The path to becoming an actor has led Ngahuia Piripi on a somewhat different journey than that of many of her colleagues at Shortland Street.

The talented actress is fluent in both Te Reo and English and she began her career working on Maori language shows such Whanau and Korero Mai.

These experiences gave her a taste for acting and led her to making a decision to pursue it as a career choice.

As a student at Auckland Girls Grammar, she hadn't contemplated drama as a topic choice, but was always passionate about performance, in particular Kapa Haka and Maori culture performance.

After High School, she started a science degree before deciding that Maori and Media studies was more her thing.

It was while studying that she was given the opportunity to work on the several Maori language shows, and her career flourished from there.

Along with Shortland Street, her biggest role to date is a major guest role in Lee Tamahori's new movie Mahana, which is based on a the well-known book Bulibasha, written by respected Kiwi author, Witi Ihimaera. In Mahana, Piripi plays the daughter of another well-known Shortland Street alumni, Temuera Morrison. 

Piripi continued her passion for Kapa Haka after she left school and is part of the Award-winning performance group, Te Kapa Haka o Te Whānau a Apanui, which won first place at last year’s prestigious Te Matatini competition. Her dedication to the team sees her travel to Te Kaha - a 12 hour round trip - most weekends during competition season in order to attend practices.

Born in Northland, Piripi also spent several years living in Christchurch during her childhood before moving to Auckland when she was seven years old.