Entertainment | Artists

Te Manawa launches: unites artists across Tāmaki Makaurau

Māori artists have come together to create a collective as they recover from hard times during the Covid-19 lockdowns and continuing competition for the few resources available.

Te Manawa is a collective, movement and platform that brings together emerging and established Māori artists to work together for the future of the Māori arts sector in Tāmaki Makaurau.

Last night the initiative and its website were launched at an event called Te Panapana at Te Pou Theatre, which brought together artists, supporters and influential voices from the arts community.

Chantelle Whaiapu and Eynon Delamare are the pou ārahi for Te Manawa, which has been three years in the making because of the Covid-19 lockdowns.

Te Manawa has a kāhui of senior Māori artists across Tāmaki Makaurau, including Māori theatre, dancers, rāranga, Te Whare Pora, Māori comedy, visual arts, poetry and spoken word.

“Te Manawa represents a significant step in ensuring that the voices of Māori artists are heard and valued within the broader arts community,” one of the organisers, Noah Whaiapu said.

Competing for pūtea

The aim is for kotahitanga uniting artists to support each other with an emphasis on tuakana-teina relationships between emerging and senior artists.

It will work with different funders and investors to find opportunities to support artists and their aspirations.

“It’s difficult for Māori right now in the country,” Chantelle Whaiapu said. “People are competing for little very pūtea in our sector.”

The event had an artists panel, poi making, machine embroidery and printmaking demonstrations, and entertainment by Allana Goldsmith Group, a Māori jazz band.

Acknowledgements were made to all those involved in Te Manawa including two of the funders - the Ministry for Culture and Heritage and Te Taumata Toi-a-iwi, Auckland’s regional arts trust.

The artists’ panel discussion included moderator Chantelle Whaiapu and a diverse range of artists with multiple hats including:

  • Nigel Borrell (Pirirākau, Ngāi Te Rangi, Ngāti Ranginui, Te Whakatōhea) - curator, writer, Māori arts advocate, educator and artist;
  • Cat Ruka (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Pākau, Ngāi Te Rangi, Waitaha) - contemporary performance and executive director of Basement Theatre;
  • Tyrone Ohia (Ngāti Pūkenga, Ngāi Te Rangi) - creative director and founder of the design studio Extended Whānau;
  • Te Aōrere Delilah Parore Southon (Te Kuihi, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Whakatōhea, Ngāti Pukenga, Ngāti Kuri) - writer, editor, and visual artist; and
  • Aniwa Laumalie Whaiapu (Ngāpuhi, Te Rarawa, Tainui, Waikato, Tonga) - TV presenter, actor, composer and kapa haka tutor.

More information on the movement here.