Claire Chitham opens up on her return to Shortland Street

The actress speaks about reprising her role as Waverley Wilson for the much-loved Kiwi drama.
Kiwi actress Claire Chitham on her return to Shortland Street.

New Zealand actress Claire Chitham is set to make a star appearance on Shortland Street, when our longest-running television drama celebrates its 25th anniversary later this month.

The 38-year-old first appeared on Shorty in 1994 as receptionist Waverley Harrison, and would go on to spend the next 11 years on the show as one of its long-standing characters.

Shortland Street is gearing up to mark its anniversary in style with a special feature-length episode set to screen on May 25. As well as Chitham’s return to Ferndale, she will also be joined by her co-star, Karl Burnett.

In anticipation of Waverley’s return, Chitham recently shared a throwback snap to Instagram, captioning the pic: “I’m JUST as excited about the special 25th anniversary episode of Shorty’s coming up next week as I was here. When I went blonde. Because of my love for Kirsty Knight. 😍 She is probably just as excited as this too.”

In her interview with Fairfax, on her return to the soap, Chitham revealed that although she’s excited to be making an appearance on the show, she had had some mixed feelings.

She said stepping back on the set for two days after being away for so long felt like homecoming of sorts, but described revisiting Waverley as a little “weird”.

Chitham as Waverley Wilson on Shortland Street

“People have asked me if it was like riding a bike – it is a little bit, but I also liken it to being asked to have sex with an ex.”

“It’s like an ex that you still quite like, and it didn’t end badly, but you kind of both go back into your old thought patterns around that situation – and that’s as weird as it sounds,” she told Fairfax.

Loading the player...

The former Outrageous Fortune star, who was married to BFM radio host Mikey Havoc, currently splits her time between Auckland, Australia and Los Angeles although word has it she’s just signed a lease on a house in Auckland.

The actress, who also a strong advocate for healthy living, recently launched a wellness website called

Related stories