May 13, 2021

Maori News & Indigenous Views

Nga Aho: Network of Maori Design Professionals, 3rd Biennial Arts Conference Oct 09

4 min read

“Nga aho” he aho herenga ki nga tipuna, ki te ao hou ki te ao tawhito, he kaupapa whakaruruhau mo nga iwi katoa i raro i te mahi kotahi hei painga mo te katoa. Otira, e whai atu ana I nga mahi hanga whare.Nga Aho

“Nga aho” ki te whenua, ki te moana, ki te rangi, ki te ao, koinei nga whakamaramatanga mo tenei ingoa mo tenei roopu hou. He kaupapa tuhono atu ki te wairua, te hinengaro, te Tinana, ae ra ki te whanau me te whenua. Ko nga aho he rite ki te muka hei tuitui I te tangata ki enei mea katoa, heoi ra he taura herenga I o tatau waka I taakia mai I Hawaiki, a he tuia ki nga tipuna ki a ratau kua ngaro.

Indigenous brands, Maori business, Kaupapa Growth and innovation, collaborative pilot projects, culture connection and exchange, design enabled economic, culturally enriched.

3rd Biennial Arts Conference

The Arts Conference builds on the success of two previous events held in Rotorua in 2005 and 2007. Conference organisers say the event aims to provide artists, and those working in arts organisations and related fields, with the opportunity to expand their understanding of creative markets and reach new audiences.

The Arts Conference attracts delegates from throughout. Its focus is on bringing together some of the country’s best creative entrepreneurs, arts managers and marketers with artists and others working across diverse industries and sectors in the creative economy.

“The most important aspect of the Conference is to enable creative practitioners working locally, nationally and internationally to come together and develop relationships with others working in creative fields.” says Kiri Jarden, arts officer for the Rotorua District Council. “Relationships forged at events like these have the potential to make a real impact on how you work and whom you work with in the future.”

The Conference is principally coordinated by the Rotorua District Council arts officer, Ms Jarden. Rotorua artist Jill Walker, Auckland marketing and communications expert Jillian de Beer, Arts Waikato’s Renee Casserly andRotorua Arts Village trustee Don Hunt make up the organising team.

“A key aspect is continuing to improve arts management practice, community arts delivery and arts policy development. For those working in these areas of the arts, there is no formal professional body and limited access to arts management studies. We believe that the best growth and understanding comes through building relationships with others working in the same and related fields and sharing knowledge,” says Ms Jarden.

Presenters at the Arts Conference include co-founder of Ponoko, Derek Elley. The Wellington based company is the first in the world to allow users to design and then manufacture and sell their product ideas online.

“But it’s not all about commerce,” says Ms Jarden. “Ponoko is the new sustainable way to design, make and deliver products. They make products on-demand and work to source local materials and making products as close to the point of consumption as possible. Elley should inspire even the most technophobic artist with some of Ponoko’s software developments.”

Continuing the technology theme, Margaret Lewis from The Big Idea, an on-line arts community, along with Mohawk Media’s Helen Baxter will be presenting.

Community arts researcher, filmmaker and writer Paul Maunder will be presenting alongside Hamilton community arts facilitator Sylvie Bolstad, putting the role of community arts today under the spotlight.

“Working with diversity is an issue that arts communities world-wide are addressing,” says Ms Jarden. “To that end we wanted to start the conversation with a range of practitioners who work with specific communities of interest.”

A panel discussion will look at the issues around working with diversity. Wellington based Sen Thong is an artist and an advisor with the Ministry of Youth, Suzanne Cowan is a choreographer with Touch Compass, Rotorua’s James Rickard is a master carver with years of experience and particular interest in indigenous artforms, and Janet Holt from Waitakere City Council has worked with various groups through the city’s Twin Streams Project.

Relationships between arts manager, community and artists will be examined by Naomi McCleary of Waitakere City Council and Janet Luxton of Christchurch’s Cultural Precinct, while arts advocates Maggie Gresson of Artists Alliance and Biddy Grant of Standing Ovation will look at issues relating to artist engagement and sustainable employment.

Other topics will include funding and resourcing of the arts by Exult’s Kerri Tilby, and basic business skills are introduced by Vicky MacFarlane of Empower.

“The range of speakers attending the Conference offers something for everyone and aims to address topical issues at the cutting edge of arts development,” says Ms Jarden.

The Arts Conference program and registration form are available on-line at

For more information, please visit Nga Aho

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