‘Aroha Bridge,’ an animated snapshot of the multicultural melting pot that is Aotearoa. Made with the support of NZ On Air.
Kowhai Hook AKA Jessica Hansell
Kowhai Hook is a motivated but delusional gogetter ready to crack the music biz and leave Aroha Bridge. Her outfits and personality are loud and proud and she rarely doubts herself. The only thing standing in her way is her cynical band-mate (slash twin brother), her disinterested community and her world-famous arch-nemesis: their ten-year-old cousin Angeline. Played by Jessica Hansell. Ngāpuhi, Samoan and German, Jess is part of Piki’s film collective and is an established cult rapper and political essayist.
Monty Hook AKA Rizván Tu’Itahu
Monty Hook is a laidback tap of untapped potential. The yin to Kowhai’s yang, he’s not one to let consumerism cloud his vision or let a stereotype go unquestioned. That being said, he can’t walk past a table of free kai or pass up some sweet as $2 sunnies! Played by Rizván Tu’itahi. Tongan born recording artist and actor, he lives and works in Auckland producing music independently.
Ira Hook AKA Scotty Cotter
The kooky, endlessly positive cousin who is also the band’s number one fan. Ira works tirelessly at the Aroha Bridge dairy and is the lighthearted, comic encouragement to the often failed endeavours of the twins. Played by Scotty Cotter. A familiar face on many NZ TV shows and theatre stages, this Tainui actor features in upcoming film ‘The Rehearsal,’ based on Eleanor Catton’s novel.
Dad Manu Hook AKA Frankie Stevens
Ex-military, ethnically in denial, Dad Hook is all about rugby and earning your keep. Anything cultural or arty is cringeworthy to Dad Hook, and he has zero patience for his Māori advocate brother, Noogy. Played by Frankie Stevens. Of Māori and Scottish descent, Frankie has enjoyed both national and international success as an entertainer, and has been awarded an NZ Order of Merit for his contribution to the arts.
Uncle Noogy AKA Matai Smith
Only speaking Te Reo (because he doesn’t speak the establishments language), Uncle Noogy is a die-hard Māori activist. He’s a bit of an extremist, but the twins may have a thing or two to learn from him. Played by Matai Smith. Fluent in Te Reo and of Rongowhakaata, Ngai Taamanuhiri and Ngāti Kahungunu descent, Matai is one of few TV presenters to have worked across all the major networks; TV3, TVNZ and Maori TV.
Mum Hook AKA Madeleine Sami
Pakeha on the outside, wanna be Māori on the inside, Mum Hook is alty and easy going. Passionate about Te Reo, the ambition doesn’t quite translate to technique, possibly like some other dedicated te reo amateurs out there today. Played by Madeleine Sami. Of Fijian Indian and Irish heritage, Madeleine is an accomplished film, television and theatre actress. She is particularly known for her comedic flair, and is co-creator of cult NZ TV show ‘Super City.’
Aunty Winny AKA Madeline Sami
Angeline Hook AKA Madeleine Sami
The 10-year old cousin who is also an international pop star. Successful, stylish and super cool, Angeline is the condescending arch nemesis of Kowhai. ALSO played by the fabulous Madeleine Sami.