Emma graduated from Toi Whakaari/NZ Drama School in 1988 and has worked as an actor and writer in theatre, TV, film and radio. She co-wrote the plays Turbine, Paua and The December Brother with the SEEyD Collective. Turbine was nominated for the Chapman Tripp Best New New Zealand Play in 2007 and her pilot episode script Hope won the NZWG Television Script Competition.
In 2013 she earned a Master's Degree in Scriptwriting from IIML at Victoria University.
Emma’s play Clouds aired on Radio NZ in 2014 and her short film Bastard is part of the anthology feature film Encounters.
Her play Anahera was shortlisted for the Adam Play Award 2016, and premiered at Circa Theatre in September 2017.
Anahera won Outstanding New NZ Play at the Wellington Theatre Awards 2017, and was selected for the Vibrant 2018 Festival of Playwrights at Finborough Theatre, London and had its European premiere season at the same theatre in September 2019.