Meet the Board
Dr Ruth Harley CNZM, 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 board of the Wellington Sculpture Trust.
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 and reappointed August 2022
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. Reappointed 6 June 2023 until 30 June 2024.
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.
Christina (Ngāti Porou) has worked for more than 30 years as a producer and screenwriter in the New Zealand and Australian screen industries. Her credits include award-winning features, shorts, documentaries and drama series. She is a senior lecturer in screen production at Auckland University of Technology and continues her work in the industry as an executive producer supporting the development of emerging Māori filmmakers. She has served on the boards of the NZ Film Commission and Ngā Aho Whakaari (Māori in Screen) and recently chaired Te Puna Kairangi, a fund established by the government to support the production of high-quality screen content for international markets.
Appointed 6 July 2023
Petrina Togi Sa’ena
Petrina is of New Zealand Samoan descent and has worked in the music industry since 1994. Her first role, which she held for 20 years, was Member Services Manager, at APRA.
Petrina is a Trustee of the Pacific Music Awards Trust, is Event Producer for the Pacific Music Awards and manages the Tautua Programme, which provides support services for Pacific artists. She is a producer for a multi-disciplinary creative studio, a director of a talent agency and music consultancy; works on events and projects across the arts sector and works directly with independent music artists.
Petrina is an alumni of the 2018 Mana Moana Experience and in 2018 became a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for her services to Pacific music.
Petrina is a non-voting member.
Appointed October 2022.
Meet the staff
Cameron Harland - Chief Executive - Tumu Whakarae
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.
Kathrin Strati - Executive Assistant to the Chief Executive - Kaiāwhina ki te Tumu Whakarae
Kathrin provides administration support to the CE and the five specialist division heads and is also the Board Secretary. She was previously the Senior Events Coordinator at Government House, managing the Governor-General’s programme of external events both in and around New Zealand and overseas. Kathrin has managed events as diverse as receptions for the various patronages held by the Governor-General of the day to Naval ship commissioning’s in Korea for attendance alongside the Royal New Zealand Navy. Kathrin has worked in numerous different industries over the years ranging from public service in Melbourne, Australia to CWA New Media in Wellington, back in its heyday.
Raewyn Rasch - Head of Partnerships – Tumuaki o Rangapū Mahitahi
Raewyn (Ngāi Tahu/Kai Tahu) previously led the Pubic Interest Journalism Fund for NZ On Air and has a wealth of experience as a journalist, producer and manager within radio and television. Raewyn was the General Manager of Māori and Pacific Programmes at TVNZ and with her Māori, Samoan and European heritage has long championed diversity in our media. The Head of Partnerships is a new role tasked with establishing and maintaining partnerships with key stakeholders and communities to ensure NZ On Air's funding reflects and celebrates Aotearoa New Zealand's Te Tiriti principles and diverse cultural identity.
Amie Mills - Head of Funding - Tumuaki o ngā Take Pūtea
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 (Systems) - Tumuaki Tūhono Pūtea (Pūnaha)
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.
Kelly Davis - Associate Head of Funding (People) - Tumuaki Tūhono Pūtea (Tāngata)
Kelly leads the people management and stakeholder management responsibilities of the NZ Media Fund funding rounds. She also supports the Head of Funding with the operations, systems, and processes of the Scripted, Factual and Platforms streams of the NZ Media Fund. Kelly has worked in screen industries across Europe, North America and Aotearoa for over 25 years. She has produced award-winning films, television and commercials – and has experience in factual television, feature films and commercial content. She has worked at ITN and NBC Universal in London, and most recently worked as Managing Director of Ignition Creative, a film trailer production house and Territory Studio, which produces VFX for feature films and television.
Anna Currie - Senior Funding Policy Advisor - Kaitohutohu Kaupapahere Pūtea Matua
Anna provides high level strategic and operational funding policy advice and support to the organisation. This includes analysis of funding trends, processes, and gaps, and establishing, shaping, and implementing clear funding policies aligned with the organisation's priorities and strategic plans. Anna has held different roles within the NZ On Air Funding team since 2014 and she now balances this part-time role with life at home with her two young children. She has a Master of Arts (Media Studies) specialising in television and a lifelong passion for public media.
Nicole Rex Taofinu'u - Senior Funding Advisor - Kaitohutohu Kaupapahere Pūtea
Nicole Rex is a Senior Funding Advisor specialising in Community Broadcast Platforms and Pacific Media at NZ On Air. With a career spanning over 15 years as a radio broadcaster and later running radio stations as a radio operations manager, her experience and passion has always been one of service. In 2017, she joined NZ On Air as a Funding Advisor to help creatives navigate the intricacies of the bureaucratic world of public media funding. Her creative and business experience has helped her to lead numerous initiatives for NZ On Air. Nicole is a proud Niuean from Avatele and also a busy mum with three children.
Heperi Mita - Funding Advisor - Kaitohutohu Pūtea
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 Advisor Development - Kaitohutohu Pūtea – Whakawhanake
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.
Sarah Donaldson - Audience and Media Strategist - Kaiwhatakoto Rautaki Pāpāho
Sarah 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.
Gabriel Thomas - Journalism Manager - Kaiwhakahaere o te Rīpoatatanga
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.
Han-ah Kim - Funding Administrator - Kaiwhakahaere Tahua Pūtea
Han-ah joins NZ On Air in the brand new role of Funding Administrator, responsible for managing systems and coordinating projects. She brings with her a Swiss army knife of skills from her years in film production and entertainment event management. Han-ah is the first-responder for queries for the Funding Team, and strives to ensure an informative and supportive experience for the team, stakeholders and applicants alike. In her spare time, Han-ah writes and produces podcasts focusing on the human condition – where her sharp wit and blunt delivery comes in handy.
Teresa Patterson - Head of Music - Tumuaki o Te Puoro
Teresa is part of the Senior Leadership Team, heads the Music team and is based in Tāmaki Makaurau. She has worked in the Aotearoa music and arts industry in a wide variety of roles across major music labels, artist management, music festival and music tour management, marketing and PR, and mentorship. She used to head the Music Managers Forum Aotearoa, is on the board for SoundCheck Aotearoa and the Little Family Foundation. Teresa has a Diploma in Advertising and Marketing from AUT.
Jeff Newton - Music Promoter (Platforms) - Kaiwhakahau Puoro (Pūnaha Rorohiko)
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.
Sarah Thomson - Music Funding Advisor - Kaitohutohu Pūtea Puoro
Sarah is based in Tāmaki Makaurau, assisting with the contracting of funded music content. She has worked in varied local media industries across radio, music television, print and online journalism, narrative television, and film. She worked in production and programming for the largest independent alternative radio station in Aotearoa, 95bFM, for five years. Sarah has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Auckland and is an award-winning Muppeteer-trained puppeteer.
Casey Yeoh - Music Promoter (Content) - Kaiwhakahau Puoro (Kaupapa)
Casey is part of the Music Team in Tāmaki 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).
Grace Leota - Music Contracts and Funding Coordinator - Kaiwhakahaere Kirimana Puoro & Pūtea
Grace (Rongowhakaata, Ngāti Porou) is part of the Music Team based in Tāmaki Makaurau and assists with the contracting of music funded by NZ on Air. She grew up in the Aotearoa Music Industry and has been working for various industry bodies since she was 14, including The Music Managers Forum and SoundCheck Aotearoa. Grace also heads the Information Department at Soundsplash Festival in the off-season.
Chantelle Cole - Kaiwhakahaere Kaupapa | Programme Director for the GDSR
Chantelle, a distinguished leader and advocate for the games sector, currently leads the GDSR. As former CEO of Dinosaur Polo Club, she steered the studio to international acclaim, earning nominations at the Independent Games Festival, the supreme award at the NZ Game Awards and 12th position on the Deloitte Fast50. Passionate about fostering diversity in games, Chantelle has represented women in the industry for Apple on International Women’s Day and was a finalist in the ‘Inspiring Women Leaders’ category at the NZ International Business Awards. Now, leveraging her extensive experience and network, she aims to enhance support for the game development industry in Aotearoa. Outside of work, Chantelle is an avid tea lover, graphic design enthusiast and owner of a Flemish Giant Rabbit called Lilou.
Allanah Kalafatelis - Head of Communications and Research - Tumuaki o te Whakawhiti Kōrero me te Rangahau
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 our research programme. 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).
Suzanne De Spong – Senior Communications Advisor - Kaitohutohu Whakawhiti Kōrero Mātāmua
Suzanne is based in Tāmaki Makaurau and is part of the team that manages media relations, newsletter production, issues management, social media and stakeholder engagement across NZ On Air. She began her career as a journalist with TVNZ, learning to become a compelling storyteller, before moving into the world of communications. She’s worked for a number of organisations including Skills Consulting Group and The Warehouse Group on all things PR. Suzanne has a Bachelor of Communications (Journalism) and is an avid tennis player.
Nina Lesperance - Communications Advisor - Kaitohu Whakawhiti Kōrero
Nina oversees NZ On Air’s social media channels and website, and assists with the writing of media releases and newsletters. She helps to promote the content we fund, and liaises with content creators to ensure branding is correctly applied to content. She has worked at a number of organisations including Radio New Zealand and SOUNZ Centre for New Zealand Music. Nina holds a Bachelor of Arts in Media Studies and Māori Resource management.
Dr Fairooz Samy - Research Advisor - Kaitohu Rangahau
Fairooz conducts research projects to understand our sectors and the impacts of our work, and to identify gaps. She liaises with other agencies on potential joint research projects and knowledge sharing, and assists the Head of Communications and Research with large scale audience research projects. Fairooz was previously the Journalism Funding Advisor, and prior to that worked in the humanitarian and community sectors. She has completed a PhD thesis in Media Studies at Victoria University about the industrial and cultural practices of internet-distributed television and considers herself to be a pop culture aficionada.
Sharon Kerry - Head of Corporate Services - Tumuaki o te Ratonga Rangatōpū
Sharon is responsible for the financial operations of NZ On Air and leads the reporting, compliance, internal audit and corporate services functions. She has considerable accounting and corporate services experience across the New Zealand public sector. Sharon has a Bachelor of Business Studies in Accountancy and Diploma of Business Studies in Finance. She is also a Chartered Accountant through Chartered Accountants Australia New Zealand.
Hui-Ping Wu - Associate Head of Corporate Services - Tumuaki Tūhono o te Ratonga Rangatōpū
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.
Luke Campbell - Assistant Accountant - Kaiāwhina Kaikaute
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 - Kaiāwhina Kaikaute
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
Will Ackers - Assistant Accountant - Kaiāwhina Kaikaute
Will provides assistance to the funding and corporate services teams - tracking contract and budget development and compliance throughout the funding process. Will holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Finance and Economics from Otago University.
Jack Spray - Assistant Accountant - Kaiāwhina Kaikaute
Jack provides assistance to the funding and corporate services teams - tracking contract and budget development and compliance throughout the funding process. Jack holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting from Victoria University Wellington.
Sarai Tibbitts - Human Resources Advisor - Kaitohutohu Pūmanawa Tāngata
Sarai has worked in the Human Resources space for over 10 years, and provides support and advice to the Leadership Team and staff on HR matters. She has a Bachelors degree majoring in Human Resources Management and Industrial Relations, with a minor in Marketing. She has previously competed as a New Zealand age group triathlete and, more recently, can be found exploring our big beautiful backyard (Aotearoa) with her husband and two children.
Conall Aird – Business Affairs Advisor (Legal) - Kaitohutohu Kirimana Pakihi (Ture)
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.
Rebecca Tang – Business Affairs Assistant - Kaiāwhina Kirimana Pakihi
Rebecca drafts contracts, supports producers throughout the contracting process, and assists with funding rounds. In this role, she hopes to help uplift new and emerging creatives, especially those from underrepresented communities. Rebecca comes from a policy background and has a Bachelor of Laws and Arts (Hons) majoring in History and Film, Television and Media.
Christina Irini Arathimos - Corporate Services Coordinator - Kairuruku Ratonga Rangatōpū
Christina provides essential back up and support across corporate services and the wider team, as well as serving often as the first point of contact for NZ On Air stakeholders and the general public. Prior to joining the team at NZOA, she spent several years working in facilities and production at Wētā FX. She is also a published illustrator and visual artist based in Te Whanganui-a-Tara.