The focus of our mahi is to develop a stronger sector voice, build readiness for strategic collaboration, understand needs, and initiate and co-design projects that respond to regional priorities.

Our Strategy Activation process outlines how we work to enable: creative conversations; creative connections; creative leadership; capacity for impact; and creative investment partnerships.  

This is the latest map of our projects.


Ngā Toi Advocacy

We are building a collective approach to advocacy on the value and impact of creativity, arts, and culture in communities. This advocacy will create the foundation for engaging and challenging the sector, and central and local government, to co-create a strategy to develop a stronger arts and culture ecosystem in Tāmaki Makaurau, and Aotearoa.  The Network’s most recent initiative is a letter to government leaders inviting them to consider a range of actions to provide the long-term support and investment needed to strategically strengthen ngā toi in Aotearoa.

This mahi sees us working alongside organisations and individuals already involved in sector advocacy, including The University of Auckland, Creative New Zealand, and arts sector leaders.

Ngā Toi Advocacy Network is central to this. The rōpū was formed at a hui we hosted in April 2020 to address sector challenges from COVID-19.  Read our shared vision here.

The network focuses on building sector strengths around five strategic priorities: Connect and unite the sector; Evidence and research; Equity and inclusion; Visibility and profile; Recovery and rebuild; Resource base for advocacy. A diverse range of organisations participate in network hui.

The outcomes sought from the network include; strengthening sector connections, creating a stronger sector voice, and developing a shared advocacy vision; building an evidence base to inform advocacy; achieving greater representation, access and inclusion; greater visibility and understanding of the sector, and the central role culture, creativity and the arts can play in COVID-19 recovery and rebuild; increased central and local government engagement and action on arts advocacy across the sector; and increased capacity, capability and resourcing for arts advocacy.


Review: funders response to COVID-19  This review was commissioned by Te Taumata Toi-a-Iwi to understand how funders are responding to the impact of COVID-19 on the arts.

Creative ecosystem: the COVID-19 journey  This simple infographic outlines the four likely stages of response to COVID-19 over the months ahead.

'Arts' of Moana Oceania research report

This report offers an insight into Indigenous worldviews of ‘what art is’ from different Moana Oceania communities living in Tāmaki Makaurau.  Of the 17 Moana Oceania island nations identified in the 2013 census, 15 have the majority of their population living in Tāmaki Makaurau. Nine of these communities are represented in the report;

  • Cook Islands
  • Fiji
  • Hawai’i
  • Kiribati
  • Niue
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Rotuma
  • Solomon Islands
  • Tonga


The report was commissioned by Te Taumata Toi-a-Iwi from Toluma‘anave Barbara Makuati-Afitu and Kolokesa U. Māhina-Tuai of Lagi-Maama Academy and Consultancy. The purpose of the report was to help address a knowledge gap in the mainstream arts sector of a more cross-cultural approach and understanding around what art is.

The research involved engaging directly with cultural experts from Moana Oceania communities (in Aotearoa and abroad) to find out how art is organised within and across all levels of their respective cultures. Lagi-Maama took an holistic approach to the work, recognising that knowledge does not exist outside of cultures and languages, and that all three components are inseparable, where knowledge is composed within the cultures and languages of Moana Oceania.

Click here for more information on our Moana Oceania research.

Te Whakawhirinaki Kete

Te Whakawhirinaki Kete is a sector wellbeing resource being developed under the leadership of Borni Te Rongopai Tukiwaho (Tūhoe, Te Arawa, Tuwharetoa).  Alongside his career as a producer, director, singer and actor, Borni has helped artists and arts organisations build tools for self-sustainability and resilience.

Te Whakawhirinaki Kete will offer the creative community a curated collection of online resources to help whānau navigate and strengthen their hauora and wellness. Te Taumata Toi-a-Iwi is providing support for the research and development of this resource.

Taurima vibes Ltd website: https://www.taurimavibes.co.nz/

Capability building

Building the capability and capacity of the sector is a priority area of work for us.  Our legacy ART Venture capacity building programme has created an alumni of 80 creative entrepreneurs who know the sector and what is needed.  We will work with them and with sector leaders and other regional agencies to identify capacity and capability building needs, generate ideas and action for sector building capability initiatives.