Nikau Parata of Home and Away has recently been exploring his spirituality and drawing strength from his Mori background. Nikau’s uncle Tane (Ethan Browne) taught him how to use the Taiaha, a traditional Mori weapon, earlier this year in the hopes that it would provide Nikau with spiritual direction while he dealt with the deception his other uncle Ari (Rob Kipa-Williams) used to confess to murder.
Since then, the serial has received a lot of attention for the touching haka that Nikau, Tane, and other family members did at Ari’s funeral.
Kawakawa Fox-Reo discussed the fan enthusiasm for his character Nikau, who elevates Mori culture in the anime, in an exclusive interview with Digital Spy.
“I got a lot of really encouraging responses on social media, which was amazing,” he said. The reply has been overwhelmingly good, “I haven’t seen anything negative.”
Fox-Reo went on to express his delight at having been able to introduce these narratives to a larger audience and provide insights into a culture that many people would not be familiar with, and he promised that more “snippets” will soon appear.
There will soon be some content that more clearly demonstrates the family’s cultural side. I believe that some of it is now here; it’s a pleasant little window into what our society has to offer. It’s a really enormous phenomenon, and I believe that what is depicted on the show is just a small portion of a much larger and more complex world.
“I’m glad to spread the word about [the Mori culture] whenever I can. I feel incredibly honoured and thrilled to get the chance to do it on a show like this. And I want my family back home to be proud of me, so I’ll seize any chance I get.
Nikau is progressing professionally as well, and his boss is pleading with the local municipality to hire him full-time in a paid position after he impressed people with his rescue attempts while serving as a volunteer lifeguard.
Fox-Reo mused on the future implications of this for his character as he described the process of filming the rescue sequences at sea: “It required a few takes. Although shooting on the sea presents some challenges for the crew, the experience was fantastic. Nikau receiving the full-time post definitely made me happy. It’s a very honourable endeavour.