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, where he has directed shows Fine Me a Māori BrideThis is Piki, and Nia’s Extra Ordinary Life, New Zealand’s first web series for kids. McNaughton and Warkia went on to produce anthology movies Waru and Vai, which was shot across the Pacific. In April 2019 production began on McNaughton's debut feature as director: action movie The Legend of Baron To'a.  

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

The Legend of Baron To'a

2019, Director - Film

The Karate Kid meets South Auckland when Fritz (played by Australian-Tongan actor Uli Latukefu) learns the warrior ways of his old Dad, so he can secure the return of his family's treasured pro-wrestling title belt from local gangsters. The Legend of Baron To'a marks the first feature from director Kiel McNaughton, whose credits include Auckland Daze and Find Me a Māori Bride. McNaughton also produced acclaimed films Waru and Vai with his wife Kerry Warkia. The action/comedy boasts a stellar Pasifika/Māori cast, including  Jay Laga'aia and Shavaughn Ruakere.

Vai

2019, Producer - Film

Feature film Vai ranges across the Pacific — from an eight-year-old girl's drama-filled day in Fiji, to a sacred moment in an Aotearoa forest. The film follows a similiar collaborative filmmaking model to Waru (2017), only this time the link between each story is a female one. Many of the stories are also connected by water (vai). Vai premiered at the 2019 Berlin Film Festival. The nine Pasifika women filmmakers are Sharon and Nicole Whippy, Becs Arahanga, Amberley Jo Aumua, Matasila Freshwater, Dianna Fuemana, Mīria George, 'Ofa-ki Guttenbeil-Likiliki and Marina Alofagia McCartney.

Ahikāroa

2018, Director - Television

The Lonely Hearts Motel (Comedy Pilot Week)

2018, Director, Producer - Television

Bloopers - Shortland Street

2018, As: Nurse James Scott - Television

When a show has been in production for over 25 years, the odd mistake is to be expected — as this assemblage of Shortland Street bloopers demonstrates. - Angela Dotchin invents a new word - Angela Bloomfield gets confused over who she's talking to - Peter Elliott almost gets hit by part of the set - Peter Elliott manages to stay in character after Tandi Wright hits a pot plant - John Leigh performs miracles on a sick dog - Peter Elliott has some bother with Elizabeth McRae's cheque - Michael Galvin hurts his leg - Roy Snow gets his cords confused - Theresa Healey has a bumpy kiss - Paul Ellis's face is grabbed by a baby  - Ido Drent announces he's pregnant - Craig Parker hits a pot plant - Mr Whippy distracts Nisha Madhan  - Angela Bloomfield fluffs her line - Angela Bloomfield battles dialogue and weapons - Lee Donoghue forgets a line - and more!

Darryl - An Outward Bound Story

2017, Director - Web

Moving Out with Tamati

2017, Subject - Television

Waru

2017, Producer - Film

For this 2017 feature film, eight Māori women each directed a 10 minute segment of events circling around the tangi of a boy named 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 was produced by Kerry Warkia and Kiel McNaughton.

Filthy Rich

2017, Director - Television

This is Piki

2016, Director - Television

Snapchat meets kapa haka in this acclaimed 2016 Māori Television series. Co-created by actor Cliff Curtis, the Rotorua-set drama follows Piki Johnson (Hinerauwhiri Paki) as she negotiates being a teenager. The cast mixed rangatahi and screen veterans (eg Temuera Morrison). Scriptwriters included Briar Grace-Smith and Victor Rodger. Eight 30-minute episodes were made by the team behind hit show Find Me a Māori Bride. Director Kiel McNaughton told The Spinoff: "what we were trying to achieve was the first soap drama from a Māori perspective."

This is Piki - First Episode

2016, Director - Television

A soap told from a Māori perspective, this Rotorua-set drama follows Piki (newcomer Hinerauwhiri Paki) as she faces the challenges of being a teen in the age of Snapchat. This opening episode sees the aspiring singer juggle an audition for a kapa haka troupe, and a crush on a fellow performer. NZ Herald reviewer Duncan Greive praised Paki as "shockingly good", and found the Māori Television series "a distinctly modern drama which could have come from nowhere else". The show was developed from an original idea by actor Cliff Curtis and producer Lara Northcroft.

Find Me a Māori Bride

2015 - 2017, Director - Television

In this mockumentary series, two metrosexual Māori males have six months to find a Māori bride in order to win a hefty inheritance. Created by writer Dane Giraud, the show mines comedy from being a modern Māori in the city. NZ Herald reviewer Alex Casey praised it for adding "much-needed fresh perspectives to New Zealand television comedy." The cast of the Kiel McNaughton-directed hit includes Cohen Holloway (Boy), Amanda Billing (Shortland Street), Rachel House (Whale Rider) and Siobhan Marshall (Outrageous Fortune). Jennifer Ward-Lealand narrates.

Find Me a Māori Bride - First Episode

2015, Director - Television

This hit Māori Television mockumentary series follows a couple of metro Māori men on a mission to claim a large inheritance…by finding a Māori bride. But in order to do so, the two 'plastic Māori' – property developer Tama Bradley (Boy's Cohen Holloway) and accountant George Alpert (singer/actor Matariki Whatarau) – must get in touch with their culture. In this first episode their unreadiness for the challenge is clear. NZ Herald's Alex Casey praised the show as a "hotbed for humour". Māori Bride was produced by the company behind webseries Auckland Daze and movie Waru.

Happy Hour

2014, Director - Television

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”.

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.

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. 

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.

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.  

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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

2014, Writer, Director - 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.

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.

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.

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.

End of Daze

2013, Director - Television

Neighbourhood

2012 - 2017, Presenter - Television

This long-running factual series aims to celebrate "what diversity really means for all New Zealanders", by exploring the people and culture of Kiwi neighbourhoods. Four stories per episode are presented by a personality with links to the 'hood. The hosts include actors Madeleine Sami, Shimpal Lelisi and Yoson An, musicians King Kapisi and Tami Neilson, tennis player Marina Erakovic and designer Sean Kelly. Made by Satellite Media for TVNZ, six seasons had been made up to 2018. Neighbourhood was nominated for Best Information Series at the 2012 NZ Television Awards. 

Auckland Daze

2011 - 2014, Producer, Director - Web

Raising Children in New Zealand

2011, Presenter - Television

The Crossing

2009, Director, Writer, Actor - Short Film

A Brush with Death

2008, Director, Writer, Actor - Short Film

Henrietta

2007, Director, Actor, Writer - Short Film

Family Ties

2006, Presenter, Subject - Television

Hidden

2005, As: Mark - Film

Power Rangers S.P.D.

2005, As: Guard - Television

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).

20/20

2011, Subject - Television

American current affairs format 20/20 was first introduced to New Zealand on TV3 in 1993, where it screened for a decade. In 2005 it moved to TVNZ, and became TV2’s signature current affairs show. The hour-long slot mixed content taken from the ABC-produced American show, with award-winning local stories; local subjects ranged from infanticide to Nicky Watson. The first host was Louise Wallace, then at TVNZ it was Miriama Kamo, and from 2011, Sonya Wilson. In 2014 local content ceased being made for 20/20. Two years later it moved to TV One, with Carolyn Robinson hosting. 

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.