Jennifer Ward-Lealand Te Atamira


Award winning Actress, MC, Fluent Te Reo Speaker, 2020 New Zealander of the Year

A driving force on the local theatre scene, Jennifer was a founding board member of Auckland's Watershed theatre, is president of New Zealand Actors Equity, and serves as a trust board member of Silo Theatre. She and Michael are patrons of the Auckland Performing Arts Centre (TAPAC ), so it’s no surprise she was honoured with the title Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her services to the theatre and the community.

Her dedication to integrating te reo Māori into everyday life has contributed to Jennifer Ward-Lealand being named the 2020 Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year.


1. My journey to te reo

2. The life of a NZ actor - which touches on The Arts of course

3. Gender inequality/harassment/intimacy coordination


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