Tania Simon spent four years as co-host of Takatāpui, the world’s first television show aimed at indigenous gay, lesbian and transgender viewers. Her acting resume includes Shortland Street and the starring role in 1993 short Peach, opposite Lucy Lawless. Simon is also a longtime sign language interpreter who has interpreted on TV; in 2009 she directed documentary He Māori He Turi, about NZ’s 110,000 Māori deaf.
Journalist Claudette Hauiti founded production company Front of the Box in 1993. Specialising in Māori and Pasifika programming, their output included documentaries about the female experience of gangs, and Qantas Award-winner Children of the Revolution, which profiled the offspring of activist New Zealanders. Hauiti became a list MP for the National Party in May 2013, but resigned from politics the following July.
Andrew Whiteside made his name as a reporter, director and producer on Queer Nation, one of the world's longest running queer television programmes. After nine years with the show, Whiteside went on to set up his own company, Roll Tape Productions.
Christopher Banks has worked in journalism, music, and film. In the 90s he wrote and produced songs for chart-topping band Deep Obsession, before reinventing himself as a journalist, directing and reporting for TV's Queer Nation. In 2005 he wrote and directed feature comedy Quiet Night In, the tale of a writer whose night descends into disaster. Banks followed it with a series of award-winning shorts, which have been invited to gay and lesbian festivals in both New Zealand and North America. In 2012 he completed feature-length documentary Men Like Us, based on interviews exploring the lives of nine gay men.
Robyn Paterson won attention in 2012 for directing award-winning film Finding Mercy, in which she headed back to her Zimbabwe birthplace to find a best friend from childhood. Feature documentary In the Zone followed in 2018, which explored a man's efforts to transform educational outcomes for disadvantaged youth in Auckland and Chicago. Paterson has worked in numerous roles: from directing factual TV shows (Grand Designs, Attitude) to writing (The Simon Eliot Show, Facelift) and casting. She has also faced the camera as a Queer Nation presenter and occasional actor, and is a published author.
Māori and Cook Island producer and director Lanita Ririnui has made a career telling the stories of youth, women, Māori and Pacific Islanders. Her extensive CV includes Pasifika youth show Fresh, Māori Television's flagship sports show Code, and interactive website Poi 360.
Kim Webby first began directing while working as a TVNZ reporter. Alongside stints on Fair Go and 60 Minutes, she has directed a range of documentaries for both TVNZ and Māori Television. October 15, her film on the 2007 police raids, was nominated for an Aotearoa Television Award; in 2015 she helmed feature-length companion piece The Price of Peace, which screened at the 2015 NZ Film Festival.
Spending 13 years in one job is a very long time these days, so imagine the pressure of commissioning TVNZ shows for all that time. Kathryn Graham did just that across a diverse portfolio of programmes. The former television director was TVNZ's first Commissioning Editor of Māori and Pacific content, and the first Kaikotuitui Rangapu (Programme Commissioner) at Māori Television.
John A Givins is a television producer and director. His company Livingstone Productions produced the award-winning historical series Captain’s Log, and eleven seasons of Queer Nation. Givins has gone on to produce programmes and develop formats for Māori Television.