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Our Board

Te Poari
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The New Zealand Film Commission is governed by an eight-member board appointed by the Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage.

Members represent the film industry and the wider business and arts community. The Board meets every two months to set policy and budgets, monitor progress and consider applications for feature film financing.

  • Kerry Prendergast


    Kerry Prendergast is the former Mayor of Wellington and former Vice-President of Local Government New Zealand and holds an MBA from Victoria University.

    She is a Director of Oceania Healthcare, Compass Health PHO, NZ Conservation Authority and NZ China Council, and a Trustee of the New Zealand Community Trust, National Army Museum, the Wellington Free Ambulance Board and the Victoria Foundation.  Kerry is also a Board member of the Phoenix Football Club and the NZ-US Council Advisory Board. 

    Kerry was awarded a CNZM in 2011 for her services to local government, and is a distinguished Alumni of Victoria University.  In July 2016 Kerry was also awarded a Lifetime Excellence Award for Outstanding Contribution to Local Government.

  • John McCay

    John is a commercial lawyer and a partner at the law firm Minter Ellison Rudd Watts.  John’s experience in the screen sector includes having acted for the New Zealand Film Commission for more than 15 years.  He has served as chair of Film New Zealand and is a former board member of the New Zealand Festival and the New Zealand Film and Television School.  John is currently a trustee of the Wellington Arts Foundation and Limbs4All Trust.

  • Pania Gray

    Of Ngā Puhi descent, Pania owner-operates Kororā Consulting, a Wellington based management and business advisory company. She holds a number of governance positions alongside her role on the New Zealand Film Commission, including independent directorships of Education Services Limited and CORE Education Limited. Pania is an independent member of the Te Mātāwai Audit and Risk Committee and also sits on the Māori Education Trust. 

  • Brett O’Riley

    Brett is currently the CEO of the Employers and Manufacturers Association.

    He has been involved in the development of the digital and hi-tech economy in New Zealand over the past decade in senior roles in the public sector. This follows 20 years of private sector work in the ICT sector around the world, particularly involved in fibre optic infrastructure development.

    Brett has a life long passion, inspired by his family, for film and television, including working in the latter early in his career as a commentator and actor. Brett is also passionate about transforming the education system, and the development of technology career and tertiary pathways for young New Zealanders. A keen player of lawn bowls, Brett contributes to the sport as both a player and administrator.

  • Paula Jalfon

    Iwi: Ngāi Tahu
    Paula Jalfon has worked in the film industry for 24 years both in New Zealand and the UK.  She has extensive experience as a producer and executive producer in international development, production, financing, sales, festivals and distribution on independent and studio films.  Credits include In the Loop, We Need to Talk About Kevin and Salmon Fishing in the Yemen among others.

    Her roles have included Senior Vice President, Production & Executive Producer for London-based Shine Pictures Ltd and Executive Producer and Commercial Manager for BBC Films. Paula worked at the British Film Institute for ten years, producing leading British filmmakers before setting up her own production company with a first look deal from The Independent Film Channel (USA). 

    Currently based in Queenstown, she is a Trustee of Film Otago Southland.

  • Ant Timpson

    Cinema obsessed from an early age, Ant left a law degree in the mid-80s to pursue a life in all facets of film – from production, exhibition, distribution through to marketing. In the early 90s he created the distribution company 2Brothers to handle specialist product and was manager of seminal New Zealand arthouse Charley Gray’s. He was a Board Member on the Moving Image Centre and created New Zealand’s first short film series Short Fuse. He founded the Incredibly Strange Film festival and still programmes the New Zealand International Film Festival. In 2003 he created New Zealand's largest film competition 48HOURS with Sir Peter Jackson as mentor. He also managed three devolved film funds for the NZFC – Headstrong, Make My Movie & 48+

    As a producer he conceived and created the US series The ABCs of Death as well as producing a slew of successful international features, including the multi-award winning thriller Housebound, the Canadian/ New Zealand cult-hit Turbo-Kid and the BIFA award-winning comedy, The Greasy Strangler.  He was the inaugural winner of ‘The New Zealand Art Entrepreneur of the Year' and recently directed his debut feature Come to Daddy with Elijah Wood.  He’s a lifelong collector of 35mm film prints and houses one of the largest private collections in the Southern Hemisphere.

  • Sandra Kailahi

    Sandra Kailahi

    Sandra Kailahi is a film producer, writer, author and playwright and spent 26 years working as a journalist in mainstream and Pacific media with such programmes at Tagata Pasifika, Fair Go, TVNZ 7 and as a news producer for Te Karere and One News.  Film credits include, The Messiah and the new documentary, For My Father’s Kingdom (set for release in 2019).

    She is currently the Strategic Communications Manager at Alliance Community Initiatives Trust, a charitable trust that focuses on revolutionizing the way social change happens – one person, one family, and one community at a time in South Auckland.

    Sandra is the current Chair of the Pacific Advisory Group at the Auckland Museum, a co-opted member of the Auckland Museum Trust Board, a former Trustee of the National Pacific Radio Trust and a trustee of the Pacific Islands Film & Television board (PIFT).

    Sandra is passionate about Pacific storytelling and is of Tongan and Kiwi ancestry. 

  • David Wright

    David has spent the past 25 years working to support storytellers and technologists within the New Zealand screen industry. A member of both the Institute of Directors and the Institute of Chartered Accountants he has worked in senior management roles within the New Zealand television, feature film and digital visual effects sectors and enjoys nothing more than seeing New Zealand screen content succeed on the global stage. Formerly the Chief Operating Officer for Weta Digital, David completed 12 years with the Weta group in 2020 where he has managed significant growth in international screen production opportunities. David lives in Wellington and is also a Digital Media Trust board member.

Last updated: 
Wednesday, 22 January 2020