About Us

Who We Are

The New Zealand Writers Guild is a professional association of script writers.

We represent the professional interests of writers in the fields of film, television, theatre, radio, comics and new media. The Guild’s members include most of the professional script writers working in New Zealand.

We are committed to working in a way that adheres to the spirit and the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi.

What We Do

  • Organise writers
  • Publish and provide information and advice to writers
  • Lobby government to improve conditions for writers
  • Represent writers with funding bodies and other industry organisations
  • Comment about matters pertinent to writers
  • Provide template contracts and agreements
  • Provide opportunities for skill development
  • Register intellectual property
  • Arbitrate on script credits

The Guild provides a full range of membership services.

History of the Guild

The Guild was founded in 1975. It was initially established to set minimum rates and conditions for writers working in television. It has expanded to encompass all scriptwriting fields.

An article following the history of the Guild from 1975 to 2005

Where We Are

The Guild is a national organisation but its head office is located in Auckland.

400C Great North Rd
Grey Lynn
Auckland 1024

click to enlarge this map

NZWG 400C Great North Rd Map


Office Hours – contact the office

The Guild office is open for walk-in service Monday to Friday 10am-3pm – during these times we make every effort to be available when you call. If you wish to be certain of someone being in the office, please phone or email ahead to make a time. Appointments can be made with Steven Gannaway the Executive Director also.

Regrettably our secure lockbox at the front door no longer functions. Please phone the office +64 9 360 1408 or email ahead if you wish to be sure someone can receive your returns, registrations and other materials for the attention of staff at a particular time during office hours. Alternatively you may post items to us at:

PO Box 47886
Auckland 1114


Alice with cocktail 420px 

Alice Shearman – Executive Director of NZWG contact Alice

Alice is passionate about the rights of New Zealand screenwriters working in local and international markets. Alice is on the Board of Film Auckland, was a founding member and Deputy Chairperson of the AAANZ  and an Actor and Writer’s agent for over 9 1/2 years, she specialised in developing screenwriters skills and talents through professional development pathways. Alice’s focus as the Executive Director of the NZWG is the development of craft and scripts, and bringing wider industry together with screenwriters.

Mel Weeks – Membership Services Manager /Editor NZWG E Bulletin contact Mel
 Mel has thirteen years experience working in the arts and events, including roles at the Auckland Writers Festival, The Big Idea, Creative New Zealand, Michael Hill International Violin Competition, NZ Sculpture OnShore and IMG Artists. Mel’s focus as the Membership Manager of the NZWG is to be a point of contact for our members, to provide information on our services and provide administrative support to the Guild.


Allan Baddock – Acting President & Southern Region representative

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Allan is a journalist, screen writer and documentary maker with 30 years experience in national and international arenas. He has made a number of high profile, social issues television documentaries for national television and over the past twenty years has been closely involved in developing programmes for the international market, and writing some two dozen natural history and science films for international broadcast. He has published hundreds of newspaper, magazine, radio, and television articles centred particularly on scientific, health, social, and environmental issues. Email baddock@earthlight.co.nz

Steve Barr – Vice President & Central Region Representative

NZWG Website Steve Barr

Steve Barr is a writer, producer, story consultant, and lecturer. He worked for 16 years in the Hollywood system before moving to New Zealand in 2010. A serial collaborator, Steve co-wrote the feature films Born to Dance with Casey Whelan and Timeslow with Sally Tran. As an EP of the Premiere Shorts programme, he helped the short films FeederCradle, and Judgment Tavern come into being. He produces for Gibson Group, teaches at the Film School, coaches individual writers, writes for various producers in NZ and the US, and dances for spare change on the sidewalk outside the Film Commission.
February 2017

Alan Brash – Treasurer

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Alan has worked in New Zealand film and TV industry for over twenty years, starting with production accounting. His roles have been as a screenwriter, story producer, script editor, story-liner, development executive and screenwriting lecturer. From 1995-98 he was freelance script writer on ‘Shortland Street’. In 1999 he was appointed Development Exec at The Gibson Group. Becoming Head of Development at Screentime Communicado in 2003, Alan exec produced a half-hour satire for TVNZ, produced a short film and tutored screenwriting at The South Seas School of Film & Television. In 2011 Alan left teaching to pursue his own film, TV and theatrical projects – he periodically returns to production accounting — working on more than a dozen productions including Mr. Pip, Evil Dead (remake) and ‘Born To Dance.’ Over the years Alan has also worked as an actor, drummer, and stand-up comedian.

Kathryn Burnett – Board Member

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Kathryn Burnett is an award-winning screenwriter, playwright, script development consultant  who has worked in film and television for over 20 years.  She has significant television and film credits – most recently the upcoming TVNZ children’s series The Cul de Sac. She currently has several feature film and TV series projects in development and wrote the multi-award winning short film Shelved.  In addition to writing and running workshops she works as a Screenplay Assessor and Script Consultant. She produced her first play Mike & Virginia (co-written with Nick Ward) for the NZ Comedy Festival 2011 and it subsequently enjoyed a season at Circa Theatre in 2013.   Her short play Bowled Over was produced in 2013 by Auckland Theatre Company as part of the Auckland Arts Festival.

Andrew Gunn – Board Member

NZWG Website Andy Gunn

Andrew Gunn spent 13 years working for TVNZ’s Children’s Unit. His most recent feature film writing credit is his second, for 3 Mile Limit (2014), based on the early days of pirate station Radio Hauraki. In 2009 Gunn co-wrote trolley derby tale Kiwi Flyer with director Tony Simpson. Other writing credits range from extended contributions to What Now! to 1998 award-winner The Beginner’s Guide to Space Travel.

David Mamea – Board Member

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David Fa’auliuli Mamea has worked on film, television, theatre and radio projects in genres ranging from sci-fi to soap, comedy to horror, and documentary to drama. Some of them have even been produced and broadcast. He has won a few awards, including the Adam Award for Best New Zealand Play, the New Zealand Writers Guild SWANZ Award for Best Play, and the New Zealand Radio Award for Best Dramatic Production. A Wellingtonian at heart, he lives in rural Northland with his Lovely Wife, son, cat, two dogs, two ponies, and at least two dozen chickens, including a rooster called Ghost Dog. www.dfmamea.com

Fiona Samuel – Board Member

NZWG WEBSITE fiona samuel

Fiona Samuel is a writer, director and actor who have been creating original drama since she graduated from the New Zealand Drama School in 1980. She has worked in television, film, radio and theatre and has created award-winning dramas in all these fields. Her most recent success is picking up best one-off drama script at NZWG SWANZ in 2014 for Consent – The Louise Nicholas Story. Fiona has also won SWANZ awards for Bliss – The Beginning Of Katherine Mansfield (best telefeature script, 2011) and Ghost Train (best new play, 2010). Fiona Samuel was made an Arts Foundation Laureate in 2012.
May 2015



What the Board does

The Board oversees Guild policy, finances and activities. It is responsible for governing the Guild, ensuring the aims and objectives of the Guild are adhered to and upholding the Constitution. Among other things the Board:
  • Accounts to members and funding bodies for the management of funds;
  • Formulates and writes the policy of the Guild and abide by this policy;
  • Monitors and controls the quality of services provided by the Guild;
  • Acts as a fair and equitable employer of the staff employed by the Guild in accordance with any relevant statutory requirements and best practice;
  • Negotiates and supervises national agreements and disputes;
  • Appoints representatives to other organisations.


The Guild is governed by a Constitution which sets out the aims and objectives of the organisation and provides guidelines for how the Guild is to function.


The Guild is affiliated to three major union organisations, the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions (NZCTU), the International Affiliation of Writers Guilds (IAWG) and Union Network International (UNI).

New Zealand Council of Trade Unions

The Guild is a member of the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions (NZCTU). The NZCTU is an umbrella organisation for unions and provides information, assistance and education. The NZCTU is the united voice of working people in New Zealand.

International Affiliation of Writers Guilds

2017 IAWG members 3 of 3 2017 IAWG members 2 of 3 2017 IAWG members 1 of 3

The Guild is a member of the International Affiliation of Writers Guilds (IAWG). The purpose of the IAWG is to promote and protect the interests of writers internationally, disseminate information among the Guilds and enforce standard minimum agreements.

Each Guild is a stand-alone organisation (i.e. membership and related benefits do not cross over between Guilds) and has different joining criteria and services.

Union Network International (Media and Entertainment International)

The Guild is a member of UNI-MEI. UNI (Union Network International) is a global umbrella organisation for unions and provides an international organising perspective and is a powerful lobbying body. MEI (Media and Entertainment International) is a grouping of media, entertainment and arts unions within UNI.
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