Manurewa-bred Kiel McNaughton followed stunt work and study at Unitec with a five year stint, playing beloved Shortland Street nurse James 'Scotty' Scott. Alongside his wife Kerry Warkia, he founded Brown Sugar Apple Grunt Productions in 2006, directing acclaimed wannabe famous satire Auckland Daze, and Nia’s Extra Ordinary Life, New Zealand’s first web series for kids. McNaughton has also directed for This is Piki and Filthy Rich. Award-winning 2015 play The Mooncake and the Kumara — co-written with his cousin Mei-Lin Te Puea Hansen — explores the family's Māori, Chinese and Pākehā roots.

We were born in 2006, founded by actors who wanted to shape their own opportunities for rewarding work. Brown celebrates our ethnicity. Sugar symbolises fun that comes from creativity. Apple as a reminder to be natural. Grunt recognises the effort required to deliver successful content. It's also the name of our favourite dessert. Founding manifesto for Kiel McNaughton's production company, Brown Sugar Apple Grunt
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Waru

2017, Producer - Film

For this 2017 feature film, eight Māori women each direct a 10 minute segment of events circling around the tangi of a child (Waru). Each director had a day and a single shot to capture their take on the context behind a tragedy. After its debut at the 2017 NZ International Film Festival, Waru won a rush of social media attention, and screened at the Toronto and imagineNATIVE festivals. The Hollywood Reporter praised it for bringing "a sense of dramatic, urgent realism to a story that plays out like a suspenseful mystery". Waru is produced by Kerry Warkia and Kiel McNaughton.

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This is Piki

2016, Director - Television

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Filthy Rich

2017, Director - Television

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Find Me a Māori Bride

2015, Director - Television

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Happy Hour

2014, Director - Television

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Nia's Extra Ordinary Life

2014, Director, Writer - Web

Nia’s Extra Ordinary Life follows the adventures of Nia (Shania Gilmour), a 10-year-old girl living in the seaside town of Tinopai in Northland. “Nothing exciting ever happens here” begins Nia, but the ordinary soon becomes extra ordinary thanks to the power of her imagination — brought to life via onscreen animation. Made by the team behind Auckland Daze (writer/producer Kerry Warkia, and writer/director Kiel McNaughton), Aotearoa’s first web series for children also screened on Māori Television. Listener critic Fiona Rae called it “heavy on imagination and creativity and very cute”.

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Nia's Extra Ordinary Life - 01, Stones (First Episode)

2014, Director, Writer - Web

New Zealand's first web series for children follows the adventures of a 10 year-old girl for whom the ordinary becomes extraordinary. Nia (Shania Gilmour) lives in the Northland seaside town of Tinopai; in this first episode she introduces herself, her friend Hazel, and her highly active imagination, which is soon teaching a bully a lesson — thanks to help from a boxing glove, and her pet taniwha George. From the folks behind Auckland Daze (Kiel McNaughton and Kerry Warkia), Nia's Extra Ordinary Life also screened on Māori Television.

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Nia's Extra Ordinary Life - 02, Castles Made of Sand (Episode Two)

2014, Director, Writer - Web

Nia’s Extra Ordinary Life follows the adventures of Nia, a 10 year-old girl living in the Northland seaside town of Tinopai. There the ordinary becomes extra ordinary thanks to the power of her imagination — brought to life partly via onscreen animation. In this second episode Nia (Shania Gilmour) gets over leftover mussels and tomato sauce in her school lunch (yuck!) and missing her Mum, by building a sandcastle. The tide is getting closer, but no matter...Made by the team behind Auckland Daze, Nia’s Extra Ordinary Life marked Aotearoa’s first web series for children. 

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Nia's Extra Ordinary Life - 03, Lucas (Episode Three)

2014, Director, Writer - Web

Nia’s Extra Ordinary Life follows the adventures of Nia, a 10 year-old girl living in the Northland seaside town of Tinopai. “Nothing exciting ever happens here …” begins Nia, but the ordinary becomes extraordinary via the power of her imagination. In this third episode Nia (Shania Gilmour) and Hazel meet Lucas "curled up like a ball" on the beach after a turtle-related incident. They go looking for the escaped turtle, and encounter a crab. Made by the team behind Auckland Daze, Nia’s Extra Ordinary Life was New Zealand's first web series for children.

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Nia's Extra Ordinary Life - 04, The Scrap (Episode Four)

2014, Writer, Director - Web

In this fourth episode of Nia's Extra Ordinary Life, 10-year-old Nia (Shania Gilmour) spots some teasing going on and calls out the bully police, complete with helicopters.... Made by the team behind Auckland Daze, Nia’s Extra Ordinary Life was Aotearoa’s first web series for children. It also screened on Māori Television. Each tale of a girl living in a Northland seaside town used animation to help bring her imaginings to life. The series was co-written by actor turned producer Kerry Warkia.  

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Nia's Extra Ordinary Life - 05, The Weakest Link (Episode Five)

2014, Writer, Director - Web

Nia’s Extra Ordinary Life follows the adventures of Nia, a 10 year-old girl living in the Northland seaside town of Tinopai. This fifth episode follows the play by play at cricket practice, where one of the team is day-dreaming, another bats like a superhero, and a third is humiliated by her mother, who also happens to be the coach. Talk about being made to feel small...Made by the team behind Auckland Daze, Nia’s Extra Ordinary Life was Aotearoa’s first web series for children. 

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Nia's Extra Ordinary Life - 06, Artsy Fartsy (Episode Six)

2014, Writer, Director - Web

Nia (Shania Gilmour) is an ordinary 10 year old girl living in the quiet Northland town of Tinopai. In this sixth episode, Nia’s dreams of winning the local art competition are interrupted when the local boys show up in a teasing mood, and do their best to ruin her day. It all makes Nia wonder why boys seem to act worse when they hang out in a group. Made by the team behind hit web series Auckland Daze, Nia's Extra Ordinary Life marked New Zealand’s first web series for children.

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Nia's Extra Ordinary Life - 07, Wonderland (Episode Seven)

2014, Writer, Director - Web

Nia's Extra Ordinary Life is partly a tribute to the power of children's imaginations, which are brought to the screen thanks to the magic of animation. In the seventh episode, Nia and her friends enjoy a day out on safari, where they fancy glimpses of an African rhino, a giraffe, and an unhelpful camel. Their imaginations also afford them a quick trip to Ireland, before heading home for kai in the sun. Made by the team behind Auckland Daze, Nia's Extra Ordinary Life marked New Zealand’s first web series for children.

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Nia's Extra Ordinary Life - 08, Pontoon (Episode Eight)

2014, Writer, Director - Web

In this episode, Nia (Shania Gilmour) spends a day in the sun with her friend Hazel (Jessica Woollam). As the girls' imaginations and the show's distinctive animation run wild, the pair have adventures in New York, Sydney and Paris, and star in their own explosive action movie. But things turn cloudy when Hazel reluctantly reveals that she has to move back to Australia, leaving Nia to deal with the thought of losing her best friend. Nia's Extra Ordinary Life uses a diary format to help take us inside Nia's head.

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Nia's Extra Ordinary Life - 09, Deserted Island (Episode Nine)

2014, Writer, Director, Writer - Web

Nia is an ordinary girl living in the Northland town of Tinopai. In this ninth episode, a trip to the wharf to help her Dad with some fishing provides a chance for Nia to think about how she'll feel when her best friend Hazel leaves. An imagined stay on a desert island (with a penguin for company) is interrupted when the boys turn up, seemingly up to their usual mischief. Nia's Extra Ordinary Life was made by the team behind Auckland Daze; they began filming a second series in 2015.

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Nia's Extra Ordinary Life - 10, Diorama (Episode 10)

2014, Writer, Director - Web

In this tenth episode of Nia’s Extra Ordinary Life, things turn from good to bad in the town of Tinopai. Nia has finished her entry for the local art competition, a beautiful painted diorama of Tinopai, and takes it to show her friend Hazel. Thoughts of fame after winning the art competition inspire references to X-Factor and Lorde. Before Nia can get to Hazel’s however, an incident involving Isabella at the petrol station literally turns things upside down. A second series of Nia’s Extra Ordinary Life was made in 2015.

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Nia's Extra Ordinary Life - 11, Into The Night (Episode 11)

2014, Writer, Director - Web

In this second to last episode of season one, Nia (Shania Gilmour) is caught up in drama. Soon to farewell her best friend Hazel, she imagines dropping an elephant on Isabella but changes her mind after Isabella apologises. Feeling happier, Nia gets all her friends working together late into the night, as they set about creating a mysterious mural. Nia's Extra Ordinary Life was the first New Zealand web series aimed specially at children. A second series went into production in 2015.

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Nia's Extra Ordinary Life - 12, Goodbye Hazel (Episode 12)

2014, Director, Writer - Web

In the final episode of Nia's first series of extraordinary adventures, Nia and Hazel share breakfast and a cup of tea at Buckingham Palace, before setting off for Hazel's last day at Tinopai School. When they get there, Nia has two surprises for the friend she is about to farewell. Aimed at viewers aged six to 10, Nia's Extra Ordinary Life uses animation to help bring Nia's thoughts and imagination alive. After the success of their first 12 episode season, creators Kerry Warkia and Kiel McNaughton began making a second in 2015.

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End of Daze

2013, Director - Television

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Neighbourhood

2012 - 2015, Presenter - Television

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Auckland Daze

2011 - 2014, Producer, Director - Web

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Raising Children in New Zealand

2011, Presenter - Television

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The Crossing

2009, Director, Writer, Actor - Short Film

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A Brush with Death

2008, Director, Writer, Actor - Short Film

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Henrietta

2007, Director, Actor, Writer - Short Film

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Family Ties

2006, Presenter, Subject - Television

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Hidden

2005, As: Mark - Film

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Power Rangers S.P.D.

2005, As: Guard - Television

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River Queen

2005, Stunts - Film

Vincent Ward's fifth feature follows an Irishwoman in 1860s New Zealand, as Māori tribes resist the occupation of their land by the British. Sarah (Samantha Morton) has had an affair with a Māori and borne his child. Years later the boy is kidnapped by his grandfather, a powerful tribal leader. Sarah embarks on a search for her child, aided by warrior Wiremu (Cliff Curtis). When she finds him, both mother and son must decide to which culture they belong. This excerpt from the notoriously ambitious film sees Sarah encountering charismatic chief Te Kai Po (Temuera Morrison).

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20/20

2011, Subject - Television

20/20 was a US current affairs format first introduced to NZ on TV3 in 1993, where it screened for a decade. In 2005 it was picked up by TVNZ and it became TV2’s signature current affairs show. One hour-long, it mixed content imported from the US ABC-produced show with award-winning local investigative stories; subjects ranged from infanticide to Nicky Watson. The original host was Louise Wallace, then at TVNZ it was Mirama Kamo, then Sonya Wilson from 2011. In 2014 local content ceased being made for the show, and it shifted to a half-hour late-night slot.

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Shortland Street

2007 - 2011, As: Nurse James Scott - Television

Shortland Street is a fast-paced serial drama set in an inner city Auckland hospital. The long-running South Pacific Pictures production is based around the births, deaths and marriages of the hospital's staff and patients. It screens on TVNZ’s TV2 network five days a week. In 2017 the show was set to celebrate its 25th anniversary, making it New Zealand’s longest running drama by far. Characters and lines from the show have entered the culture — starting with “you’re not in Guatemala now, Dr Ropata!” in the very first episode. Mihi Murray writes about Shortland Street here.