Save the date 2021 Festival 21-31 October

Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori: 9-13 Mahuru

Kei te whakanui e mātou o Tauranga Arts Fest i te wiki o Te Reo Māori! Ko ‘Kia Kaha te reo Māori’ te kaupapa i tēnei tau mai i te 9 ki te 15 o Mahuru, nō reira e hoa mā, karawhiua!

Māori Language Week: 9-13 September

We are celebrating Māori Language Week at Tauranga Arts Festival! Strengthen te reo Maori is the theme, during 9-15 September. Give it a go friends!

The Tauranga Arts Festival have programmed several events that celebrate (whakanui) Toi Māori practitioners during our festival from 24 Whiringa-ā-nuku (October) ki te 3 Whiringa-ā-rangi (November).

A Call to Dance: Rāmere 25 - Rātapu 27 Whiringa-ā-nuku (Dance)

Tauranga Art Gallery

Amrita Hepi is a First Nations choreographer and dancer from Bundjulung (Aus) and Ngapuhi (NZ) territories. Her practice at present is interested in probing ideas of authenticity, the perpetuation of culture, tradition, and a ‘decolonial imagination’ - and questioning where this now resides. Join Amrita for a one-on-one fun and free yarn about heritage, belonging, public expression and cultural authenticity. Together you’ll have a fun and open conversation about some big issues facing us all, and come up with a small movement of personal rebellion: a move that’s all about you.

At the end of her residency, on Sunday, October 27 at 1pm, Amrita will create a performance that captures the character and people of
Tauranga Moana.

CONVERSATION SESSIONS: Fri 25 and Sat, 26 at 10am, 10.45am, 11.30am, 12.15pm, 2.15pm, 3pm. Free Admission but booking essential.

DAILY PERFORMANCE: Fri 25 4.15pm for 5 mins and Sat 26 4.15pm for 5 mins.

FINAL PERFORMANCE: Sun 27 1pm for 12 mins

Cellfish: Rāhina 28 me Rātu 29 Whiringa-ā-nuku (Theatre)

X Space, Baycourt

Eight counts of unlawful entry using imagination, five counts of reckless use of Māori mythology, four counts of possession and cultivation of Shakespeare, and one count dangerous operation of a voice class...

Taki Rua and TOA - Theatre of Auckland present Cellfish, where hardened inmates come face to face with a whole new nightmare: Shakespeare classes with Miss Lucy! Some are looking to improve their parole chances, others want to kill some time and one just wants to kill. Funny and insightful, this gripping new work takes us behind the walls of a New Zealand Correctional Facility and into the minds of its residents.

Starring acclaimed actors Jason Te Kare and Carrie Green,Cellfish gives agency to the voiceless. After standout seasons at Auckland Arts Festival and Silo Theatre, Cellfish is touring Aotearoa for the first time in 2019.

Book tickets here.

Pou Rama: Rāpare 24 Whiringa-ā-nuku ki te Rātapu 3 Whiringa-ā-rangi (Visual Arts)

Masonic Park, The Strand

By Storybox and Desna Wahaanga-Schollum (Ronomaiwahine, Ngati Kahungunu, Ngati Pahauwera). Music composed by Al Fraser. Pou Rama (Light Posts) features a series of free-standing light structures inspired by pou whenua (land symbols of support) and represent creative wairua (inspiration) which is generated from te taiao (the environment). The whakairo designs express cycles of creativity and connections to place.

Each post cycles slowly through a series of colour changes and is accompanied by a music composition. Pahu pakohe (argillite gong) and pahu onewa (basalt gong) provide a shimmering movement, like Tutumaiao (Aurora Australis) and the light dances of HineRuhi and Tane Rore.

Pukaea (long wooden trumpet) and hue puruhau (blown gourd) punctuate, call our attention to the pou (posts) and ground us to the whenua (land) while koauau rakau (wooden flute) and poiawhiowhio (swinging whistling gourd) provide light and move our attention towards the realm of Ranginui (Sky Father).

Free and open to the public, best viewed after dark.

Te Whakaata i te Matapihi: Glimpses 24 Whiringa-ā-nuku ki te 3 Whiringa-ā-rangi (Visual Arts)

Carrus Crystal Palace Verandah

“Hei pupuri te aho o te wananga, hei kawe i nga kura huna a Rua.”

“To hold fast to the strands of valued knowledge”

Embodied in this whakatauki (proverbial saying) is the notion that knowledge must be treasured and at times hidden within, protecting the ideology of sacred wisdom as in the term Rua the repository. Te Whakaata i te Matapihi provides a glimpse of hidden treasures designed to make known the ability of traditional artisans and reveal strands of valued knowledge expressed through the hands of the maker and the marks they leave behind. Selected images of taonga from the Tauranga Heritage Collection will be displayed in a lightbox to celebrate 50 years of collecting.

Free and open to the public. Proudly presented by Tauranga Heritage Collection.

Te Manawaroa: Weaving cultural narrative into artwork and building design 16 Whiringa-ā-nuku (Visual Arts)

Tekau ma tahi karaka, toru tekau miniti ki te ata me Tahi karaka ki te ahiahi (11am & 1pm)

University of Waikato, Tauranga

Explore the cultural narrative that is expressed through the connected series of artworks, installations and thresholds of the University of Waikato’s Tauranga campus, Te Manawaroa.

Join Director of Regional Engagement, Joseph Macfarlane on a walking tour to discover the stories built into the frame and woven into the fabric of the building.

Features work by award-winning artists Whare Thompson, Jamie Boynton, Maraea Timutimu, James Tapiata, Melissa Willison, Teresa Nepe, Michael Mason, Robert Turner, Shona Tawhiao and Kereama Taepa.

Suitable for all ages and is wheelchair friendly. Registration is essential by contacting the Arts Festival office on: or phone 07 928 6213.

FREE - limited to 20 people per tour.

Kelcy Taratoa: who am I? episode 001 (Visual Arts)

Tauranga Art Gallery exhibition

This exhibition is a mid-career survey of work by leading contemporary artist Kelcy Taratoa (Ngai Te Rangi and Ngati Raukawa). Taratoa’s work deals with cultural identity in twenty first century Aotearoa New Zealand and tackles important themes, including links between history, media, social conditioning and identity construction, surveillance and privacy, nuclear and environmental threat.

Taratoa will be creating a new site-specific work for the Tauranga Art Gallery atrium; exploring the cultural significance of Tukutuku panels (a traditional Māori art form) on the 7-metre-high walls.