Christina Milligan

Lecturer, Communication Studies

Phone: +64 9 921 9999 extn 8256


Links to relevant web pages:


  • BA (Hons), Auckland
  • Diploma Performing Arts, Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School 

Memberships and Affiliations:

  • Member, Executive Council, Screenwriting Research Network, hosted by ICS, University of Leeds
  • Member, Postgraduate Committee, School of Communication Studies, AUT


Christina is a practitioner-researcher who has been lecturing and supervising at AUT since 2011. She has spent more than 25 years working in the screen industry as a producer and screenwriter, work which she continues to pursue. She is a descendant of Ngāti Porou and her industry work is focused principally around Māori stories and Māori practitioners, as reflected in her most recent credits as executive producer of the feature film Mt Zion (2013) and producer of the feature documentary The Price of Peace (2015). Christina maintains strong links in the NZ screen industry and values being able to use these connections to help support graduating students.

Teaching Areas:

  • 149126 Screenwriting Drama (Postgraduate)
  • 149153 Producing for the Screen (Postgraduate)
  • BCS: Screenwriting fiction and non-fiction
  • BCS: Screen production fiction and non-fiction


  • MCS, AUT. "Not Our Future: An Exploration of Pacific Identity through Targeted Television Advertising." Completed 2016. 
  • MA, University of Auckland. "Goodbye" Feature Screenplay. Practice-based. Completed 2011.
  • MA, University of Auckland. "Birdwatching" Feature Screenplay. Practice-based. Completed 2011.
  • MA, University of Auckland. "Hope's War" Short Film Production. Practice-based. Completed 2011. 

Research Areas:

  • Indigenous screenwriting and screen production
  • Indigenous representation in screen production 
  • Documentary screen production
  • Screenwriting for drama and documentary 
  • Government policy and its effect on the screen industry in NZ 

Current Research Projects:

  • Te Ara Motuhenga: Documentary Pathways - a research group within Television and Screen Production at AUT. Currently exploring documentary methodology and practice through a series of extended interviews with visiting international documentary makers.
  • The changing nature of documentary production and distribution in New Zealand, explored through the production and distribution of feature documentary The Price of Peace. 


Selected Publications 

  • Milligan, C. (2017). Expanding the dialogue: The producer as part of the creative triangle. Journal of Screenwriting.  8,1. (23-37). 
  • Milligan, C. (2017). The Bonfire screening highlights heart-wrenching Arctic story. 27/03/2017.
  • Milligan, C. (2016). High risks for Fiji divers in Pacific documentary 'disturbing'.  asiapacificreport. nz 06/03/2016.
  • Milligan, C. (2015). Noho Rewa: The wrongful occupation of Hawai'i. Pacific Journalism Review. 21,1. (133-140).
  • Milligan, C. (2015). Sites of exuberance: Barry Barclay and fourth cinema, ten years on. International Journal of Media and Cultural Studies. 11,3. (347-359). 
  • Milligan, C., Grant, R., & Webby, K. (Producers), & Webby, K. (Director). (2015). The Price of Peace (Motion picture). New Zealand: Conbrio Media. 
  • Milligan, C. (Executive Producer), Hita, Q. (Producer), & Kahi, T. (Director). (2013). Mt Zion (Motion picture).  New Zealand: Kura Productions.
  • Milligan, C., & Hoey, N. (Producers), & Wolfe, K. (Director). (2011). Nights in the Gardens of Spain (U.S. title Kawa) (Motion picture). New Zealand: Cinco Cine Conbrio. 
  • Milligan, C. (Producer), &  Stephens, T. (Director). (2008). Let My Whakapapa Speak (Television documentary). New Zealand: Conbrio Media.

Selected presentations

  • 2017, Panellist, Skabmagovat 2017, Inari, Finland - Stolen Traditions: Māori and Sami artists and activists discuss cultural appropriation.
  • 2016, Paper presented at SSAAANZ Conference, Victoria University of Wellington - What is the Creative Producer?  Or is that an oxymoron?
  • 2016, Paper presented at Our Own Image: The Legacies of Maori filmmaking in Aotearoa conference, Unitec, Auckland - The uncertainties of the creative process: a reflection on working with the Māori filmmaker Barry Barclay
  • 2015, Paper presented at School of Communications Studies seminar, Auckland University of Technology -  Story editing in film: The editor as interface between the writer and the market.
  • 2015, Paper presented at the Screenwriting Research Network Conference, London - What does the Script Consultant Do?
  • 2015, Panellist, ImagineNative Film and Media Arts Festival, Toronto - The Vital Art of Story Editing 
  • 2015, Co-leader Story Laboratory with new indigenous screenwriters, ImagineNative Film and Media Arts Festival, Toronto 
  • 2015, Chair, Script to Screen panel with producers from three of NZ's leading film production companies, Auckland - Changes to NZ Government Film Funding 
  • 2014, Chair, WIFT panel with representatives from BBC Film, Scottish Screen and Hanway Distribution UK, Auckland - What The World is Watching
  • 2014, Mediator, NZDEG panel with leading screenwriter, director of photography and editor, Auckland - Opening the channels of communication on a film crew 
  • 2013, Guest address, Christchurch Short Film Workshop, CPIT Broadcasting School, Christchurch - The short film: from the dream to the screen   
  • 2012, Moderator, Big Screen Symposium, University of Auckland - In Conversation with Australian screenwriter Keith Thompson 
  • 2011, Panellist, International Symposium of Maori and Indigenous Screen Production, Auckland University of Technology -  The Perils and Pleasures of Producing 
  • 2011, Guest Lecture, Department of Māori Studies, University of Auckland - Telling Māori Drama Stories of Mainstream Television
  • 2009, Chair, Script to Screen panel Auckland - The role of the creative producer: Keeping the vision and fuelling the engine
  • 2009, Guest Lecture, Department of Media, Film and Communication, University of Otago, Dunedin - The Role of the Producer


  • 2016, New Zealand Peace Foundation Award for "contribution to peace and aroha": feature documentary The Price of Peace (producer).  Co-winner with director Kim Webby and co-producer Roger Grant. 
  • 2016, Best Pacific Documentary, Anuu-ru Aboro Festival International du Cinema des Peuples, New Caledonia: feature documentary The Price of Peace (producer)
  • 2016, Rigoberta Menchu 2nd Prize, Presence Autochtone Montreal First Peoples' Festival, Montreal: feature documentary The Price of Peace (producer) 
  • 2016, Jury Prize, Festival International du film documentaire oceanien (FIFO), Tahiti: feature documentary The Price of Peace (producer) 
  • 2015, Alanis Obomsawin Award for Best Documentary, ImagineNative Film and Media Arts Festival, Toronto: feature documentary The Price of Peace (producer) 
  • 2013, NZMPIC NZ Box Office Achievement Award: highest grossing NZ film: Mt Zion (executive producer)
  • 2013, Flicks People's Choice Award Best Film: Mt Zion (executive producer) 
  • 2011, Best Film, National Geographic All Roads Festival, Washington DC: feature film Kawa (producer) 
  • 2009, Best Short Film, Berlinale, Germany: short film Aphrodite's Farm (executive producer)
  • 2008, Finalist, Best Māori Language Programme, Qantas Awards NZ: feature documentary Let My Whakapapa Speak (producer) 
  • 2005, Finalist, Best Children's Programme, Qantas Awards NZ: television drama series P.E.T. Detectives (producer)