NZWG Staff & Board
Alice Shearman 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's 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 professional career pathways, craft and scripts, and most importantly connecting the wider screen industry with 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
Vice President + Northern Representative
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.
RENE LE BAS
Rene Le Bas is a New Zealand-born writer who grew up in the United States and currently lives in Wellington. 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.
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.
Becky is a multi-genre writer, director and showrunner with a strength for crafting stories powered by meaningful underlying messages. She was a writer for the animated comedy Quimbo’s Quest before creating, showrunning, directing and writing two seasons of Tales of Nai Nai, NZ’s first Asian-themed animated TV series.
As a Kiwi-Asian woman filmmaker, Becky is especially passionate about empowering underrepresented practitioners to spearhead their own stories and projects, and encouraging others to understand and embrace honest and healthy collaboration and genuine, impactful progress. Spring boarding off a 10-year career as an actor, Becky is particularly focussed on building an environment where actors feel supported and safe to fully immerse themselves in the work, with the belief that that starts at script level. Becky is currently working on a number of live-action film and TV projects with Asian women in all leadership positions.
Tēna koutou fellow writers, I’m putting myself forward for the NZ Writer’s Guild board because I’ve benefited from the organisation for nearly (well actually) 20 years so I’m overdue to offer something back. 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. I’d like to ensure that work continues and extends more practically to support writers and all people working in development
Kathryn is an award-winning screenwriter, playwright, script development consultant and workshop facilitator who has worked in film and television for over 20 years. She has numerous television and film credits and currently has two feature films in development.
In 2017 she was nominated for the Adams Best New Play Award. Kathryn's recently produced projects include the TV series – “Fresh Eggs” and “The Cul de Sac.” And telefeature 'The Tender Trap' as co-writer for Greenstone & TVNZ has just gone into production. Kathryn also working on an HBO sci-fi series, my latest play and have two feature film screenplays which are in development. She was also the co-writer on series 2 and 3 of the children’s drama The Cul de Sac.
In addition to writing and running writing and creativity workshops, Kathryn works as a Story Consultant and Screenplay Assessor.
Andrew Gunn started his screenwriting career in TVNZ’s Children’s Unit well before the turn of the century and has been a full time film and television writer ever since. He has written for a wide variety of kids’ programmes for TVNZ, TV3, the BBC and ITV as well as for primetime New Zealand shows such as Shortland Street. He is co-writer of the feature films Kiwi Flyer (2012), 3 Mile Limit (2014) and Kiwi Christmas (2017).