Rotorua's Karen Te O Kahurangi Waaka-Tibble has been appointed to a newly-created senior executive position at Te Tumu Whakaata Taonga New Zealand Film Commission.

Waaka-Tibble will hold the position of Pou Whakahaere and be responsible for ensuring the effective implementation of the commission's Te Rautaki Māori strategy announced last month.

Waaka-Tibble is a producer with extensive experience in governance, culture, intellectual property rights, iwi and community organisations as well as active involvement in Māori screen issues.

New Zealand Film Commission chief executive Annabelle Sheehan said it was her wide-ranging career that made Waaka-Tibble such an asset to the commission.

"The span and depth of her experience will be invaluable as we head into the important next phase of Te Rautaki Māori. She has an extraordinary mix of skills and expertise as well as significant connections in the industry and with government.


"I am so pleased to welcome her to the NZFC and I believe she will have an enormous impact on our culture here and on the future of the New Zealand screen industry," Sheehan said.

Waaka-Tibble is of Te Arawa descent, was born and raised in Rotorua, and the daughter of the late Maureen Waaka.

For the past 15 years she has been producer for Kura Productions and has served as a board member of Ngā Aho Whakaari - the Māori in Film & Television collective.

Prior to her screen industry career, she worked extensively in the tourism industry in Rotorua plus other Māori development initiatives and has over 25 years experience as a cultural performer.

The commission's Te Rautaki Māori strategy has a commitment to three new funding initiatives for the production and development of Māori films and was created over the past two and a half years in collaboration with Māori screen organisation Ngā Aho Whakaari and the wider Māori film sector.

Waaka-Tibble said she was delighted the new role would give her the opportunity to facilitate funding for Māori films and career development for Māori filmmakers.

"I'd like to acknowledge the hard work and deep thought that has been put into the creation of this strategy and the Pou Whakahaere position from Māori filmmakers and NZFC staff and particularly Annabelle Sheehan for kick-starting it as soon as she was appointed CEO."