Next week, veteran New Zealand stage and screen actor George Henare will arrive on New Zealand's most popular soap, Shortland Street.

He is playing the father of Roimata Ngatai (Shavaughn Ruakere), a well-known paediatrician called Henare Ngatai, and his storyline will play out over a month.

Having such a well-respected member of the acting fraternity got us thinking about some of the other acting-elite who have shown up on the serial drama in the past few years. Here's a few:

IAN MUNE

Multi-talented actor-writer-director Ian Mune appeared on Shortland Street last year, during the show's first 90-minute episode. He guest-starred as Brian Raynor, the uncle of Chris Warner's ex-wife Alison Raynor (Danielle Cormack), who revealed the shocking news that Chris had a secret teenage son called Phoenix.

LOUISE WALLACE

Well-known journalist, presenter and actress, Wallace last year played Annette Freeman, the alcoholic mother of Dr Brooke Freeman (Beth Allen).

RENA OWEN

Rena Owen (Once Were Warriors) turned up at the end of last year to play Hine Ryan, the estranged mother of James "Scotty" Scott (Kiel McNaughton).

PAUL HOLMES

The veteran broadcaster appeared on the show in 1993 when he made a cameo appearance as himself. Then last year he returned as Leslie Grant, an arrogant amateur actor playing Lady Bracknell in the show's theatre production, The Importance of Being Earnest.

TEM MORRISON

Morrison was a Shortland Street original cast member, but left the show in 1994 to focus on his movie career. But to celebrate the show's 4000th episode, Morrison agreed to reprise his infamous role as Dr Hone Ropata, rolling back into town on a Harley to break the hearts of many a Shortland Street nurse.