December 24, 2018


The Toi Whakaari Board has just announced that acclaimed actor and arts manager Tanea Heke (Ngā Puhi) will be Interim Director of Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School for the first months of 2019, following Christian Penny’s resignation last month. 

Tanea has a rare and critical set of skills, experience and networks. She brings a strategic view, a highly developed set of operational skills and industry networks, and, at the heart of these, a commitment to upholding kaupapa Māori, mana Māori and mātauranga Māori in her work.  Tanea is particularly interested in the importance of and care for the student journey.

Tanea is an alumni of Toi, graduating from the Acting programme in 1997. She has gone on to a remarkable career in and around the arts which has included working with Carla van Zon to develop and implement the international strategy at Creative New Zealand, project manage NZ’s participation at the Venice Biennale on two occasions, oversee Aotearoa’s cultural programme as country of honour at the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2012 and manage the logistics/programme for the Aotearoa delegation at the Festival of Pacific Arts in Guåhan.  As well she has sustained a career as an actor/producer – including roles in  No. 2, Second Hand Wedding and Eagle vs. Shark, and a defining role in Waru in 2017, and co‐founding Hāpai Productions with Nancy Brunning.

Tanea Heke will start at Toi on Monday 14thJanuary 2019.

The Board will commence the process of recruiting a permanent director in the new year. 

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