Women in Film & Television (WIFT) NZ recently announced that the recipient of the 2020 WIFT NZ Mana Wāhine Award is Nicole Hoey.  The award was presented at the Wairoa Māori Film Festival Gala Awards dinner on Sunday 25 October.

Nicole (Ngāti Kahu, Te Aupōuri) has been a leader in te reo Māori broadcasting for the past thirty years through her company Cinco Cine. After a decade of producing award-winning commercial work for international and domestic clients, Nicole switched Cinco Cine’s focus to normalising and revitalising te reo Māori via television, film and later digital media.

In 1997 she created the Koina Te Kōrero campaign around Māori place names for TV3, putting Māori language into prime time for the first time on that mainstream network.

Nicole has not only produced thousands of hours of television, film and more recently online content, she has also provided opportunities for hundreds of Māori to develop production skills, alongside their te reo.

Programmes like the award-winning PūkanaKōrero Mai and Te Uru Whetu have helped boost the careers of a generation of Māori musicians, including Aria, Teeks, and Maimoa Music.

Alongside this, industry heavyweights such as Reikura Kahi, Kawariki Morgan, Quinton Hita, and Matai Rangi Smith, have all come through the Cinco Cine whānau.

More recently, the award-winning series Tākaro Tribe uses animation to nurture te reo for mokopuna (the very young).

In 2016 Cinco Cine was recognised for its training and mentoring of Māori film practitioners, receiving the inaugural Ngā Aho Whakaari Te Pou Taunaki Award.

As well as helming her company, Nicole has held several board positions in the screen industry: Board Member and Acting Chair of New Zealand On Air, Deputy Chair of the New Zealand Screen Council, President and an executive member of SPADA (the Screen Production and Development Association), Treasurer of Ngā Aho Whakaari and an Executive member of WIFT – Women in Film and Television.

Nicole has devoted her life and career to advancing and enhancing te iwi Māori, and te reo me ngā tikanga Māori, and is a truly worthy example of Mana Wāhine.