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NZWG Staff & Board

Alice Shearman Headshot 2019.jpg
Executive Director

Alice is passionate about the rights and progression of Aotearoa New Zealand screenwriters. Alice is a Director of the Board of Toi Mai, Deputy Chair of  Film Auckland, was a founding member and Deputy Chairperson of the Agents Association of NZ, and 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 Act and development of professional career pathways for screenwriters.

Membership Manager

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 -Akld Rep

Fiona Samuel has been on the NZWG board for 10 years and Co-President for 4 years, alongside her esteemed colleague David Mamea.

Fiona 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. 

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David Fa’auliuli Mamea (Safune/Safotu, Sāmoa) hates a lot of things about writing (don’t get him started on treatments) but the absolute pits is candidate statements like this.

He’s been writing for over twenty years. It doesn’t feel like twenty years but by golly his calendar and Morgan Freeman in the mirror aren’t lying. He’s been around a bit.

He believes in the guild and the work that it does for you — yes, you, dear guild member (you are a paid up member, aren’t you?) because not only is there safety in numbers, with numbers, we writers have a voice and influence. We have agency.


There’s collective negotiations on the horizon. You know what that means, right? Minimum conditions. Industry standards. What conditions? you might ask. What standards? Exactly. We’re going to figure that stuff out together when collective negotiations begin.

Rachel Lang -Board Member
Vice President

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 career as a writer started on Shortland Street, where she was the first NZ story editor.

Rachel has also worked in development and as a script editor, script consultant and mentor.    She’s been a member of NZWG for many years and joined the board to help promote the interests of NZ screenwriters.    

In 2017, Rachel was made a member of the order of NZ for her services to television

Central Representative

Matasila Freshwater (Solomon Islands, Pākehā) is a writer/director across animation and live-action, exploring cultural complexities and fringe weirdoes with her stories. Mata holds an MA in Screenwriting from Victoria University IIML, was awarded 2019 SPADA New Filmmaker of the Year, and in 2020 was an inaugural Arts Foundation Springboard Recipient. Matasila was responsible for the Solomon Islands section of award-winning feature, Vai (2019), and her most recent short, Hiama, was selected for Palm Springs Shorts and won the Sun Jury Prize at Imaginative (2021).


Matasila is passionate about the work of the NZWG in uplifting marginalised voices and re-shifting and decolonising power imbalances to centre writers and creatives. When not writing or screaming into the void, Mata spends her time roller skating.

Pip Hall.jpg
Southern Representative

Pip Hall is an award-winning scriptwriter and playwright. She works extensively in television as a creator, writer, executive producer, story liner and script consultant.


She is the co-creator and writer of One Lane Bridge, a murder mystery crime drama, penning all three seasons of the award-winning drama series. One Lane Bridge has been picked up by AMC and Acorn for world-wide distribution and sells to multiple countries.


Other recent TV 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 and is a passionate advocate for writers.  This is her second stint on the NZWG Board and served as NZWG president for four years.  She also sits on the Board of Playmarket.

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Board Member

Becky Kuek (郭金玫) is a multi-genre Showrunner, Writer, Director, Producer and Actor with a strength for crafting compelling stories powered by a meaningful underlying message. Having come up as an actor in theatre and short films, Becky went on to produce, direct, co-write, edit and star in two seasons of Tales of Nai Nai, Aotearoa’s first Asian-themed animated series. Becky then directed and co-wrote the live-action comedy series Long x Xia, and has written, produced or starred in many other Kiwi series across animation, live-action, scripted and factual, including Dating While Asian, My Favourite Dead Person, Quimbo’s Quest, Ao-Terror-Oa and more.


Becky is especially passionate about empowering and upskilling underrepresented creatives, and encouraging everyone from funding bodies to filmmakers to embrace honest and impactful collaboration. Becky is currently writing, directing and producing a number of live-action and animated film and TV projects, while remaining dedicated to finding ways to ensure that working in our industry is equitable and sustainable.

Dane Giraud.jpeg
Board Member

South Auckland raised but now resident in friendly Feilding, I wrote, researched, and directed documentaries for 10 years, co-creating the long-running “Loading Docs” documentary portal. I moved into comedy, creating, and writing the critically acclaimed “Find Me A Māori Bride” (2015 -2017).


In the space of a few years, I had worked on 5 comedy shows, co-creating “Takes A Village” (2018), writing on “Tongue Tied” (2017), and writing and directing “Jimi’s World” (2017), the debut series for YouTube sensation Jimi Jackson. I wrote the Sony-released VR game ‘Wanderer’, a critical smash, and am about to start work on a sequel.


I created “The Bishop”, currently in production for Warner Bros, and run my own production company “Tama & George Records” which is producing combat sports podcast “The Canvas”. I also run a development initiative in South Auckland that upskills emerging comedy writers

Board Member

I have been a full-time scriptwriter since 2000, writing 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 know my way around the traps pretty well. Much could be improved in our profession, particularly for minority voices who still don’t get enough opportunity, respect or airtime in this country.


In the last two years I’ve been very involved with the Screen Women’s Action Group (SWAG) who have developed a suite of initiatives to improve our industry’s sexual safety. Whether or not I become a board member I’d like to ensure that work continues and extends more practically to support writers and all people working in development.

Rene La Bas Headshot 2019_edited.jpg
Board Member

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.


Currently, Rene is a Screenwriting Lecturer at Unitec. During his time at the Guild, he's consulted on the Reform of Vocational Education (RoVE) process, advocating for the training needs of screenwriters. He's a strong supporter of emerging writers entering the industry.

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