23 February 2020
Hastings born and bred, Jane gained a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature at Victoria University. She was starting to watch a lot of film and television; her screen tastes expanding from Coronation Street and documentaries to rom-coms and American arthouse films. After a year running an employment agency, Jane joined Television New Zealand at the age of 22.
Over the next decade at TVNZ, Jane was involved in programme purchasing, industrial-relations, local production sponsorship, and was executive assistant to the Programme Controller. Before leaving TVNZ, Jane was Head of Commissioned Programmes, weeding out independent programmes that the producers offered her and lobbying for good time-slots for the finished shows.
In late 1990, Jane applied to become Chief Film Censor. Aged 32, she became the youngest New Zealander to become censor and the first woman in the main role. Jane preferred where possible to reclassify a film, rather than cut material and only banned three titles, Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer being the most high profile.
In 1994, Jane finished an MBA with distinction and began reviewing movies for Wellington’s Evening Post. She joined NZ On Air as the organisation’s new television programme manager and later became deputy chief executive. Each year she was responsible for administering $50 million worth of TV funding and making recommendations to the NZ On Air board over which programme proposals should be approved. After five years, Jane left NZ On Air to join SPADA (Screen Production and Development Association) as chief executive, leaving in 2003 to head complaints body the Broadcasting Standards Authority.
In 2007 she began in the top job as chief executive at NZ On Air and is proud to have helped create the Platinum Fund which backs more ambitious dramas and documentaries. She has also done a number of years as a board member on national swimming and netball organisations and was a trustee of the Digital Media Trust.
Jane became the Retirement Commissioner this month.