Vinnie Kruse

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Vinnie Kruse
Vinnie Kruse.jpg
Shortland Street character
Portrayed by Pua Magasiva
Duration2003–2006, 2011–2018
First appearance25 November 2003
Last appearance19 July 2018
Introduced byHarriet Crampton (2003)
Steven Zanoski (2011)
Classification Former; regular
OccupationHotel department manager
I.V. Bar Owner
HomeThe Deco House (until 2018)
Hospital Apartment (until 2018)

Vainu'u "Vinnie" Kruse-Miller (previously Kruse) is a fictional character from the New Zealand soap opera Shortland Street , played by Pua Magasiva. Vinnie first arrived on 25 November 2003, leaving the show on 23 February 2006. He made a return to the soap after a 5-year gap on 16 August 2011.


The role was created specially for Magasiva and Vinnie is known for his party loving and easy going ways. His introduction saw a new group of young characters that formed a demographic for "hip, young things". Usually involved in comedic relief, Vinnie also participated in several melodramatic story lines such as the high-profile affair with his good friend Tama Hudson's (David Wikaira-Paul) girlfriend Shannon Te Ngaru (Amber Curreen). The storyline was named as a highlight of the 2004 season and cemented Vinnie's label as a "heart throb". Magasiva quit the role in 2006 and the character was written out when he accidentally impregnated tourist girlfriend Jemima Hampton (Liesha Ward Knox). Vinnie made his return in 2011 and in the intervening years, the characters family was introduced, making the soap's first ever Polynesian family unit.

The character was well received and remains known as a heart throb, with Magasiva beating out his brother Robbie for "Hottest Male" in the TV Guide Best on the Box Awards 2012. Vinnie has also been named as one of the fans favourite characters and Magasiva, the favourite actor.

Creation and casting

Pua Magasiva had previously auditioned successfully for the guest role of Elvis Iosefa, the cousin of established character Louie in 1999. [1] He appeared for several episodes however 4 years later, he was offered the full-time role of Vinnie Kruse, a core cast member. [1] Vinnie made his first appearance in late 2003. [2] The character was said to bring rebellion to the nurses and Magasiva hoped the character portrayed Pacific Islanders correctly, stating; "I wanted to make Vinnie very cultural, a character that Pacific Island people can relate to." [2] Magasiva soon decided to try his luck elsewhere and quit the role. [1] The character departed in early 2006 and early reports suggested he was axed as part of a large cast overhaul at the time, [3] however this was not the case. [4] In reality, Magasiva's resignation brought on the large cast overhaul, which was an attempt by producers to represent a culturally proportional society after the exit of the shows only Pacific Islander. [5] Magasiva soon regretted the decision, stating: "I took a risk and I left. The work didn't come." [4] Magasiva returned to the role after 5 years in August 2011. [4] [6] In 2015 Magasiva announced he would stay with the show, "as long as they'll have" him and expressed his desire for Vinnie to become the next Chris Warner (the show's longest running character). [7] In late 2015 online rumours surfaced that Magasiva had left the show, though he denied this the following month. [8] Following a series of controversial actions off-screen, Magasiva departed the soap opera in 2018. [9]


Judy Brownlee (Donogh Rees) hired Vinnie in late 2003 and he instantly got on the other nurses' nerves with his party boy ways. In 2004, Vinnie started an affair with good friend Tama's (David Wikaira-Paul) girlfriend Shannon Te Ngaru (Amber Curreen). The two went public but Vinnie realised she loved Tama more and they broke up. Vinnie feel deeply in love with Tania Jeffries (Faye Smythe) but the presence of Mark Weston (Tim Foley) drove the two apart and Vinnie started to date Jemima Hampton (Liesha Ward Knox). Vinnie was promoted to charge nurse but the pressure proved too much and he resigned from nursing to become a paramedic. However, when he witnessed a murder scene,Vinnie returned to nursing. Jemima fell pregnant, scaring Vinnie and the two broke up. However, in 2006 the lure of being a father proved too much and Vinnie travelled to the United Kingdom to live with Jemima and his child.

Vinnie returned to Shortland Street in August 2011 and quickly gained a job. He revealed to good friend Nicole (Sally Martin) that he had lost his son in a custody battle with Jemima and struggled to cope with the loss. Vinnie started to date Brooke Freeman (Beth Allen) but her manipulative ways drove him away and he briefly dated her sister Bree (Rachel Blampied) before she too, drove him away with her antagonistic personality. In November 2012, Vinnie began to date Emma Franklin (Amy Usherwood). The couple broke up following Vinnie having a drunken one night stand with Emma's friend, Kylie (Kerry-Lee Dewing). Vinnie scandalously began to date best friend, Nicole but following a fire at the hospital, he realised he was in love with Kylie and ended things with Nicole. He and Kylie were short lived however and Vinnie declared his love to Nicole to no success. However, after welcoming his son Michael (Duane Evans Jr.) permanently into his life, Nicole and Vinnie reconciled and she fell pregnant. Nicole had given birth on 11 December 2014 to a baby boy. As Vinnie looked up from his healthy child he was shocked to see Nicole was having a seizure. Vinnie was relieved that Nicole had survived although she was in a coma. One week later, Nicole woke up and was soon sent home. Leanne, Michael, Vinnie and Nicole were discussing what the name of their baby should be and they finally decided on the Samoan name Pele Vinnie's worries grew, as Nicole told him that she didn't love their own child any more. For Shortland Street's Easter special Vinnie realised he had lost his sense of humour, and wanted to prove to the nurses he was still funny, so he volunteered to be the bunny for the hospital children's Easter party. Later on at the picnic the kids tied him up and he tripped and fell into the paddle pool which nearly caused him to drown. Vinnie found this very humiliating so he declared that he will no longer be the funny guy, but it didn't last for long. Vinnie and Leanne start to worry more for Nicole when they start to think Nicole is developing schizophrenia like her brother, Eric. Vinnie believed Nicole that she didn't have schizophrenia which caused Nicole to realise how much she loves him. And not long later she proposed. In early September, 2015 Vinnie and Nicole finally got married. However, the marriage had been marred by infidelities, both marital, financial and at home.

In September, 2016 Nicole and Vinnie became joint owners of the IV Bar. Drew's younger brother Cam McCaskil, the Head Chef of the IV was caught buying drugs on the property much to the horror of Nicole and Vinnie. In late 2016 she shared a kiss with new nurse Ruby Flores she confess to Vinnie after she then supports her Mum after her new husband pass away after falling off boat on their honeymoon. It led to her being away from Vinnie with her relationship strained.

In 2017, Nicole was stood down from nursing because she had broken protocol under urgency to let Jack Hannah to help with a medical procedure well beyond their knowledge after the volcanic eruptions. She also fell out with Leanne because he never approved of Damo Johnson and Leanne re-entering relationship for the third time. On top of the money issues, on August 1, 2017, Pele was diagnosed with Type I Diabetes, and Michael, as the neglected child caught with the parent's fighting and tending to Pele, was led astray by Felix, Deb's son. Michael later left for Singapore with his birth mother.

In 2018, Vinnie's latest investment plans failed again and after they tried sharing the house and rent rooms, which included Zoe Carlson, who was later revealed to be Kate Hannah's sister, they decided to sell the house to Harper Whitley and Drew McCaskill, where they had to pay for repairs of plumbing after Leanne withheld information from them. On May 1, Nicole was hit by Finn's car as Finn and Esther was setting off to Detroit to further their careers. Nicole's conscious, but with broken femur, and suspected internal bleeding. After Finn admitted to drink-driving, his frustration had reached boiling point. He told Dr. Walsh, the doctor that wanted Finn to work in Detroit, about his DUI & accident. In May, Michael called from Singapore, saying that Jemima had suffered a stroke, so Vinnie had to go to Singapore to help her. After she recovered, he decided to stay in Singapore because he was offered a role as an F&B department manager in one of the hotels that she manages. Although he tried many times to convince Nicole to fly Pele to Singapore to join him, Nicole suffered more panic attacks as the time draws close to her leaving, she rejected the offer for the final time, and Vinnie ended their marriage due to irreparable differences in values.

Character development


Describing Vinnie, Magasiva stated: "Personality-wise we're a bit similar, very outgoing sort of characters. Even though he is always playing around, he does get serious at times – especially with his work. He is serious about it and wants to do well. Apart from that he likes to have fun, he likes to tease people and dance around and just have fun." [2] His high energy led to him being popular with both staff and patients. [10] Vinnie loved to party and was a hit with woman, even making moves on lesbian flatmate Maia Jeffries (Anna Jullienne). [11] Magasiva hoped he could portray Vinnie so that he could embody the Polynesian population of New Zealand, stating: "He is very typical, but that's the way some of us are. We're being real people, I'm trying to be a real Samoan person, not trying to pretend to be someone else but just to be myself. And it shows when you see Vinnie, the way he talks — Pacific Islanders are loud. You know where they are from a mile away. You get a whole bunch of people laughing, that's a whole bunch of Pacific Islanders." [2] In 2004 the character became part of a group of "hip, young things" alongside Tama Hudson (David Wikaira-Paul), Shannon Te Ngaru (Amber Curreen), Maia Jeffries, Norman Hanson (Jacob Tomuri) and Li Mei Chen (Li Ming Hu). [11] The group embodied the "cool" and "groovy" demographic and were often found partying at their flat 'El Rancho' or the local bar. [11] The group were described as: "witty, fun and spontaneous. They throw parties, play practical jokes, have complicated love lives, they stress about boy/girlfriends, best friends, what to do with their lives and what to wear to parties. What more could you want in a group of friends?" [11] By the characters return in 2011, his cousin Maxwell Avia (Robbie Magasiva) had become the patriarch of a new family unit, cementing Vinnie in the middle and creating the soap's first ever Polynesian family unit in the 20-year history. [12] Following Maxwell's departure in 2012, Vinnie was integrated into scenes and storylines within the family unit, effectively uniting him as the patriarch of the characters. [13]

Affair with Shannon Te Ngaru

In 2004, Vinnie began an affair with the girlfriend of his good friend Tama Hudson (David Wikaira-Paul), Shannon Te Ngaru (Amber Curreen). The romance initially was hidden, however soon became public, a scene Wikaira-Paul enjoyed, "The most memorable thing for me this year was when Tama found out that Shannon was playing on him. I'd formed a huge bond with the character, so it was kind of personal. It surprised me how much I actually cared." [14] Magasiva described Shannon as Vinnie's first love but noted she had become preoccupied with Tama, "Shannon's the first eye opener, the first girl who's really caught his heart. He's really serious about her. There's nothing that will hold him back. He's so in love with her." [15] However, following the arrest of Tama's uncle Victor Kahu (Calvin Tuteao) and their checkered past together, Vinnie was suspicious as to whether Shannon loved him back. Curreen believed that Shannon was destined to love Tama not Vinnie, "Shannon wants Tama. She truly loves him, and now sees what a good thing they had. She feels terrible about herself – she has lost everything good in her life." [15] The affair ended poorly for Vinnie, with Tama and Shannon marrying on Christmas Day 2004. [14]

Relationship with Jemima Hampton

The arrival of Jemima Hampton (Liesha Ward Knox) in mid-2005 proved a new start for Vinnie who was struggling to withstand a relationship after his affair with Shannon Te Ngaru (Amber Cureen). [16] Magasiva explained the attraction: "She's different. There is something about her that just excites him." [16] However Ward Knox was hesitant that the two would have any long standing relationship, stating: "Jemima lives in her own little version of the world. She is the kind or person that would walk into a supermarket, take a can of spaghetti from the bottom of a stack and walk away; when it all comes crashing down behind her, she'd just say 'Oh! It must have been the air conditioning!' She just really has no idea of the problems she causes." [16] Vinnie and Jemima ended up together only for Vinnie to discover Jemima was married. [10] She ended up leaving Vinnie upset and alone. [10] However Jemima returned in December 2005 and announced her pregnancy, with Vinnie the father. [10] Vinnie ended up leaving Ferndale to live with Jemima and his unborn child in England. [6] [10] Offscreen the two settled in after the birth of their son – Michael Kruse, but soon got into fights over Vinnie's party boy behaviour and when he missed Jemima's fathers birthday in 2011, she and Michael abandoned him. [17] In 2014 Jemima returned to the show with her son and a storyline took place where Jemima began to redevelop her crush on Vinnie, Ward-Knox explained, "Jemima is dealing with a crumbling marriage, the prospect of being a solo mum again and Vinnie is a beacon of stability amongst the chaos ... Vinnie is willing to be so accommodating because he is one of the only people who truly understands her world and the way she operates within it." [18]

Relationship with Nicole Miller

When Vinnie Kruse arrived in 2011, Nicole made an embarrassing move on him but they forgot about it and became best friends. In 2013 Vinnie's and Nicole's feelings for each other increased but both of them were too shy to admit it. They finally did and got together for a while but eventually Vinnie fell in love with another nurse and he broke up with Nicole. Nicole, being upset about another failed relationship married herself in November 2013. There, Vinnie realised what a huge mistake he had made breaking up with her. When Nicole got into a relationship with doctor Harper Whitley Vinnie gave up on trying to get Nicole back. But when Nicole's mother Leanne came, who disagrees with her sexuality, she convinced Vinnie to secretly try and win over Nicole's heart. Nicole quickly realised she was still in love with Vinnie and Harper at the same time. After switching from Vinnie to Harper a couple of times Nicole finally chose Vinnie. Only three weeks into their relationship Nicole became pregnant with Vinnies child. She didn't know whether she wanted to keep the baby or not, but in the end they chose the baby. After giving birth Nicole had a brain bleed, which led to a seizure, resulting to her being in a coma, and Vinnie was devastated. Nicole woke up after a week though but life was hard for them. In a few months Nicole got better and after her credit card scam, and Vinnie believing in her she proposed. In September 2015 they got married. In the 2015 Christmas finale Vinnie and his son Michael were held in a hostage situation along with Leanne and some staff and patients. Vinnie Michael and Leanne got out safely though.

Their relationship has been going badly for the next 2 years. With Vinnie's business getting unglued, and Pele's diabetes also taking a toll on their relationship. Michael moving to Singapore to return to live with his biological mother, Jemima, also took a toll.

In 2018, Michael called Vinnie that Jemima suffered a stroke, so Vinnie had to rush to Singapore. Once her condition stabilised, Vinnie was offered a role to work in one of the hotels that she manages


Upon arrival it was clear that Vinnie was a heart throb, something Magasiva was not too sure about. [2] The love triangle between Vinnie, Shannon and Tama was named as the most popular romance storyline to feature in 2004. [14] Magasiva believed Vinnie's most memorable storyline was when he became a gigolo. [19] In the 2011 Throng Shortland Street fan awards, Vinnie took out runner up for "Favourite Male Character" and Magasiva took out get runner up in "Favourite Actor". [20] Vinnie's 2011 return was named as one of the highlights of the season [21] and in 2013, was listed as the 9th best ever character return storyline on the soap by the Shortland Street website. [22] Magasiva placed runner up for "Hottest Male" in the TV Guide Best on the Box Awards 2012, beating out his brother Robbie. [23] Magasiva was nominated for "Favourite Actor" in the 2012 Nowie awards for his portrayal of Vinnie. [24] A scene where Vinnie dreamt of his cousin's ex-wife, Vasa Levi (Teuila Blakely) making sexual moves on him, was named as one of the top moments of the 2012 season. [13] In the Ferndale Talk Best of 2013 awards, Vinnie was voted "Favourite Character", with Magasiva also landing the "Favourite Actor" award. Magasiva also placed runner up for "Best Looking Male" [25] In 2015 Magasiva received a nomination for "Best Actor" in the TV Guide Best on the Box Awards. [26]

Related Research Articles

Pua Magasiva New Zealand actor

Pua Magasiva was a New Zealand actor of Samoan descent, best known for his roles as Shane Clarke, the Red Ranger from Power Rangers Ninja Storm, and Vinnie Kruse in the soap opera Shortland Street. He was also one of the co-hosts of radio station Flava.

Robbie Magasiva

Robbie Joseph Magasiva is a Samoan-New Zealander actor who has starred in several films and as a member of the Naked Samoans comedy troupe. He has also appeared on television and in theatre, and was the co-presenter of New Zealand's Tagata Pasifika with famed athlete, Beatrice Faumuina. Magasiva is also known for his role on Shortland Street as Dr. Maxwell Avia, which he played from June 2009 to July 2012, and for his current role as Will Jackson on the prison drama series, Wentworth, an adaptation of the iconic women prison drama Prisoner. Magasiva is the only male actor to appear in all 8 seasons.

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