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Sue MayKiriata Publicity Ltd is owned and operated by Sue May, who has many years experience as a film publicist spanning both unit and release publicity of New Zealand and international films and television drama.

Sue was interviewed by Brian Kassler of Showtools about her experiences in film publicity:


Kiriata Publicity

Kiriata Publicity specialises in film and television drama publicity in New Zealand.

Unit publicity:

On-set media liaison and preparation of publicity materials.

Release publicity:

Working with all media, including social, to generate maximum exposure prior to release.

What does the name Kiriata mean?

Company founder Sue May says:

As I understand it, kiriata is a relatively recently created word to replace the more commonly used ‘pikitia’, a transliteration of the English ‘picture’, as in the old use of ‘going to the pictures’.

To break it down: kiri = skin, ata = reflected image, or semblance, or shadow.

Kiriata = movie.

As a Pākehā student of Te Reo Māori, I first heard the word kiriata and came to understand what it meant by watching Māori Television, where it is the headline for the Sunday Cinema slot – He Kiriata Rātapu.

I have used it ever since then to describe my work (he kaiwhakaputa kiriata – a film publicist) as part of my personal statement of identity.

The idea of calling my movie publicity company Kiriata arose from my vision of Aotearoa (New Zealand) being a better place if we all – Pākehā, Tauiwi and Māori – could speak Te Reo. And because of my passion for, and work on, Māori and distinctively New Zealand films and television shows.

The Logo

Kiriata Publicity & Distribution logo
The Kiriata logo, designed by Michael Smythe, is inspired by Sue May’s great-grandfather, Henry Evan Lloyd’s carving of a circular design. It references the flow of communication – information in and out, enriched along the way – that occurs with the process of publicity. And is in the colour of pounamu (greenstone).

Carving Logo Inspiration

Maranui Gateway

This gateway, built and carved by company owner Sue May’s ancestor Henry Evan Lloyd in Manaia, Taranaki, is an artwork that represents both cultures of Aotearoa. Made by a Pākehā artist using Māori forms and technique, it illustrates the inclusive platform of Kiriata Publicity. Kiriata handles films from New Zealand and all over the world. And, like this carved entrance, Kiriata is a home for films by all New Zealanders proud of their heritage – whether that be Māori, Pākehā or Kiwis of other origins.

Summerhouse & HE & Mrs Rei

Henry Evan Lloyd with Mrs Rei, a neighbour, in the whare he carved.

Henry Evan Lloyd (known as Evan or HE) was born to Irish father and English mother at Silverdale, north of Auckland in the late 1860s. As a young man, he moved to Opunake in Taranaki to help on his mother’s brother’s farm. He became a house builder, travelling around South Taranaki, building farmhouses for Pākehā settlers, camping on site until the job was done. He learned the art of whakairo, Māori carving, and decorated European objects – tables, chairs, mantelpieces, gramophones. He also made Maori forms at his own house – named ‘Maranui Manaia’ – in Manaia, Taranaki – a carved gateway, a pataka (vegetable storehouse) and a carved whare that he used as a summerhouse in the garden.