The team

Creative New Zealand has 85 staff based in Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland and Ōtipoti Dunedin. Our team has a range of experience and expertise across many artforms.

Read our staff profiles:

Senior Leadership

Funding Services

Manager, Māori Strategy & Partnerships

Manager Pacific Arts

Capability Services and Initiatives

Assessment Services

International Services and Initiatives

Investment Services - Toi Tōtara Haemata and Toi Uru Kahikatea programmes

Arts Practice Directors

Policy and Performance


Senior Leadership

Stephen Wainwright

Chief Executive  - Pou Whakarae
+64 (04) 498 0743

Stephe WainwrightStephen 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. 

Cath Cardiff

Senior Manager, Arts Development Services
+64 (04) 473 0880

Cath CardiffCath 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 us, Cath also worked at Auckland Live as a programmer for theatre, dance and contemporary music. Cath originally 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.”

Angus Evison

Senior Manager, Business Services
+64 (04) 473 0880

Angus Evison

“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 us 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.”

David Pannett

Senior Manager, Strategy and Engagement
+64 (04) 473 0880

David leads the Strategy and Engagement 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.

Paula Carr 

Senior Manager, Māori Strategy & Partnerships
+64 (04) 498 0706

Paula (Ngāti Ruanui, Ngāruahine, Ngārauru, 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 us 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.

Makerita Urale

Senior Manager, Pacific Arts​
+64 (04) 498 0729

Makerita has more than 20-years experience in the arts and culture industry as an independent Director, Producer and Writer in Aotearoa with national and international major works in theatre, festivals, music videos, film and television. She also did a two-year stint as a journalist for Radio New Zealand and has led branding, concept design, media, marketing and publicity campaigns for independent productions as a Creative Producer.

Makerita leads Creative New Zealand’s strategic work for Pacific Arts to make an effective long-term impact on the lives of artists and creatives, change that makes a real impact for society.

She has led and initiated numerous new strategic partnerships and collaborations with external stakeholders including government agencies, global and international partners, private sector and arts organisations. These include a cross-agency focus on Pasifika Festivals resulting in $12million of government support over three years from Budget 2020 and a #DigitalMoana focus since Covid first appeared in Aotearoa. She also negotated the first formal Creative New Zealand partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to stregthen arts and cultural ties with Oceania creatives. 

Her work focuses on growing the networks of Va relationships to empower arts communities to lead their own growth, investing in fantastic ideas, people and opportunities and to talanoa and listen to arts leaders about what they need and how we can do better for them, as a Crown agency.

Makerita was born in her father’s village Fagamalo on the island of Savai’i in Samoa. She joined Creative New Zealand in 2011 following a Fulbright NZ Pacific Writer’s Residency at the University of Hawai’i in 2010. Makerita is fluent in Samoan with a life-long hobby of speaking and learning Te Reo Māori and French. She is learning to paint in acrylics and loves surfing and swimming in the sea. 

Haniko Te Kurapa

Senior Manager Te Kaupapa o Toi Aotearoa
+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 joining us, 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.

Tomairangi Mareikura 

Manager, Māori Strategy & Partnerships
+64 27 240 3816




Kawika Aipa 

Manager, Pacific Arts
M: +64 27 620 9628

No ka pae ‘āina ‘o Hawai’i
‘O Wai’anae ka moku
‘O Ka’ala ka mauna
‘O Kawikaka’iulani ko’u inoa.

Kawika is the inaugural Manager, Pacific Arts and supports the Senior Manager in funding and development programmes to provide expertise on Pacific arts in New Zealand and internationally.

His professional and creative experience as an events producer, heritage artist, and kanaka lomi (Native Hawaiian healer) informs his knowledge of the arts sector, creative potential, and the connection of people and place.

Prior to Creative New Zealand, Kawika spent 5 years at Porirua City Council working in Economic Development, Events management and at Pātaka Art + Museum. Before that, he gained invaluable knowledge and experience as an intern in the Pacific Collection at Te Papa, working with the Pacific Cultures and Collection Management teams.

In 2019, Kawika completed a Post Graduate Diploma in Kaitiakitanga: Bicultural Professional Supervision from Te Wānanga o Aotearoa. His kuleana (responsibility) is to serve people and the environment by being a connector that actively grows pono (genuine) relationships and facilitates opportunities for dynamic transformation.

Ali Foa'i 

Principal Adviser, Pacific Arts
M: +64 27 231 3741

Ali (Mutalau - Niue, Fakaofo -Tokelau, Nukufetau - Tuvalu, Pago Pago - America Samoa) is the inaugural Principal Adviser, Pacific Arts and supports the Senior Manager in funding and development programmes to provide expertise on Pacific Arts in Aotearoa and internationally.

Ali has more than 15 years’ experience in the arts and culture industry as an independent actor, writer and producer in Aotearoa with national and international works in theatre, festivals, film and television.

Prior to joining us at Creative New Zealand, Ali had been closely working with the Wellington City Council over the past few years with their events team, supporting the delivery of  Pasifika, Matariki, Waitangi Day and Cupa Dupa.

His work focuses on growing the Vā in the Pacific Arts sector to empower artists and arts communities. He has a Bachelor of Performing Arts and a Master of Arts in Creative Writing from the International Institute of Modern Letters at Victoria University of Wellington.


Funding Services

Richard Knowles

Manager, Funding Services

Richard manages the Funding Services team which is responsible for the administration of all funding programmes other than investment funding, from application advice to post application feedback and acquittal.

Richard graduated from the University of Auckland with a Bachelor of Music, and had a career in both orchestra and opera management in the United Kingdom and Australia, before moving into venue management at London’s Royal Albert Hall and Southbank Centre. He then spent seven years as Head of Visitor Services at Buckingham Palace, where he was responsible for managing the visitor experience teams at The Queen’s Gallery, Royal Mews and Clarence House as well as the Summer Opening of the State Rooms of Buckingham Palace.

He returned to New Zealand in early 2017 as Executive Director of New Zealand Opera, and in October 2018 joined the Creative New Zealand team.

Humphrey Tait

Senior Funding Adviser, Funding Services
T: +64 (09) 365 1416
M: 021 796 968

Humphrey provides advice to artists and organisations about our 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.

Renee Casserly

Funding Adviser, Funding Services
M: 027 319 1875

Renee has been working in the Arts for 20 years in various roles and guises. Renee has primarily been an Arts Administrator and Theatre Practitioner – producing, directing and acting, with a special interest in making theatre participation more accessible for people to get involved in. In recent years she has worked freelance as an events coordinator, and in 2017/18 returned to acting; touring Australia with Theatre in Education, and in 2018 graduating from The Actor’s Program. Renee holds a Bachelor of Management Studies with Majors in Theatre and Marketing. 

Sarah Stockton

Funding Adviser, Funding Services
M: 027 309 6815

Sarah supports the delivery of the grants management processes including advice to artists and organisations about all of our funding programmes other than investment funding. Sarah first joined us in 2017 and has worked across various roles and teams, and she previously worked at the Auckland Art Gallery in the Visitor Services Team. She has a conjoint degree in Fine Arts (Hons) and Art History from the University of Auckland. Sarah is also a part time yoga instructor, and when she is not in the office you will find her on her yoga mat or soaking up the sun at the beach.

Margaux Wong

Funding Adviser, Funding Services
M: 027 394 1450

Margaux provides friendly advice and support to artists, practitioners and organisations about all funding programmes other than investment funding. Before joining us in 2020, Margaux worked in the Collections team at the Science Museum in London. She has previously held roles at arts organisations such as the Depot Artspace, Corban Estate Arts Centre and the Mangere Arts Centre. Margaux graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) / Bachelor of Commerce Conjoint from The University of Auckland.

Stephanie Wilson

Funding Adviser, Funding Services
M: 027 237 8738

Stephanie joined Creative New Zealand in 2021 and supports the administration of our funding programmes. Stephanie provides advice and support to applicants throughout the grants process. Stephanie previously worked as a Scholarship Adviser at the University of Auckland for several years. She has a Master of Arts in Development Studies and a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) degree in Geography from the University of Auckland.

Te Otinga Hohaia

Funding Adviser, Funding Services 
M: 027 687 8166

Ko Tokerau te maunga. Ko Tokerau te moana. Ko Hiruhārama hou, Ko Whitiora marae tū mai ra – Te Tii Mangonui. Ko ngā Mātua ko Ngāti-Rēhia.  Ko Ngāpuhi-nui-tonu ahau.

Te Otinga joined Creative New Zealand in 2021 and supports the administration of our funding programmes. Te Otinga provides advice and support to applicants throughout the grants process with a focus on Māori arts. Te Otinga brings 40 years experience as a performing arts practitioner in film, stage, theatre and television and, she has previously worked as a Māori Culture advisor/Awhi Ākonga Māori in the Tertiary Sector for several years.

She has a Diploma in Māori Performing Arts (Te Pōkairua a Haka a Tāne Rore) from Te Wānanga Whare Tāpere o Tākitimu and a Bachelor in Humanities (Te Tohu Toi Tangata) with a double major in Indigenous Studies and Policy Writing from Te Whare Wānanga o Te Awanuiārangi.

Tanya Martusheff 

Funding Agreements and Reporting Administrator

Tanya joined Creative New Zealand in 2021. She has a background in accounting and bookkeeping and has previously worked as Programmes Administrator and Payroll Administrator at non-profit arts organisations Artists Alliance and Toi Ora Live Arts Trust. Tanya supports the Funding Services grants process with administration in reporting and grant payments. She is also an arts practitioner with a Master of Fine Arts Degree from Whitecliffe College of Arts and Design.

Emily-Jayne Powell

Funding Services Administrator 

Prior to joining the Funding Services whānau in late 2019, Emily-Jayne completed a Bachelor of Musical Arts (BMusA) at the Music and Audio Institute of New Zealand (MAINZ), graduating in 2017. With a background in music, particularly in performance and songwriting, Emily is passionate about the arts and the benefits they bring to all New Zealanders. Emily-Jayne administers the delivery of all funding programmes other than investment funding and provides administrative support for the Funding Services team.

Capability Services and Initiatives

Belinda Jones

Manager, Capability Services & Initiatives
+64 (04) 498 5204

The Capability Services and Initiatives team 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. 

Helen Khoey

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.

Evotia-Rose Araiti

Senior Adviser, Capability Services & Initiatives, Pacific
+64 (04) 473 0194

Evotia-Rose joined Creative New Zealand in 2020 and has the privilege of supporting Pasifika Festivals and Pacific arts organisations to develop capabilities and skills which support them in being organisationally resilient, sustainable and robust. Evotia-Rose has a Bachelor of Commerce in Human Resources & Industrial Relations; and Psychology from the Victoria University of Wellington. Before joining Toi Aotearoa Creative New Zealand, Evotia-Rose predominantly worked in the corporate sector in human resources, organisational development and consultant roles.

Adrianne Roberts

Senior Adviser, Capability Services & Initiatives

Adrianne (she/her) joined Toi Aotearoa Creative New Zealand in 2020. Her role is to work with arts organisations to assist them with organisational development and long-term sustainability. She supports the delivery of new programmes and initiatives, working collaboratively with key partners to facilitate relationships and build partnerships.

Adrianne holds a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and Media Studies from Victoria University of Wellington and has worked in the creative sector for over 12 years. Prior to Creative New Zealand, she worked at the New Zealand Film Commission, focussing on their devolved development initiatives for feature film producers and Māori and Pasifika filmmakers. Her proudest achievement is working as a theatre and dance producer for several years under her company banner Show Pony, touring critically acclaimed NZ works across the motu and internationally. She is of Filipina and Pākeha ancestry.

Assessment Services

Penny Chitty

Manager, Assessment Services
+64 (04) 498 0716

The Assessment Services team is responsible for the external peer assessment of all our funding and development opportunities. Creative New Zealand uses peer assessors to assess applications to provide independence and industry expertise and Assessment Services selects, trains and supports external assessors in their role. Assessment Services is also responsible for the decision making process that Creative New Zealand follows to reach fair and transparent outcomes and providing expert support on assessment models.  

Prior to joining Creative New Zealand in 2019, Penny held multiple management roles at the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment as Operations Manager/Vice Consul for Immigration New Zealand. Most recently, she worked in Ho Chi Minh City,  being responsible for the operations in Vietnam. Penny has over 10 years of experience managing teams responsible for assessing and deciding applications across a multitude of areas, notably the international education sector and the horticulture/viticulture sector.

Lee Martelli

Senior Adviser, Assessment Services
+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.

International Services and Initiatives

Jude Chambers

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.

Catherine George

Senior Adviser, International Services & Initiatives
+64 (09) 926 5480

Catherine joined us 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 us, 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.

Eleanor Congreve

Senior Adviser, International Services and Initiatives
+64 (09) 373 3059

Eleanor is responsible for a portfolio of internationally focused programmes, projects and initiatives which position New Zealand arts and artists internationally. She works collaboratively with key partners to develop audiences and opportunities for artists in overseas markets. This includes managing the Te Manu Ka Tau programme, which brings international festival directors, curators, presenters, publishers, agents, producers and partners across the art forms to New Zealand to encourage them to curate, present and publish the work of New Zealand artists.

Before joining Creative New Zealand, Eleanor worked with a range of arts organisations and philanthropic initiatives in the UK and NZ. Most recently in NZ, she was the Associate Director of the Auckland Writers Festival. In London, she managed the patron's programme at Tate Gallery, delivering an international events programme, and was involved in the establishment of an HM Treasury-funded project designed to increase philanthropic giving in the UK.

Cassandra Wilson

Adviser, International Services & Initiatives
+64 (09) 354 4863

Cassandra joined us 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 us, Cassandra was a dancer with the Royal New Zealand Ballet for nine years.

Investment Services

Deborah McSmith

Manager, Investment Services

Debs leads the Investment Services team, who hold the relationships with our Toi Tōtara Haemata and Toi Uru Kahikatea investment clients, and Creative Communities Scheme administrators. The Investment Services team also contribute to the delivery of the Pacific Festival Initiative.

She graduated from Elam School of Fine Arts in 2000 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Painting) and a Post Graduate Diploma in Arts Management from the University of Auckland Business School in 2003. She began her career as a lighting technician and music manager before moving into event and production management, producing, business management and development, and governance. Debs first joined our whānau in 2012 on a parental leave contract as the Senior Advisor for Dance, Multidisciplinary Arts and Festivals, and remained connected as a peer assessor and panel facilitator. Most recently, Debs was the Operational Strategy Advisor for Auckland Council’s arts and culture unit. 

Janelle Salisbury

Senior Adviser, Investment Services
+64 (04) 498 0730

As Senior Adviser in the Investment Services team, Janelle advises and monitors the organisations in the Toi Tōtara Haemata and Toi Uru Kahikatea programmes.

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.

Janelle is of Kāi Tahu and Pākeha descent. From September 2021 Janelle will be based in Ōtepoti.

Simonne Likio

Senior Advisor Investment, Pacific
T: +64 (09) 373 3145
M: 027 605 1627

Simonne joined the Investment Services team in 2021 and provides client service in the delivery of the Pasifika Festivals Initiative, the Toi Totara Haemata and Toi Uru Kahikatea investment programmes.

Simonne has been with Creative New Zealand since the end of 2017 and was a funding adviser with our Funding Services team. She has previously held roles in local arts and government social sectors. These include Fresh Gallery Ōtara, Oranga Tamariki – Ministry for Children and The Vulnerable Children’s Hub. She is currently enrolled in postgraduate study at the University of Auckland (Pacific Studies), and has particular interests in Pacific arts history and indigenous material culture.

Rebecca Kunin

Senior Adviser, Creative Communities Scheme
M: 027 621 7183

Rebecca joined us in 2020 and holds relationships with the city and district councils that deliver the Creative Communities Scheme nationally. 

Rebecca comes to us after six years working in the Arts and Culture Department at Auckland Council, managing public art projects, advising elected members, supporting community arts organisations, and delivering community arts projects. She has held roles at The Art Institute of Chicago, Objectspace, and Script to Screen where she was Executive Director from 2005 to 2007. Rebecca has a bachelor’s degree in Art History and Philosophy and a master’s degree in Film, Television and Media Studies from the University of Auckland.

She is committed to supporting the vital role that community arts play in Aotearoa’s creative ecosystem.

Hannah Clarke

Senior Adviser, Investment Services
M: 027 615 8815

Hannah joined the Investment Services team in mid-2021 bringing more than 20 years of experience in the performing arts industry with her.

An active arts facilitator and creator, for eight years Hannah ran the NZ Fringe Festival in Te Whanganui-a-Tara while also producing, directing and touring independent productions throughout NZ and overseas and working on other festivals and large scale events. A founding member of Fringe in the ‘Stings and founder of the NZ Fringe Festival Association, Hannah has also held board positions including chair of Long Cloud Youth Theatre.

Before Creative New Zealand Hannah was the Partnerships Manager for BATS Theatre and a teaching fellow at Victoria University where she taught arts management. She has an MFA in Creative Practice from Victoria University Wellington and a keen interest in puppetry and dance.

Tracy Watts

Coordinator, Investment Services
+64 (04) 498 0733

Tracy is the Coordinator for the Investment Services team and PA to the Manager, Investment Services.

She joined us in 2016 and has experience in project administration, stakeholder engagement and customer services. She holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Education from Victoria University, Wellington.

Justine Pēpene-Hohaia

Senior Adviser, Māori
M: 027 707 8334

Justine joined the Investment Services team in 2021 and is the lead adviser for Māori organisations in the Toi Totara Haemata and Toi Uru Kahikatea investment programmes. With a career spanning the creative, public and not-for-profit sectors, Justine has both an eye for detail and an ongoing passion for the arts, with particular interests in dance and Māori performing arts.

Justine is a distinguished graduate of the New Zealand School of Dance and is an experienced dance practitioner. She has contributed to the creation of new works and the re-mounting of seasoned works with some of Aotearoa’s most recognizable choreographers and dance companies including Black Grace, Mau Dance Theatre, Louise Pōtiki-Bryant, Jack Gray, Auckland Dance Company and Kahurangi NZ.  Justine was also a founding member of Atamira Dance Company performing and collaborating throughout Atamira’s 21 year trajectory.

Before Toi Aotearoa Justine was involved with kaupapa Māori organisations both in the public and not-for-profit sector, and she brings with her an array of skills contributing to financial management and analysis, reporting and policy development practices.

Arts Practice Directors

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

Liz Cleary

Manager, Arts Practice Directors and Arts Development Programmes
+64 (04) 498 0736

Liz manages the team responsible for leading Creative New Zealand’s engagement with all major arts practices. The Arts Practice Directors Team provide strategic advice on the direction and development of each arts practice area, and provide subject matter expertise to support funding and investment decisions, strategies and corporate plans.

Liz joined our whānau in 2018 to lead the development of Te Hā o ngā Toi, Creative New Zealand’s ngā Toi Māori strategy, and then led the team responsible for our response to Covid-19. She has experience in the education and Treaty of Waitangi sectors in various roles including programme management, investment and innovation, strategy development, business performance and relationship management.

Kereama Te Ua

Arts Practice Director - Māori
+64 (04) 498 0735

He uri tenei, no Te Aitanga a Māhaki, Tūhoe, Te Whakatōhea, Te Whānau a Apanui, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Te Rarawa, Te Aupōuri me Ngāti Pākeha.

Kereama has more than 20 years of experience working, teaching and performing in the arts. Kereama has a wealth of experience ranging from dance, theatre, film, television, education and holds a Bachelor of Maori Performing Arts. Kereama is a senior member of the prestigious kapahaka roopu, Te Waka Huia and is currently preparing for his 10th Te Matatini kapahaka festival. 

Ki te wātea te hinengaro me te kaha o te rere o te wairua, ka taea ngā mea katoa

Malcolm Burgess

Arts Practice Director - Literature
+64 (04) 498 0707

Malcolm Burgess is our representative to the literature sector.  He joined us 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.

Amanda Hereaka

Arts Practice Director - Theatre, Dance & Festivals 
+64 (04) 498 0726

Amanda (Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Te Arawa) brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise after 20 years in the industry working in almost every role imaginable; from theatre usher to Artistic Director and Board member. She has worked for numerous organisations including Capital E, Taki Rua Productions, Circa Theatre and City Gallery as well as the Wellington International Jazz Festival, Fringe NZ, Laugh, ERUPT Festival and co-established with Native Earth (Canada) and Yirra Yaakin (Australia) the international indigenous theatre festival Honouring Theatre. 

She has produced the popular Waitangi day concert Kotahi, as well as outdoor film screenings, Peninsula Pictures, at Kahurangi School in Strathmore Park.  Prior to joining Creative New Zealand, Amanda was a Funding Advisor at Wellington City Council.

Kate Montgomery

Arts Practice Director - Visual Arts & Craft/Object
+64 27 705 1070

Kate leads our engagement with the Visual Arts and Craft/Object sectors. She was Director of The Physics Room, a contemporary art project space in Ōtautahi, Christchurch, and Senior Curator at City Gallery Wellington before joining us in 2011 as Senior Arts Adviser - Visual Arts.



Hayley Dingwall

Arts Practice Director - Music & Opera
|+64 (04) 498 0715

Hayley leads our engagement with the music and opera sectors and comes to us from NZ On Air (the Broadcasting Commission) where she was the Funding Advisor for music, music for kids and Student Radio.

Hayley began her career in the arts in Ōtautahi, Christchurch, as co-founder of an independent record label and artist management company. Most of the 20 years since has been focused on supporting Kiwi musicians and producers to develop work and international markets as an artist and label manager and producing shows all over the world as an international tour manager. Back home she has worked as a producer with the New Zealand Festival, Wellington International Jazz Festival, Lexus Song Quest and Toi Māori Art Market.

Paul Lisi

Arts Practice Director - Pacific

Paul is part of our wider engagement with the Pacific arts sector.

He comes with over 10 years of experience working in the arts sector as a performer and producer in theatre, music, dance, television and film. He has performed on stages and festivals both nationally and internationally and brings a large network of connections from across the vast Moana to his work here at Creative New Zealand. Paul has a keen interest in supporting and nurturing Pasifika talent at all levels, and ensuring that his community thrives and is set up for success.

He joined Creative New Zealand in 2019 as Senior Communications Adviser, Pacific and has also worked at the New Zealand Film Commission as Talent Development Manager.

Sela Faletolu-Fasi

Arts Practice Director - Community & Youth

Sela is based in Christchurch and is passionate about youth, community development and the arts.  She has over 12 years experience in community engagement in the public sector with a particular focus on youth, and Māori and Pacific communities. She has used theatre as a powerful way to co-create with rangatahi and as a platform for meaningful exchange with their families and the community that supports them. Sela looks forward to continuing to support communities and rangatahi and in her role as Arts Practice Director - Community & Youth.

Policy and Performance

Elizabeth Beale

Manager, Policy & Performance
+64 (04) 498 0709

Elizabeth job shares the rolePortrait photo of managing our Policy and Performance team. 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 us 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 our Wellington office.





Tracey Monastra

Manager, Advocacy | Pou Whakahaere Taunaki

Tracey leads the new team (established February 2020) tasked with delivering advocacy that aims to ensure that New Zealanders are highly engaged in the arts, support for the arts is broadened, and the arts sector’s voice is further empowered.

Tracey has spent her career working in the arts in Aotearoa, most recently as Head of Education & Public Programmes at City Gallery Wellington. Previous arts and cultural programming, management, communications and audience engagement roles include work for Massey University, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington City Council, and Television Spaceman.

Tracey is also an award-winning theatre set designer. She has created work for theatre companies including The Conch, Taki Rua, A Slightly Isolated Dog, and her own theatre company, Jealous.


Cara Paterson

Senior Adviser, Advocacy | Kaiwhakamagere Matua, Taunaki

Cara’s role is focused on engagement with local government.

She joined the Advocacy Team in June 2021 from the Dunedin City Council, where she was an arts advisor, promoting and supporting the Ōtepoti arts community. She was integral in the development of its arts policies including Ara Toi Ōtepoti Dunedin’s Arts and Culture Strategy, and the DCC’s Art and Creativity in Infrastructure Policy.