
Norma proposed to Li Mei. She turned him down, but reconsidered when he offered to marry American Leonie for immigration purposes and asked him to marry her - he said yes. Encouraged by Eltham, Nick bought a boat on-line. Called Silverwind, it was expensive and un-seaworthy. Wave was not impressed. Barb dated cafeteria worker Jim briefly, before realising she'd made a mistake. She went on holiday to avoid him. Dom and Delphi got romantic, but their happiness was interrupted by Avril's twin sister Bernadette, who was on Dom's trail. Bernadette managed to convince Delphi that Dom wasn't what he seemed and Delphi left the country and Dom - who was heartbroken. Craig struggled to juggle work and fatherhood and clashed with new ED doctor Sarah Potts. New CEO Andrew Solomon arrived. Vinnie realised that Shannon loved Tama, not him. Disillusioned he cheated on her and they broke up - but Tama was seeing someone else, Vinnie's cousin Talia. Sarah confided to Toni that her younger 'brother' Daniel is really her son - and she doesn't know how to tell him the truth.
Chris and Toni got romantic during a medical aid mission to Fiji, but the holiday romance didn't translate well to everyday life in Ferndale. Vinnie and Shannon broke up for good - and Vinnie's heart was broken. In a tight corner, Dom pushed Scarlett down the stairs and she ended up in ED but made a full recovery. Norman was shocked when Li Mei's mother arrived unexpectedly - with Li Mei's Chinese fiancé in tow. He gave up undertaking and planned to open a bar to make himself more acceptable to Li Mei's family and eventually won Gong's approval. Bernadette had Dom on the run. She attacked him in his apartment and tried to beat the truth about Avril out of him, but Dom eventually got the upper hand. Jim date raped Barb. Handsome new doctor Mark Weston set female hearts aflutter, but seemed mainly interested in lesbian nurse Maia. And Nick and Waverley faced their worst fears when the Dog's Day inn burned down with Tina- Anne and Lucas trapped inside. Eltham saved the kids, but the pub was gone for good.
Shannon and Tama rekindled their romance and she asked Tama to marry her - but he wasn't sure. Mark realised why Maia wasn't interested in him. A traumatised Barb took a stand against Jim and he was arrested. Norman opened his new bar Coltrane with a memorable party and followed it up with regular events like speed dating. Toni discovered she was pregnant (again) to Chris (again). She decided to keep the baby, and when she told Chris he shocked her by proposing. Dom dyed his hair blond and stole Chris's identity, using his papers to gain access to the Warner fortune. Arch- manipulator Robyn Stokes returned to Ferndale and hooked up with Dom. When Chris discovered Dom's deception he sent the police after him - he was arrested at the airport but later faked a catatonic state to escape prosecution. Sarah and Craig got passionate, but when Sarah revealed she'd 'abandoned' her son, Craig rejected her. Later his ex-wife Paula arrived unexpectedly. Maia's father Ian collapsed and was diagnosed with a degenerative illness. Tama said 'yes' to Shannon's marriage proposal. When Avril's body was discovered in the lake, a desperate Dom tortured and nearly killed Chris before setting himself alight. On his (charred) deathbed, he confessed to Geoff's murder.
Jake and Scarlett met their mother again, and discovered Craig's secret; Paula had left him for his brother Brett - who was now fatally ill and might be Scarlett's birth father. Everyone was relieved to learn that Scarlett is Craig's daughter. Brett died and Paula and Craig tried to forgive each other. Li Mei found herself attracted to Mark. Toni accepted Chris's proposal and he bought a mansion for he them to live in. Sticky persuaded Jim to plead guilty to raping Barb and he and Barb grew close again. Maia got romantic with Fee and tried to forget Jay. Andrew showed a romantic interest in Sarah. Vinnie started an agency to provide alibis for cheating spouses. - and things soon got complicated. The Hospital Christmas play was rehearsed under Waverley's direction. And Tama and Shannon planned a Christmas day wedding - but Te Hana was determined to spoil their day. Finally, on Christmas Eve Victor was released from prison and a delighted whanau witnessed the wedding of Tama Hudson to Shannon Te Ngaru in a beautiful Christmas Day ceremony.
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