Inaugural Ngā Tohu Toi event to celebrate arts

Tauranga campus of University of Waikato. Photo: Supplied.

An inaugural awards night at the Tauranga campus of  Waikato University will align with the first Matariki Public Holiday in New Zealand and is set to become an annual event.

Ngā Tohu Toi Mo Ngā Uri Iwi o Te Rohe o Tauranga Moana will acknowledge the depth of the artistic talent that whakapapa to Tauranga Moana.

“We are excited to announce that new sponsors have joined Tauranga City Council and Waikato University with support for this inaugural awards night,” says Te Tuhi Mareikura Trust chairperson Julie Paama-Pengelly.

“These include Toi Ohomai, Creative Bay of Plenty, Tauranga Boys College, Eqalis, Holland Beckett, Supercuts Projects, Te Puni Kokiri, Art &Body Creative Studio and Whare PR.

“Our sponsors will join us for the auspicious evening with refreshments and local entertainment to celebrate and recognise Māori who play a part in creating our regional identity and who take this beyond our boundaries and in some cases, internationally.”

According to Julie, “creatives" from this rohe have quietly been leading the charge to transform our visual experience of our stories and practices in ways that have gained national and international recognition.

"It is timely that we align these ‘stars’ within our psyche and honour them for our generations to come, and when better than our national Matariki holiday, to set our future aspirations," says Julie.

A strong team of arts advocates and agencies have aligned to support an exciting showcase evening of  local creative talent with monetary awards and trophies presented by major regional supporters and sponsors.

Hosted at the stunning University of Waikato, Tauranga campus it will be an evening of celebration and entertainment.

There are a limited amount of tickets available that will be on sale to public from June 7

“We want up and coming creatives to be inspired by these awards that illuminate potential future creative pathways to excellence in the arts.”

Ngā Tohu Toi Mo Nga Uri Iwi o Te Rohe o Tauranga Moana has been established by Te Tuhi Mareikura Trust, a collective that aims to champion Māori arts distinctive ongoing contribution to the regional identity.

“Te Tuhi Mareikura was set up in 2015 by a small group of Māori artists who wanted to raise the profile of iwi creatives and advance education opportunities in Māori arts,” says Julie.

"Ngā Tohu Toi mo nga uri iwi o te rohe o Tauranga Moana is setting the bar high, for our future creatives to aspire to.

“Our goal is to build strong, sustainable and enduring relationships with organisations, groups and individuals within the rohe of Tauranga Moana to ensure the continued advancement and development of ngā toi māori - Māori arts, the wider creative community and art audiences.”

Te Tuhi Mareikura since 2015, has been dedicated to increasing the opportunities for Māori visual stories to feature prominently in the region, by advocating and leading education initiatives for artists and audiences.

More information about the individual awards and sponsorship opportunities is available on the website for the event: or by

A limited number of tickets to this exclusive evening will be released in the coming weeks and available to book via the website.

Whaia te pae tawhiti kia tata, Whaia te Pae tata, Whakamaua kia u, kia tina
Reach for the horizon, for the stars, to bring them close and to hold them tight

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