Nīkau Wi Neera (Ngāti Toarangatira, Kāi Tahu) was born in Newtown, and grew up between Wellington and Plimmerton before moving up the coast to his ancestral homeland of Kāpiti for school. Nīkau is a direct paternal descendant of Te Rauparaha, paramount ariki of the Wellington region prior to the outbreak of the land wars, and hails from Takapūwāhia and Hongoeka marae. Nīkau also has whakapapa to Caernarfon, Wales, on his mother's side, and to the iwi of Ngāpuhi and Ngāti Pāhauwera on his grandmother's.
At eighteen, Nīkau moved to Vienna, Austria, where he completed his final year of secondary school. After returning to Aotearoa, Nīkau sold televisions to save for university, and eventually entered the New Zealand School of Music (VUW) to study a Bachelor of Music, majoring in Instrumental/Vocal Composition and specialising in Film Scoring. Whilst at university, Nīkau became heavily involved in student activism and environmental kaupapa, joining both the Green Party and Te Pāti Māori at various points. Having begun a career as a working media composer, Nīkau scored a number of feature films and several successful theatre productions whilst based at Te Herenga Waka (VUW), working with both established kiwi artists such as Lynda Chanwai-Earle and rising stars such as Mason Cade Packer and Awa Puna. Nīkau also worked for a year as a Residential Advisor, and successfully unionised his colleagues to secure better pay and working conditions.
After graduating from University in 2021, Nīkau enlisted in the New Zealand army as an infantryman. In early 2022, after being encouraged by his whānau and mates, Nīkau put his passion for Tiriti justice, community, and te Taiao into practice by standing for the newly-established Māori Ward on the Wellington City Council as a candidate for the Green Party of Aotearoa NZ. After a tight race, Nīkau was successful, and began his first term shortly after his 23rd birthday.
In his spare time, Nīkau loves animals, spending time in the bush with his mates, and learning new skills. Nīkau continues to compose music for film and theatre, and serves in Wellington Company, 5/7 Battalion, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment.