Creative New Zealand has 60 staff based in Wellington, Auckland and Christchurch. Our team has a range of experience and expertise across many artforms.
Read our staff profiles:
Chief Executive - Pou Whakahaere
+64 (04) 498 0743
Stephen joined Creative New Zealand in 1990 and was appointed Chief Executive in 2008. Prior to being appointed chief executive Stephen was acting chief executive and had been a member of Creative New Zealand’s senior management team since 2002 as manager of Arts Infrastructure Services.
Stephen has been involved in the strategic and business planning of Creative New Zealand for several years and has worked closely with many of this country’s leading arts organisations.
“As a young nation at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean our arts help to illustrate our lives with new layers of meaning and fresh perspectives. There are clear social, cultural, economic and educational benefits for supporting the arts and these need to be made. But life is personal and experiencing great art makes life better.”
“I think the late Michael King captured the importance of the arts when he wrote that to be confident as New Zealanders we must ‘…listen to our own voices and trace our own footsteps; we must have our own heroes and heroines to inspire us, our own epics to both uplift and caution us; we must persist in building our own culture with our own ingredients to hand…’.”
Creative New Zealand’s job is to work with the arts community to build our culture and help the wider community appreciate and support its development. Enormous progress has been made in the last 30 years, and because New Zealanders do value the arts, we are committed to furthering the progress that has been achieved so far. Visit: New Zealanders and the arts: Attitudes, attendance and participation in 2014
Stephen graduated from Victoria University with a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Commerce and Administration.
Senior Manager, Arts Development Services
+64 (04) 473 0880
Cath joined Creative New Zealand in 2000. She has been involved in the performing arts since she was five when she pestered her parents to send her to ballet lessons. This led to a career in dance that spanned 20 years and included periods as Artistic Director for LIMBS Dance Company and Resident Choreographer at the Mercury Theatre in Auckland.
Cath moved into producing, working with many companies and artists including Douglas Wright Dance Company and Shona McCullagh’s The Human Garden. Cath’s highlight from this period was producing the critically acclaimed 1995 season of Think of Garden by Samoan playwright John Kneubuhl which won four Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards.
Before joining Creative New Zealand, Cath also worked at Auckland Live as a programmer for theatre, dance and contemporary music. Cath joined Creative New Zealand as Adviser, Dance and Theatre and has moved on to hold a number of senior managerial roles within the agency, including in the audience and market development, capability building and international programmes.
Cath feels enormously privileged to have a role in assisting others to develop their dreams in the arts in New Zealand. “It is gratifying to be working where the majority of the population really believe in and support the arts in all their diverse forms and expressions.”
Senior Manager, Business Services
+64 (04) 473 0880
“The Business Services team provides the tools for Creative New Zealand to make the best decisions on how funding is passed to others so that the New Zealand arts sector is strong both here and overseas.”
Angus joined Creative New Zealand in 2005 as Finance Manager before taking up the role of Business Services Manager in 2008. He graduated from Victoria University with a Bachelor of Commerce and Administration before working with Lower Hutt chartered accounting firm, Kendons. This was followed by a role at international accountancy and consulting firm KPMG.
His previous experience helps Angus to ensure that Creative New Zealand delivers the best results for the individuals and organisations we deal with.
“While funding is not the only part of the business that Creative New Zealand does it is probably the best known. The Business Services team provides the tools for the rest of the organisation to make the best decisions on how that funding is passed to others so that the New Zealand arts sector is strong both here and overseas. Dealing with a limited resource means that decisions have to be made about what gets funded and what doesn’t, and I believe our role is to make sure that our funding processes are clear and fair to everyone who deals with us.”
Senior Manager, Planning, Performance and Advocacy Services
+64 (04) 473 0880
David leads the Planning, Performance and Advocacy Services team which initiates and implements advocacy initiatives, manages communications with the media and other stakeholders, produces publications and provides information to the arts sector and members of the public. The team also manages government relations, including strategy and accountability documents, public and government requests for information, business planning and reporting, and governance policy.
David joined Creative New Zealand in February 2015 from the Ministry of Health, where he was the Manager, Governance & Crown Entities. In this role, he led a number of strategic projects and change management programmes, including establishing new crown entities, developing key sector engagement fora, and supporting shared administrative and support services for district health boards.
David holds a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of Otago, and was admitted to the bar in 2000.
Senior Manager, Māori Strategy & Partnerships
+64 (04) 498 0706
Paula (Ngāti Ruanui, Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa) is leading Creative New Zealand’s work to develop and support Ngā Toi Māori. This includes advocating for a shared agenda and increasing the agency’s impact on Māori arts and culture by working with key external stakeholders, including other government organisations and agencies.
Before joining Creative New Zealand in 2016, Paula worked at governance and operational levels assisting iwi and organisations to achieve their strategic goals. She has more than 20 years’ experience managing and delivering public and private sector projects. She has significant treaty sector experience including advocating for iwi claimant groups and negotiating and implementing a wide range of funding and contracting programmes.
Paula is a relationship builder who is passionate about using her influence to achieve more positive results for Māori, for the betterment of communities. Paula holds a Bachelor of Business Management (double major) from Massey University and also has qualifications in project and programme management.
Manager, Funding and Capability Services
+64 (04) 4985204
Belinda manages two teams, Funding Services and Capability Services and Initiatives. The former is responsible for managing all funding programmes, other than investment funding, from application advice to post application feedback. Capability Services and Initiatives provides training and online resources to help organisations and practitioners develop professionally and better manage and grow their business.
Belinda has a Bachelor of Art (Hons) in art history from the University of Canterbury and worked in public art galleries in the South Island before joining Creative New Zealand in 2001. She has worked in various roles including Adviser Visual Arts, in the Arts Organisations Development Programme; Adviser, Audience and Market Development; and Senior Adviser, International. Most recently Belinda was Manager, International and Capability Building where she managed New Zealand’s presence at international fairs and markets and capability building initiatives for the sector including the regional arts pilots and national touring.
+64 (09) 365 1416
Humphrey provides advice to artists and organisations about Creative New Zealand’s funding programmes and initiatives as well as helping to deliver these programmes. Humphrey joined Creative New Zealand in 2013 as Adviser, Craft/object & Visual Arts having previously held roles in a range of craft/object and visual arts galleries in Auckland, Christchurch and London.
+64 (04) 498 0723
Kate and the Funding Services team are responsible for delivering efficient grants management processes and providing advice to artists and organisations about funding programmes and initiatives. Kate first joined Creative New Zealand in 2015 and has previously held roles at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Enjoy Public Art Gallery and various art dealer galleries in Wellington. She has a Bachelor of Photographic Design (Hons) from Massey University and worked towards a Master of Fine Arts. When Kate is not in the office, you can find her tending to her vegetable patch or at the local garden centre.
Manager, Funding and Capability Services
+64 (04) 498 5204
Senior Adviser, Audience Development & Capability Building
+64 (09) 377 8750
Helen joined Creative New Zealand as Adviser, Audience and Market Development in 2005 and was appointed Senior Adviser, Audience Development in 2008 and Senior Adviser Audience Development and Capability Building in 2012. Helen works on a variety of capability building and audience development initiatives, including Nui te Kōrero, Māori and Pasifika internship initiatives and the Auckland Diversity Project Fund. She has worked on several research programmes including New Zealanders and the Arts: Attitudes, attendance and participation and Audience Atlas New Zealand.
Prior to joining Creative New Zealand, Helen spent 15 years in marketing and sponsorship roles in the United Kingdom and New Zealand, including Auckland Theatre Company, NZ International Comedy Festival, Lyric Theatre Hammersmith, The Oxford Playhouse and Watford Palace Theatre.
Manager Assessment Services
+64 (09) 373 3090
Catherine manages the team responsible for the external peer assessment of all Creative New Zealand’s funding and development opportunities.
Catherine joined us originally as the arts adviser for theatre in 2011 and more recently worked as acting manager for arts grants and the Creative Communities Scheme. Since graduating with a Masters in Theatre from the University of Auckland she has worked as an independent producer, performer, and arts administrator for a variety of Auckland performing arts organisations including Q Theatre for seven years.
+64 (09) 373 3091
Lee is passionate about standard-based assessment and has been involved in assessment design and moderation for 20 years. After working as a head of department in Auckland secondary schools for 10 years, Lee was contracted to design assessment exemplars for NZQA.
Lee went on to Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra (APO), where she eventually became the Director of APO Connecting, the orchestra’s education, community and outreach programme. Lee enjoyed collaborating with market research companies on evaluation tools and developing impact frameworks. Lee has judged a number of music competitions and enjoys reading about sustainability. Hobbies include kickboxing and watching her daughter’s dance shows.
Jess and the Assessment Services team are responsible for delivering efficient assessment processes and providing support to our external assessors. Jess joined Creative New Zealand in 2017 brings with her 10 years’ experience in the tertiary education sector, including direct experience of tertiary moderation and assessment. She has a Masters of Fine Arts from Whitecliffe College of Arts & Design Auckland.
Manager International Services and Initiatives
+64 (09) 373 3070
Jude manages the team responsible for connecting New Zealand artists and arts organisations with global markets, international networks and international and cultural and artistic exchange.
Jude is responsible for delivering a number of international projects and initiatives; including New Zealand’s participation at the Venice Biennale Arte and Edinburgh festivals, the international visitor programme Te Manu Ka Tau: Flying Friends and a suite of partnerships and programmes that support international cultural and artform exchange including the Focus on Asia initiative.
Jude joined Creative New Zealand in 2005. She has many years of arts management experience delivering projects and funding programmes, partnerships and advocacy. In her previous role as senior programme adviser she managed the visual arts portfolio and a team of advisers based in Creative New Zealand’s Auckland office.
Senior Adviser, International Services & Initiatives
+64 (09) 926 5480
Catherine joined Creative New Zealand in 2014 to manage the Focus on Asia initiative which builds stronger artistic and cultural connections with six target territories in Asia. The initiative provides a range of platforms for New Zealand artists to connect, collaborate and partner with artists, practitioners and organisations in Asia.
Catherine also supports the development of artistic and cultural exchange programmes in the Pacific. She is able to draw on her previous experience working with Pacific Trade Invest where she facilitated trade opportunities for exporters in 16 Pacific Island nations. Prior to joining Creative New Zealand, Catherine was based in Singapore as the Senior Production Manager for IFA Media. She managed programming for international broadcasters including Discovery Channel, National Geographic, Al Jazeera, and Channel NewsAsia. She worked with production teams in China, Taiwan, Thailand and Singapore.
Adviser, International Services & Initiatives
+64 (09) 354 4863
Cassandra joined Creative New Zealand in 2013 as the Project Administrator, Arts Policy, Capability Building and International Team and Project Administrator for New Zealand at Venice 2013 and 2015. In her current role, Cassandra supports the International Team as Project Co-ordinator for New Zealand at Venice, Edinburgh Legacy programme, and Adviser on the International Art Fair Fund and WW100 Co-commissioning Fund. Prior to joining Creative New Zealand, Cassandra was a dancer with the Royal New Zealand Ballet for nine years.
+64 (04) 498 0704
Elena manages the team responsible for all aspects the multi-year Toi Tōtara Haemata and Toi Uru Kahikatea investment programmes. Elena joined Creative New Zealand in 2015. She has experience in the arts, and international aid and development in various roles including programme management, business advising and training, relationship management, and grants/contracts management. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from Atkinson Graduate School of Management, USA, and a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology, minor in Studio Art from Willamette University, USA.
+64 (09) 926 5481
Simon works with clients in multi-year Toi Tōtara Haemata and Toi Uru Kahikatea investment programmes in the areas of monitoring and evaluation. Simon came to this role from a performing arts background, working both as a practitioner and producer in the theatre sector. His most recent experience prior to joining Creative New Zealand was working for the National Library of New Zealand as their Public Programmes Adviser. He managed the library’s Auckland exhibition space and developed and delivered schools programmes alongside the exhibitions.
+64 (04) 498 0730
Janelle monitors the agreements and development goals of arts organisations in the Toi Totara Haemata and Toi Uru Kahikatea investment programmes. She is also responsible for managing the agreements, relationships, reporting and delivery of the Creative Communities Scheme.
Since graduating from Te Kōkī New Zealand School of Music with a Bachelor of Music (majoring in Jazz) in 2013, Janelle has gained experience in both the public and private sectors in roles spanning customer service, corporate support, contract administration and procurement.
Investment Services Adviser
+64 (04) 4980 712
Jason liaises with clients in our Toi Totara Haemata and Toi Uru Kahikatea investment programmes with respect to their reporting requirements and evaluation.
Jason has graduated from Victoria University of Wellington with a Bachelor of Commerce in 2013 (majoring in Accounting and Commercial Law). He comes to us from PriceWaterhouseCooper's Restructuring team and has also gained experience from relationship management roles in the financial services sector.
Arts practice directors provide expertise and advice to Creative New Zealand in specific areas of arts practice. They have a deep engagement with the arts sector so they can identify trends and opportunities to help support arts development in New Zealand. If you have a question about a funding programme please contact Funding Services
Arts Practice Director - Music & Opera
+64 (03) 372 3570
Chris leads Creative New Zealand’s engagement with the music and opera sectors. Prior to this role, Chris managed the multi-year arts investments programmes. Chris joined Creative Zealand in 2009 having held several positions at the University of Canterbury, National and Regional Music Adviser, Music Curriculum Lecturer, Artist in Schools National Facilitator and also as a writer for the national arts curriculum NCEA standards, music examiner and moderator. Chris is a composer, performer and registered music teacher and has been involved in music making for more than 30 years. Chris completed his studies in composition and holds performance diplomas in piano and organ. Chris has written extensively and had choral works performed in Australia, Europe and South America.
Haniko Te Kurapa
Arts Practice Director - Ngā Toi Māori
+64 (04) 473 0182
Ko Manawaru te maunga. Ko Ohinemataroa te awa. Ko Te Whai a te motu, me Te Whatu o te Kanohi ngā tipuna whare. Ko Ngāti Tawhaki me Te Urewera ngā hapu. Ko Tūhoe te iwi. Tūhoe moumou kai, moumou taonga, moumou tāngata ki te pō.
Haniko joined Creative New Zealand in 2002 as Māori Arts Adviser and has more than 20 years experience working in the arts. Prior to Creative New Zealand, he held a number of roles at Te Papa including concept developer, interpreter, and education officer. Raised in the heart of the Urewera, he was privileged to have access to information regarding the stories and history of his tribe. A fluent speaker of Te Reo Māori with a wealth of knowledge on tikanga Māori, he now manages the Māori arts programmes and is based in the Wellington office.
"Toi tupu toi ora, toi huarewa, toi te whenua, te rangatiratanga"
Arts Practice Director - Literature
+64 (04) 498 0707
Malcolm Burgess is Creative New Zealand’s representative to the literature sector. He joined Creative New Zealand in mid-2015 as Senior Arts Adviser, Literature, and has a background in arts and books journalism, publishing and communications. Previous roles range from Books Editor at the Dominion Post to arts writer and reviewer for publications including the Financial Times, Irish Times, the NZ Listener and the NZ Herald. He has also written extensively on the visual arts since 1998, edited an online journal for emerging and established NZ writers, worked as a freelance editor and in media liaison and as a social media specialist. He studied English and German literature and linguistics at Auckland University and journalism at the University of Canterbury.
Arts Practice Director - Theatre and Dance & Festivals
+64 (04) 498 0715
Rose leads Creative New Zealand’s engagement with the theatre, dance and festival sectors. Rose brings wide experience through previous roles at Creative New Zealand including Senior Adviser: Dance, Inter-arts and Multi-disciplinary Arts; Programmes Manager; Adviser: Music and Festivals, and roles in the 2011 and 2015 New Zealand at Venice project teams. She previously managed the New Zealand String Quartet Trust, was a Schools Relationship Manager at the New Zealand Qualifications Authority and a Music Adviser to schools for the Ministry of Education. Prior to that she enjoyed a variety of teaching roles in schools and the tertiary sector. Rose has a Bachelor of Music (performance) from Victoria University, Wellington, L.T.C.L.(piano) and an Advanced Diploma in Teaching.
Arts Practice Director - Community & Youth
+64 (04) 471 0487
Briar leads Creative New Zealand’s engagement with the community arts and youth arts sectors. Community arts has been a focus of Briar’s work as a practitioner, arts adviser, producer, project and company manager, director and tutor for over 25 years. Briar joined Creative New Zealand in 2011 as Senior Programme Adviser – Theatre and Dance.
Arts Practice Director - Pacific
+64 (04) 498 0729
Makerita works across Creative New Zealand’s funding and development programmes to provide expertise on Pacific arts in New Zealand and internationally. Her professional and creative experience as a writer, producer and director informs her strategic knowledge of the arts sector and the creative process of artists and creatives. Makerita also leads key projects including the annual Creative New Zealand Pacific Arts Awards and events, cultural exchanges, international residencies and partnerships as well as working with Tōtara and Kahikatea investments clients.
Before joining Creative New Zealand Makerita led successful projects in theatre, festivals, television and film. Her play Frangipani Perfume toured internationally and is taught at universities and schools. She has directed documentaries and tackled issues such as gangs, political protest, art and history in Children of the Revolution (Qantas Media Award), Waiata Whawhai - Songs of Protest and Savage Symbols about Samoan tattooing. She was also a director for the award winning arts series Living Room. She is an alumni of the Fulbright-Creative New Zealand Pacific writer's residency at the University of Hawai'i in 2010.
Makerita is fluent in Samoan and also speaks Te Reo Maori and is learning French. She continues to pursue her artistic passions in writing and has a new hobby of painting with acrylics and water colours.
Arts Practice Director - Visual Arts & Craft/Object
+64 (04) 4980732
Kate leads Creative New Zealand’s engagement with the Visual Arts and Craft/Object sectors. She was Director of The Physics Room, a contemporary art project space in Christchurch, and Senior Curator at City Gallery Wellington before joining Creative New Zealand in 2011 as Senior Arts Adviser - Visual Arts.
Manager, Policy Services
+64 (04) 498 0741
Nonnita currently manages Creative New Zealand's Policy Services team. She rejoined us in 2009 for a second life at Creative New Zealand. She held a variety of leadership and management roles here between 1986-96.
Non's career has seen a mix of cultural policy. At the Ministry for Culture and Heritage she managed broadcasting policy and at the National Library where she worked on the development and implementation of its new Act. Non has also worked in the arts sector as an actor, director and administrator. Non is a founder of Playmarket, the Chair of the Robert Lord Writers' Cottage Trust in Dunedin, and a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit.
Born in Merthyr Tydfil in Wales, Non is a graduate of the University of Wales. She has a postgraduate diploma in theatre administration from the University of Manchester, a master's degree in theatre directing from the University of California and a master's in public policy from Victoria University in Wellington. Non is based in Creative New Zealand’s Wellington office.
Manager Policy Services
+64 (04) 498 0709
Elizabeth job shares the role of managing Creative New Zealand’s Services team with Nonnita Rees. She re-joined Creative New Zealand in 2017. From 2007 to 2011 she held the role of Senior Manager Planning, Performance and Stakeholder Relations.
Prior to her roles with Creative New Zealand Elizabeth worked for five years at Te Papa where she managed government relations, governance, business planning and policy as well as working on a range of special projects. Before that she had a variety of roles in the science sector within the State sector.
Elizabeth graduated from Victoria University of Wellington with a science degree.
Elizabeth is based in Creative New Zealand’s Wellington office.
Senior Adviser, Policy Services
+64 (04) 498 0736
John joined Creative New Zealand in 2000. A graduate of the New Zealand Drama School he went on to work as a professional actor with various New Zealand theatre companies. He was President of New Zealand Actors Equity from 1983-85 before studying Arts Management at the University of South Australia in 1988. During the 1990s he was Director of Playmarket. John has worked for Creative New Zealand in various roles including: establishing partnerships with MoRST (Ministry of Research, Science and Technology) and the Department of Conservation. He was Theatre and Dance Adviser before moving to the role of Strategy Adviser. In his current role John advises on the development of sector wide, pan-art form strategies and policies. John is based in Creative New Zealand’s Wellington office.