Jennifer Te Atamira Ward-Lealand


Actress, MC, Speaker, 2020 New Zealander of the Year

Jennifer is one of New Zealand’s most recognised and respected stage and screen actresses and directors. Over the last 40 years, Jennifer has amassed a list of performance credits and awards that would make an encyclopedia look short. She has starred to international acclaim in feature films Desperate Remedies and Vermilion, toured New Zealand and abroad with Harry Sinclair and Don McGlashan in music-theatre group The Front Lawn, and acted as a core-cast member in high-rating television series Full Frontal and Dirty Laundry. Over the last 20 years, along with acting, Jennifer has directed film, musical and theatre, as well as working as an intimacy coordinator for stage and screen. Jennifer is a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her services to film, television and theatre; one of New Zealand’s highest accolades.


Auckland, New Zealand


After Dinner Speaker, Celebrity, Compere/MC, Debator, Judge, Keynote Speaker, Live Performance Host, MC / Stage compere, Panellist, Singer, Speech Writer


Intimacy Coordination (for stage & screen), Current Affairs, Directing, Film & Television, Music, Musical Theatre, Opera, Producing, Race Relations, Research, Teaching, Theatre, Travel


Testimonials (12)

New Zealand Institute of Architects - Nov 2020

Jennifer, you held the evening together with poise and confidence, and the audience in the Waterfront Theatre in Auckland was purring with delight at your te reo pronunciation and fluency.

You’ve been integral to the success of the awards programme this year – thank you very much.

John Walsh - Communications Director

We have used Jennifer a number of times in the past… this is because she is so reliable, professional and is able to adapt at a moment’s notice. She takes the stress out of script-writing and the performance. She is the ultimate MC; proficient and skilled with class and mana. She is mesmerising to watch and a pleasure to work with.

Daryne Begbie - Events & Sponsorship Director