RIWIA MACKENZIE-BROWN began her career as a playwright more than twenty five years ago. From humble beginnings in Taki Rua theatre, Riwia was encouraged to write for her fellow thespians and has had five plays professionally produced. Three of these were adapted for television, two of which she directed herself; Roimata and Nga Wahine.

Riwia has had three screenplays produced, the most well known being the award winning Once Were Warriors, for which she won Best Screenplay at the New Zealand 1994 Film awards. The film went on to win twenty five international awards.  

Riwia has served as a member of the New Zealand Film Commission 1995-1996.  During her tenure there she was involved with a number of Development Committees and served on the Short Film Fund.  She was also a member of a Consortium with two other industry practitioners who produced six short films. She recently wrote and directed her own short film ‘In The Rubbish Tin’ which was invited to a number of national and international festivals.

In 2000 Riwia was awarded an ONZOM for her contribution to Stage and Film and has continued to write for various productions.

She is currently writing for a feature film and a Television series.

Riwia  brings her wealth of experience to the Nga Aho Whakaari workshop. Her aim is to inspire, equip and encourage.  Those who attend should leave with the tools to realise their vision and to commit that vision to the page.