Meet the Board
Dr Ruth Harley CMNZ, OBE
Ruth has had an international career in screen industry leadership. She was commissioning editor at TVNZ, and NZ On Air's first Executive Director. After a decade as NZ Film Commission CEO, she became the first director of Screen Australia. Ruth is an executive coach for public and private sector CEO’s and senior leaders. She also chairs the NZ Cricket Museum, and is on the boards of the Wellington Sculpture Trust and Len Lye Foundation.
Appointed June 2018.
Sarona is a strategic communications professional and community engagement specialist. Trained as a journalist she has worked for a wide range of local body, government, and commercial entities, and also writes children’s books. Sarona works for global engineering and infrastructure advisory firm Aurecon NZ to engage communities as part of major infrastructure projects. She was a foundation trustee for the National Pacific Radio Trust and a member of the 2018/2019 Ministerial Public Media Advisory Group.
Appointed September 2019
Helen has had an international career in TV programme distribution after stints in newspaper and radio. She is a former Director of TVNZ International, Director of National Geographic's TV and film distribution arm in Washington DC, and Managing Director of Explore International, a joint venture distribution company in London. Helen now runs her own international consultancy from New Zealand.
Appointed in January 2016 and reappointed May 2019.
John is a partner in the Wellington office of Minter Ellison Rudd Watts and is an experienced sport, technology, media and entertainment lawyer. He also works in the areas of intellectual property, confidentiality and trade secrets. John is currently a trustee for the Wellington Arts Foundation and Limbs4all Trust and is also a member on the board of the NZ Film Commission.
Appointed in May 2016 and reappointed May 2019.
Linda is a partner in public law and dispute resolution at Kensington Swan. Previously she was TVNZ’s Political Editor, host of Face the Nation, moderator on TV3’s The Vote and host of RNZ National’s Nine to Noon programme. In 2018 she chaired the Film Industry Working Group. She is a member of the NZ Police Assurance and Risk Committee and a Trustee on the Wellington College Board of Trustees.
Appointed May 2019.
Philip is a Fellow of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand and a chartered member of the Institute of Directors. He is currently also on the board of the Todd Foundation, Presbyterian Support Otago, and Animation Research Limited along with several Ngai Tahu organisations. He affiliates to Kahungunu and Ngai Tahu and has been a board member of Ngai Tahu Tourism.
Appointed June 2019.
Meet the staff
Chief Executive - Cameron Harland
Cameron is the Chief Executive of NZ On Air, responsible for the operational delivery of the agency. Cameron has a long and varied career in the screen and entertainment industries including running Park Road Post Production and Stone Street Studios in Wellington. Prior to working at NZ On Air he was involved in advertising, working for Saatchi & Saatchi in London and Wellington and before that Head of Professional Rugby at NZ Rugby. He is a former Board member of the NZ Film Commission and was Deputy Chair of TVNZ.
Executive Assistant to the Chief Executive - Hilaire Carmody
Hilaire provides administration support to the CE and the five specialist division heads and is also the Board Secretary. She was previously EA to the CE and Secretary to the Board at Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School. Her background is in performing arts and festival management having worked for organisations such as the Royal New Zealand Ballet, The NZ Fringe Festival and the New Zealand International Comedy Festival. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Theatre and Film Studies as well as a Graduate Diploma in Event Management.
Amie Mills - Head of Funding
Amie is a member of the Senior Leadership Team and has overall responsibility for the Scripted, Factual and Platforms streams of the NZ Media Fund. Amie has worked in the media industry in Aotearoa and abroad, in a range of creative and digital production roles. She is the former Digital & Children’s Commissioner at TVNZ and was co-lead of the New Blood Innovation Programme aimed at reaching non-traditional audiences with local content. In 2015 she joined Saatchi & Saatchi London to help deliver a BAFTA-winning mobile game, Sea Hero Quest, to help scientists fight dementia with the world’s largest crowd-sourced database for medical research.
Glenn Usmar - Associate Head of Funding (Applications)
Glenn has more than 30 years television experience in a number of senior positions in both state and private broadcasting companies. Prior to joining NZ On Air, he was the Programme Manager for the Rialto Channel on Sky TV, and was responsible for the channel’s establishment as the Sundance Channel. Previously Glenn worked at TVNZ in both acquisitions and programming roles, with his last position being programmer for TV One. He has also held programming positions at Kid’s TV and former Telecom channel First Media.
Nicole Rex - Funding Advisor
Nicole assists with the screen funding rounds and is a specialist advisor for Access and Community radio. She is a former Operations Manager for the Pacific Media Network in Wellington and has been an on-air broadcaster for Niu FM and Mai FM. Nicole has a Bachelor of Arts in Film, Television and Media Studies, and Anthropology.
Anna Currie - Funding Advisor
Anna is a specialist advisor for screen funding (television and digital) and is the HEIHEI content funding Lead. She also assists with policy and strategy reviews, and established NZ On Air’s annual Diversity Report. While Anna’s specialty is screen she assists across music and community broadcasting sectors. She is a former tutor and research assistant at Victoria University. Anna holds an MA with Distinction (Media Studies) from Victoria University, which specialised in television.
Heperi Mita - Funding Advisor
Heperi has worked as an independent filmmaker, a Māori Collections Archivist, a public speaker, an assessor for the New Zealand Film Commission and Te Māngai Pāho, a Board member of Ngā Aho Whakaari (and junior Board member for NZFC), and an ex-sports journalist. His documentary MERATA: How Mum Decolonised the screen played at the Sundance and Berlin Film Festivals in 2019. He is a passionate advocate for the advancement of diversity and inclusion in Aotearoa’s media industry.
Steven Gannaway - Funding Analyst
Steven assists with the screen funding rounds and provides project specific research and reporting. He was the Executive Director of the New Zealand Writers Guild for over eight years, providing advice on screenwriter contracting, chain-of-title, advocacy for the film and television industry in New Zealand, and he established and administered the NZWG Seed Grants initiative. Steven is a writer and has a Bachelor of Fine Arts.
Cat Goodwin - Audience and Media Strategist
Cat is the Audience and Media Strategist at NZ On Air. Her role was created in 2021 to bolster cross-platform measurement and audience engagement with funded content. Cat has worked in the media industry for over 20 years in a range of Insight, Strategy and Planning roles across both agency and broadcasters.
Raewyn Rasch - Head of Journalism
Raewyn (Ngāi Tahu/Kai Tahu) has a wealth of experience as both a reporter, producer, manager and trainer within radio and television. She has produced iconic television programmes such as Fair Go, Marae and the inaugural season of Seven Sharp. Raewyn was the General Manager of Māori and Pacific Programmes at TVNZ and developed the Ngā Kupu Ora Māori Journalism Awards at Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa, Massey University.
Gabriel Thomas - Journalism Manager
Gabriel has more than 20 years of journalism experience, working at Three/Newshub, RNZ and the BBC World Service TV. Over 10 years at Three, she covered a number of roles including Executive Producer of Firstline and The Nation, producer on the 6pm news and producer of the 2014 election campaign coverage. At RNZ she was a bulletin editor and a producer on Morning Report.
Fairooz Samy - Journalism Funding Advisor
Fairooz Samy is the Journalism Funding Advisor at NZ on Air. She liaises with stakeholders in the media industry and works alongside the Journalism Team to administer the Public Interest Journalism Fund. Fairooz comes from the humanitarian and community sectors, having worked in refugee resettlement prior to NZOA. She recently completed a PhD thesis in Media Studies at Victoria University about the industrial and cultural practices of internet-distributed television and she considers herself to be a pop culture aficionada.
David Ridler - Head of Music
David is part of the Senior Leadership Team. He has held three different positions with NZ On Air - a radio promotions NZ music ‘plugger’ in the early 2000s, the Assistant NZ Music Manager from 2008-2012, and now heads up NZ On Air’s music funding and promotions work. David has also had a career in radio programming and operations, with stints at radio stations as varied as Radio Hauraki, More FM, Radio Active, Classic Hits and Channel Z. He has a Bachelor of Arts from Victoria University of Wellington and a Bachelor of Broadcasting Communications from CPIT in Christchurch.
Jeff Newton - Music Promoter (Platforms)
Jeff is our radio plugger and music promo guy tasked with getting the music we fund seen and heard. He is based in the Auckland office. Jeff worked in the radio industry for 14 years in a number of on-air roles at both Mediaworks and TRN (now NZME.). After a short sojourn in tourism he moved into record labels as the Promotions Manager at EMI Music NZ. Jeff holds a Diploma in Commercial Broadcasting from the NZ Radio Training School and his iwi is Tainui Awhiro.
Sylvia Betham - Music Contracts and Administration Assistant
Sylvia assists with contracting and compliance processes for funded music content and platforms. She holds over 10 years office administration experience in both the public and private sectors in New Zealand and Australia. Prior to joining NZ On Air, Sylvia was a Membership Services Coordinator for Medical Protection Society. She holds experience in teaching music, dance and performing arts and has a Diploma of Contemporary Music Performance from MAINZ (Music and Audio Institute of NZ).
Casey Yeoh - Music Promotions Assistant
Casey is part of the Music Team in Tamaki Makaurau, primarily focused on promoting the amazing music and content that is coming from Aotearoa. She also manages the social media channels for the music side and is interested in creating content to help promote all the funded avenues we offer. Casey holds a Bachelor of Communication Design, majoring in Branding and minoring in Information Design from Auckland University of Technology (AUT).
Allanah Kalafatelis - Head of Communications
Allanah is part of the Senior Leadership Team. She manages communications across all of NZ On Air’s functions. This includes media relations, website and social media management, and stakeholder engagement. She also manages research projects. She has previously been Communications Manager at the Commerce Commission and had a 20-plus year career in journalism. She holds certificates in Broadcasting, Media Law for Senior Journalists, and Public Relations (PRINZ).
Sophie Howard – Communications Advisor (Content)
Sophie oversees NZ On Air’s social media channels and website, and assists with the writing of newsletters and media releases. She produces showreels and graphics in-house to promote NZ On Air funded content and research, and advises producers and platforms on NZ On Air's accreditation requirements. Sophie also provides expert advice/assessment to the Funding Team on content promotion plans, and content funding for new media. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Film and Media from Victoria University and is experienced in copywriting, editing and design.
Gabrielle Smith - Researcher
Gabrielle is a researcher supporting NZ On Air's strategic workstreams in areas such as the children's and youth content focus as well as screen representation and inclusion. Prior to joining the team at NZ On Air, Gabrielle worked for the British Film Institute as a Filmography Diversity Researcher exploring on screen diversity, and is also a former university teaching and research assistant. With research experience in children's media content, she has previously worked closely with the Children’s Media Conference in the capacity of writer and editor. She holds an MA in Film and Visual Culture from the University of Aberdeen, and an MLitt in Film and Television Studies from the University of Glasgow.
Clare Helm - Head of Corporate Services
Clare is responsible for the financial operations of NZ On Air and leads the reporting, compliance and internal audit functions. She has more than 30 years accounting and auditing experience in both the public and private sectors in New Zealand and England. Clare has a BA (Hons) in Archaeology from the London Institute of Archaeology and is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and Chartered Accountants Australia New Zealand.
Hui-Ping Wu - Associate Head of Corporate Services
Hui-Ping looks after the financial accounting, internal audit functions and investment portfolio of NZ On Air. She also leads the Finance and Contract Management System operations and liaises with IT infrastructure maintenance and deployment. Hui-Ping has many years of accounting and auditing experience in both the commercial and public sector. She has a Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting and Postgraduate Qualification (GradDipCA), and is a member of Chartered Accountants Australia New Zealand.
Lisa Han - Assistant Accountant
Lisa provides assistance to the funding and corporate services teams - ensuring funding compliance throughout the milestone process by tracking contracts and budgets. She has previously worked as an Accounts Officer at the NZ Qualifications Authority and currently volunteers as a Treasurer for Plunket NZ. Lisa has a Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting and Commercial Law from Victoria University.
Nick Sodergard - Assistant Accountant
Nick provides assistance to the funding and corporate services teams - tracking contract and budget development and compliance throughout the funding process. Nick holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting, Taxation and Commercial Law from Victoria University.
Luke Campbell - Assistant Accountant
Luke provides assistance to the funding and corporate services teams - tracking contract and budget development and compliance throughout the funding process. Luke has completed a Masters in Professional Accounting from Victoria University Wellington.
Adam Leonard - Assistant Accountant
Adam provides assistance to the funding and corporate services teams - tracking contract and budget development and compliance throughout the funding process. Adam holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting and Economics from Victoria University
Sarai Hemara - Human Resources Advisor
Sarai is our Human Resources Advisor providing support and advice to the Leadership Team and staff on human resource matters. Sarai joins us from Sport New Zealand where, as a Consultant, she was an advocate for their graduate program, diversity and inclusion, and wellbeing action plans. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce and Administration majoring in Human Resource Management & Industrial Relations and Marketing.
Conall Aird – Business Affairs Advisor (Legal)
Conall leads funded producers and platforms through the funding contracting process and advises them on their legal requirements for delivering funded content. Conall completed a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Accounting at Victoria University in 2019 and was admitted to the High Court of New Zealand in 2020.
Grace Waddington – Business Affairs Assistant
Grace provides assistance to funded producers throughout the contracting process, and assists with funding rounds. Grace completed a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Science majoring in Ecology and Biodiversity at Victoria University in 2021.