NZWG Staff & Board
Alice is passionate about the rights and progression of Aotearoa New Zealand screenwriters. Alice is on the Board of Toi Mai, Film Auckland, was a founding member and Deputy Chairperson of the Agents Association of NZ, and was an Actor's and Writer’s agent for a decade. Specialising in developing screenwriters skills and talents through professional development pathways and stronger rights legislation.
Alice’s focus as the Executive Director of the NZWG has been part of establishing the Screen Industry Workers Bill and development of professional career pathways for screenwriters.
After many years working in the advertising and marketing industry, Claire transitioned to a fledgling writing career. Claire is a regular contributor to M2Woman magazine among other publications, and is a closet (read unproduced) screenwriter.
Claire is a strong supporter of the screenwriting industry in New Zealand and is delighted to be an active member of the industry and be able to offer support to NZWG members.
FIONA SAMUEL MNZM
Fiona Samuel is a writer and director for television, radio, film and theatre, and a NZ Arts Foundation Laureate. Her body of work includes the original TV drama series The Marching Girls, one-woman stage play Lashings of Whipped Cream – A Session With a Teenage Dominatrix, television documentary Virginity, short films Bitch and Song of the Siren, radio dramas Blonde Bombshell and A Short History of Contraception and telefeatures Piece of My Heart, Bliss and Consent – The Louise Nicholas Story.
DAVID F. MAMEA
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. He has won the Adam Award for Best New Zealand Play, a New Zealand Writers Guild SWANZ Award for Best Play, and a 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, two kunekune pigs, seven sheep, and innumerable chickens, including a rooster called Ghost Dog.
RACHEL LANG MNZM
Rachel is an award-winning television writer, creator, show runner and executive producer. She is best known for long running series Outrageous Fortune, Go Girls, Nothing Trivial and The Almighty Johnsons. Her other creations include futuristic thriller This is Not My life; noir mystery The Blue Rose; and Outrageous Fortune prequel, Westside. Her recent work includes comedy series Dirty Laundry and power soap, Filthy Rich. She also co-created thriller Hyde & Seek in Australia. Rachel has worked in development and as a script editor, script consultant and mentor. Her career as a writer started on Shortland Street, where she was the first NZ story editor. In 2017, Rachel was made a member of the order of NZ for her services to television.
Pip Hall is an award-winning scriptwriter and playwright. She works extensively in television as a creator, writer, producer, story liner and script consultant.
She is the co-creator and writer of One Lane Bridge, Pip is once again sole writer and is also stepping up into an Executive Producer role. One Lane Bridge has been picked up by AMC and Acorn for world-wide distribution. Other recent credits include Jonah, Runaway Millionaires, Why Does Love, 800 Words, and two episodes of The Brokenwood Mysteries.
Pip has written almost twenty plays, the majority of which were commissioned, and has had work produced by every major theatre company in New Zealand. She received the Bruce Mason award, Aotearoa’s most prestigious theatre writing award in 2009, the same year she won best new NZ Play for The 53rd Victim.
She has recently moved home to Dunedin!
Kia ora. My name is Aroha Awarau and I was born and raised in Hawera, Taranaki. My father hails from Waipiro Bay and Niue (Ngati Porou) and my mother is from Tarata, Taranaki (Ngati Maru). I have been a journalist in print and television for more than ten years and a playwright and scriptwriter since 2014. I joined the NZ Writer’s Guild in 2015 and was lucky enough to win Best Play for my first production, Luncheon, at the 2015 SWANZ awards. My short film called Home, and another play, Officer 27, have also been nominated for a SWANZ.
I was encouraged to put myself forward for the board by Nga Aho Whakaari, the voice of Maori in the screen industry. We felt it was important to have a Maori/Pacific voice and representation on the board. I aim to grow our membership and to encourage many Maori and Pacific writers who are not members, to join the guild. I love being a writer and I admire the hard work and sacrifices we make to create our work.
Tēna koutou fellow writers. I have been a full-time scriptwriter since 2000, working primarily on series drama, children’s drama, and features. Since 2007 I have been one half of Lippy Pictures and with Donna Malane I’ve produced as well as written a number of prime-time telefeatures for TVNZ and most recently, a co-production crime series The Gulf with Germany.
I’ve worked with many writers, a variety of producers and written almost as many scripts as funding applications. Much could be improved in our profession, particularly for minority voices who need more opportunity, respect, and airtime. In the last few years, I’ve been involved with the Screen Women’s Action Group (SWAG) who have developed a suite of initiatives to improve our industry’s sexual safety. I’d like to ensure that work extends to support writers in development.
More generally I am committed to seeing creatives centred in the decision-making, development, and production of screen work, and receiving their fair share of the end profits.
Matasila Freshwater is a filmmaker across animation and live-action, passionate about stories that explore cultural complexities and fringe weirdoes. Matasila was responsible for the Solomon Islands section of award-winning feature, Vai (2019), and recently received the Sun Jury Prize at ImagineNATIVE, for writing/directing Hiama (2021) part of anthology series Teine Sā.
Mata holds an MA in Scriptwriting from Victoria University IIML with her feature film, Roundabout, which was selected for Script to Screens’ 2020 Film Up programme. In 2019 she was awarded a special grant through the NZFC Annual Gender Scholarship, won SPADA New Filmmaker of the Year, and in April 2020 became one of the inaugural Arts Foundation Springboard recipients, with the mentorship of Tusi Tamasese.
I'm Andrew Gunn, based in Ōtautahi Christchurch.
I began my writing career sometime last century in the TVNZ Children's Unit and since the turn of the millennium I've been a full-time freelancer writing for both TV and feature film – including iconic children’s shows What Now and Suzy’s World, feature films Kiwi Flyer, 3 Mile Limit and Kiwi Christmas, and children’s series for ITV and the BBC. I also write a weekly column for Stuff which is supposed to be satire but in these times is veering towards simple reportage.
Since I started screenwriting, I've always been grateful that the staff at the Writers Guild have had my back just in case things go pear-shaped, as well as doing much more: securing writer-led funding, forging a pathway to collective bargaining, encouraging professional development, and celebrating the success of Kiwi writers. As Board members we see up close all the work the Guild does representing writers – so if you’re still reading this and haven’t signed up: it’s worth it, I tell you!
Becky Kuek (郭金玫) is a multi-genre Writer, Director, Producer and Actor with a strength for crafting entertaining stories powered by a meaningful underlying message. From 2019-2021, Becky produced, directed, co-wrote, edited and starred in two seasons of TALES OF NAI NAI, Aotearoa’s first Asian-themed animated series. Prior to that, Becky wrote for, edited and starred in QUIMBO’S QUEST for Mukpuddy Animation, in addition to working as an actor.
Becky is especially passionate about empowering and upskilling underrepresented creatives, and encouraging everyone from funding bodies to filmmakers to understand and embrace honest, healthy and impactful collaboration and progress. Becky is currently writing, directing and producing a number of live-action and animated film and TV projects alongside creative and executive teams lead by women, while keeping a strong focus on advocacy for women of colour and minority filmmakers in our industry.
RENE LE BAS
Rene Le Bas is a New Zealand-born writer who grew up in the United States and currently lives in Auckland. He has an MA in Scriptwriting from Victoria University’s International Institute of Modern Letters (IIML), is an NZWG Seed Grant Recipient, SWANZ Best Unproduced Pilot Winner, and wrote for series three of TVNZ’s The Cul de Sac. He has run screenwriting workshops through Victoria University’s Continuing Education Programme and the Emerging Artists Trust.