Warner Bros. International Television Production New Zealand has announced that Godfrey Rudolph will be taking on the new role of Māori Cultural Advisor, reporting to Greg Heathcote, Managing Director of Warner Bros. NZ.
Rudolph has most recently been Head of the Māori Department at a prestigious Auckland school and a Senior Māori Advisor for Tara Pounamu Associates, in addition to serving in Governance and Advisory Roles for He Korowai Trust and the Education sector.
In his new role, Rudolph will spearhead Warner Bros.’ drive toward incorporating te reo Māori into Warner Bros.’ television productions and production environment.
Heathcote says: “We are excited to have a leader of Godfrey’s experience and mana join us at Warner Bros.
“He comes on board the senior management team with a clear role to identify and incubate diverse emerging talent and to support the embedding of tikanga Māori in our approach to production, the inclusion of Māori voices in our programmes and the showcasing of Aotearoa’s unique voice within the global media landscape.”
Rudolph’s first projects include serving as advisor on upcoming productions including The Black Ferns – Wāhine Toa, Celebrity Treasure Island, New Zealand’s Most Endangered Species and RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under.
Rudolph will work with the Head of Scripted to ensure tikanga Māori and representation is authentic and provide in-depth understanding of Te Tiriti o Waitangi at a national and regional level, and will also oversee cultural awareness at the developmental stage of all shows, working with Heads of Development to uphold cultural integrity.
In this capacity he will engage with key stakeholders TVNZ, Sky, Discovery and HBO Max, along with government agencies NZ On Air, The Māngai Pāho and the New Zealand Film Commission.
Rudolph will also lead the creative direction, development and implementation of Warner Bros.’ evolving Diversity Policy. The policy will offer mentorship to young production staff, creating a pathway for Māori and Pasifika filmmakers to enter and thrive within the global marketplace of Warner Bros.
Rudolph says: “My hope is to utilise my lived Te Ao Māori experiences and the expertise, knowledge and skills I am able to call upon with Tikanga and Kawa and Te Reo Māori to create safe Māori cultural spaces and to develop capability and confidence to engage authentically as Tiriti o Waitangi partners with Tangata Whenua, Te Ao Māori and non-Māori. Now, and for future generations.”