Samoan born Makerita Urale is a published writer and documentary film director with many years experience working in professional theatre and the arts in New Zealand.
Her landmark debut play Frangipani Perfume, published by Play Press, has toured internationally to Canada, Australia and the UK and is studied in schools and universities. Frangipani Perfume, named one of the top-ten New Zealand plays of the decade by The Listener in 2000 focuses on the struggles and dreams of three immigrant sisters working as office cleaners. Her children's stories include The Magic Seashell (published by Steele Roberts) and Popo the Fairy.
As a filmmaker she has tackled issues such as culture, gangs, political protest and Maori land rights with her documentaries Children of the Revolution, Waiata Whawhai - Songs of Protest, Savage Symbols about Samoan tattooing, Mob Daughters and Gang Girl - Tarnz's story.
A former journalist for Radio New Zealand, she has contributed articles to various magazines including New Internationalist and Artlink and a number of her children's stories have been translated to and published in Pacific languages by the Ministry of Education's Learning Media and National Radio's EARS programme.
Makerita was the recipient of the 2010 Fulbright-Creative NZ writer's residency at the University of Hawai'i, Manoa, where she wrote a new play entitled Heathen.
Makerita joined Creative New Zealand in December 2010 as a Senior Arts Adviser - Pacific Arts.