Hineani was born in Whakatane and educated at Kawerau North School, Tihiroa Primary School, Gisborne Girls’ High School and Kawerau College. She continued her studies at the University of Auckland and graduated with a B.A. in 1997 in Archaeology and Māori. She worked as a reporter and was an Assistant Advisory Officer for Māori Affairs from 1977-79. Hineani was a researcher for Māori Women’s Welfare League Health Study in 1979 and a researcher for TVNZ in 1980. She was a reporter and sub-editor for Mana Newspaper from 1976-77, a reporter for the Waitomo News, contributing writer for Tu Tangata Magazine, and sub-editor for Te Kaea Magazine. From 1977-79 Hineani was a script writer and occasional presenter for Radio NZ Education programmes and a sub-editor for Poroporoaki (Farewells) Radio NZ publication in 1979. In 1985 she attended a journalism writing workshop in Auckland, and in 1996 organised a television writers’ workshop for Māori speakers in Auckland. She writes non-fiction articles, Māori fiction, radio scripts for children’s programmes, and television scripts for children’s programmes, Māori programmes, corporate videos, and non-fiction documentaries. She has been a member of Women in Film & Television (WIFT) since 1996 and a member of Nga Aho Whakaari (Māori Film & Television Producers & Directors’ Guild) since 1996. She was a member of the Writers’ Guild from 1990-1993 and since 1996 has been a member of SPADA - Producers & Directors Guild.
Hineani has been an executive producer of various television documentaries including Puawai - Māori Women Achievers Series (1991), Nga Wahine Kaipakihi - Māori Women in Business Series (1991), and Oho Ake (1995), a Māori language promotion which played internationally and was nominated for Media Peace Awards. She was director of Waka Huia - TVNZ (1996), The Making of ‘Once Were Warriors’ - Communicado (1993), 60 Minutes - TV3 ‘Māori Congress & Tribal Leader Api Mahuika’ (1991), Te Wero - Māori Current Affairs Programme (1988), Puawai (1991) - ‘Kui Wano Waiata Tawhito’, Nga Wahine Kaipakihi 1991 (Māori Women in Business), Māori Myths & Legends - Isambard 1991, Children’s Programmes TV3 1990-1991, and Koha 1988-87. She has been a researcher for various television documentaries and was a partner of Te Haeata Productions in 1993, and Hikoi Films in 1992. She was a foundation staff member of TV3 in 1990, a consultant for TV3 Children’s Programmes in 1991, and she set up Te Ara Productions Ltd in 1991. She was a foundation staff member of TVNZ’s Māori Programmes Department, and of Waka Huia, the Māori language archival programme. She is Producer and Company Director of Te Haeata Productions Ltd and Pounamu Greenstone Television Ltd. Formerly has written under the name Hineani Melbourne.
- Correspondence from Hineani, 2 Feb. and 5 Aug. 1998.
- Māori Myths & Legends. Isambard, 1991.
- "Māori Women Today." Te Kaea 4 (1980): 5-6.
- Hineani presents a discourse on the variety of opinions amongst contemporary Māori women concerning their role and status on the marae and their speaking rights, and explores questions of equality and complementarity with Māori men.
- "Geothermal Heat for Hydroponics in Kawerau." Tu Tangata 21 (1984/85): 51.
- Hineani reports on the successful hydroponic production of kamokamo by the Savage family of Kawerau which utilises formerly unproductive geothermal land.
- "Introduction". Māori Sovereignty - The Māori Perspective. Auckland, N.Z.: Hodder Moa Beckett, 1995. 11-12.
- Hineani gives an overview of the scope of this collection of seventeen essays by Māori on the theme of Māori sovereignty. Despite the statistics of low economic status, high unemployment and related problems, Hineani notes the underlying sense of purpose throughout the essays and hopeful aspirations for future generations of Māori.
- Māori Sovereignty - The Māori Perspective. Auckland, N.Z.: Hodder Moa Beckett, 1995.
- A collection of seventeen essays on the theme of Māori sovereignty by Māori academics, politicians, civil servants, iwi kaumatua, health workers, researchers and activists. This publication was nominated for the Montana Book Awards in 1996.
- Ears. Radio New Zealand, 1990-1994.
- Children’s scripts.
- "Te Haeata." Pu Kaea June 1995: 24.
- Archie, Carol. "What’s It Got To Do with Pakeha?" Mana: The Māori News Magazine for All New Zealanders 11 (1996): 24-29.
Māori Sovereignty: The Māori Perspective
- Oliver, Bill. "Settling the Matter." New Zealand Books 6.1 (1996): 22-23.
- Mann, Peter, McGregor, Rick and Tyrrell, Ron. "Books." Otago Daily Times 20 Jan. 1996: 22.
- King, John, Dufresne, Karly and Henare, Manuka. "Books." Evening Post 29 Dec. 1995: 7.
- McKenzie, Joy, Eggleton, David and Rota, Tarewa. "Books." Sunday Star Times 17 Dec. 1995: D:5.