intimacy coordinators aotearoa new zealand

Te Kāhui Kairuruku Taupiringa o Aotearoa

Miriama McDowell


Tāmaki makau-rau/Auckland

Miriama McDowell of Ngāti Hine descent, is a founding member of Intimacy Coordinators Aotearoa. 

In 2018 she began training with Ita O’Brien, while simultaneously working on Ahikaaroa Series 2, Aotearoa’s bilingual drama series. She was a founding member of Intimacy Tāmaki which was created to develop intimacy skills in Aotearoa. 

Miriama is a board member of Equity New Zealand since 2018. Along with Tandi Wright, Miriama helped to develop a series of intimacy protocols for Shortland Street in 2020.

Miriama’s IC credits include Ahikaaroa Season 2, Life Is Easy, The Brokenwood Mysteries and Shortland Street and US series, Destination Love for Hallmark Channel. In theatre she has worked as IC for Te Pou Theatre, Proudly Asian Theatre Company and Auckland Theatre Company. Her recent credits include The Effect and Hyperspace. 

Miriama has a BA Acting from Toi Whakaari NZ Drama School, Mental Health and First Aid certificates from St John, and Neuro Diversity training from Mind Over Manner. She has also trained at Ecole Phillipe Gaulier in Clown and Le Jeu. 

Miriama has been an actor for the past 20 years, is a theatre and television director, and has extensive experience in working with physical theatre and devising with Massive Theatre Company. Miriama counts working with students as one of the best parts of her IC work. She has worked at both Toi Whakaari NZ Drama School and Unitec on their productions.

Miriama is passionate about working with indigenous storytellers and POC.

Intimacy Coordination Credits

2024 – The Effect (Theatre) – Auckland Theatre Company

2024 – Hyperspace (Theatre) – Auckland Theatre Company

2024 – Camp Be Better (TV Series) – Be Better Limited

2023 – Prima Facie (Theatre) – Plumb Theatre Company

2023 – Vanity Fair (Theatre) – Unitec School of Performing Arts

2022 – Pakaru (Theatre) – Hāpai Productions

2022 – A Streetcar Named Desire (Theatre) – Toi Whakaari NZ Drama School

2021 – Love Amongst the Vines (Film) – Hallmark Channel

2021 – Shortland Street (TV Soap) – South Pacific Pictures

2020 – A Question of Justice (TV Docu Drama) – Red Sky TV

2020 – The Brokenwood Mysteries (TV Series) – South Pacific Pictures

2019 – Life Is Easy (TV Series) – Us People Productions

2019 – Ahikaaroa Season 2 (TV Series) – Kura Productions


“I was super nervous about my first intimate scene on screen but Miriama helped me navigate the journey with ease and confidence. Through the environment she created, with clear and simple protocols, I felt free and able to safely make and accept offers with my scene partner. I couldn’t have hoped for a better Intimacy Coordinator to instil us with the necessary skills and trust (in both ourselves and each other) to take the work off the page, into rehearsals, and onto the shoot.”

SAM WANG (Actor, Life is easy)


“When dealing with such a daunting role, involving sexual violence and a high profile crime, I felt incredibly grateful to have her deep understanding and appreciation for the gravity of the situation. Miriama will always be my preferred IC, and I highly recommend her to anyone developing an important but delicate script.”

MOLLY LEISHMAN (Actor, A question of Justice)


“Miriama has the unique ability to move through spaces, the space of an actor, director, mother, daughter and wahine maori. She brings all of this with her when she works with our cast and crew. As a Māori production house we needed someone who had an understanding of our cultural considerations – Miriama understands that when she is working with an actor she isn’t just dealing with the person in front of her, she is working with their tupuna, whānau, hapū and iwi. The measure of her success was when I saw the confidence of our actors lift to a place of self-determination and personal governance in a way that was empowering for everyone involved in our kaupapa.”



“It’s so important that we awhi our actors and create environments that respect and honour the vulnerable places they so often go in order to tell a story. Having Miriama in rehearsal and on set ensures this. I am always delighted to see actors walk off set at the end of a scene feeling empowered. What an investment in good storytelling, and our industry in general. The end product is not only beautiful to witness on screen but something that we as filmmakers can walk away from feeling really proud of.” 

EDEN VAWDREY (1st AD, A question of Justice)


“Miriama was an incredibly vital part of the making of Life Is Easy. As our production was made up of mostly Queer POC actors and makers, having Miriama was a huge bonus to making us feel safe, heard and inspired to create scenes that were dynamic and brave. She was able to shape scenes organically and encourage from a space of lived experience, something that was empowering and creatively fulfilling for me as an actor.  I could not recommend Miriama enough. I had a surprising amount of fun, joy and laughs as the tension melted and we got back to being playful creatives again – and doing what we were there to do, our jobs!” 

CHYE-LING HUANG (Actor, Life is easy)


“Miriama can communicate the things you need for a scene in a way that makes the cast not only feel comfortable and safe but also excited and empowered. Her ability to translate what is required for the scene into action through working with the actors is nothing short of game-changing. As both a director and a producer, I would say not only should you work with Miriama for the benefit of your actors. You must work with her because her results are a hundred times better than any director can achieve without her.”

OLIVER DRIVER (Producer/Director, Shortland Street)