is first iwi to partner with the Arts Foundation of New Zealand, Te Tumu Toi

Jul 27, 2021

A new ‘Springboard’ Ngāi Tahu partnership will see three outstanding Ngāi Tahu artists at a formative stage of their career supported from 2022- 2024. The first recipient will be nominated in September this year and ultimately selected by a panel of experts to kick off a year of mentorship in April 2022.

Springboard is a new programme introduced by the 21-year-old Arts Foundation who award New Zealand’s most outstanding with the Arts Foundation Icons and Laureates. It launched two years ago and aims to kick-start careers in the arts, awarding outstanding artists at a formative time in their career with $15,000 and offering them a mentor from over 140 Arts Foundation alumni for a year.

Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu will now proudly make a financial contribution to a Ngāi Tahu artist selected by the Arts Foundation’s independent selection panels, with the aim that they do not have to work full-time while furthering their practice. The recipient would work with a mentor throughout the year, and it is suggested this mentor would be a Ngāi Tahu artist from the Te Tumu Toi whānau if possible (or a Ngāi Tahu mentor).

Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu is the eighth confirmed supporter for this scholarship programme, which would ensure a Ngāi Tahu artist is guaranteed to be among the recipients. There will only ever be a maximum of ten Springboards.

Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu CEO, Arihia Bennett, says, “This opportunity closely aligns with Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu strategic focus areas of Ngāi Tahutanga and Mātauranga, and empowering young Ngāi Tahu with opportunities that will allow them to control their own destiny. We have committed to promoting new forms of Ngāi Tahu cultural expression and nurturing Ngāi Tahu whānau as strong, vibrant champions of our culture and identity. We are also focused on ensuring Ngāi Tahu whānau are well educated, trained, and strong in their knowledge of Ngāi Tahutanga. More broadly, this is an opportunity to position Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu and its leadership as advocates for investing in arts and culture in Aotearoa.”

Arts Foundation Chair, Garth Gallaway is thrilled with the new partnership. “While Ngāi Tahu artists feature strongly in our Arts Foundation Laureates whānau (Peter Robinson, Fiona Pardington, Ariana Tikao, Louise Potiki Bryant), it is particularly exciting to see the Rūnanga backing an emerging artist and ‘springboarding’ them into a serious career. Giving confidence to build creative careers is important to the Foundation and its givers, so we’re thrilled to welcome Ngāi Tahu into the whānau”.