Nicola Kāwana was born and raised in Hāwera, South Taranaki. She is of Ngāruahine, Ngāti Ruanui, Kahungunu and Rangitāne iwi. Nicola is a graduate of the Taranaki Youth Theatre and Toi Whakaari: New Zealand Drama School. This year marks 32 years of her working in professional theatre. She has worked in theatre, film, and television. Recent credits include UPU (Silo Theatre), The Master Builder (ATC), Mauri Tau (Silo Theatre) White Rabbit Red Rabbit (Silo Theatre), Kūpapa (Te Pou Theatre), and The Tender Trap and My Life is Murder for television.