New Board Members Announced












20 August (Press Release)

The Performing Arts Network of New Zealand (PANNZ) has announced the appointment of Bernadette Haldane, Amber Curreen, Charlie Unwin and Frances McElhinney to its board, as well as Megan Peacock Coyle taking on the role of Chair.

In becoming Chair, Peacock Coyle sees that it is an invigorating time to lead the organisation, with PANNZ joining Creative New Zealand’s Toi Uru Kahikatea investment programme.

PANNZ has received multi-year funding towards internationalising the PANNZ Arts Market, including the addition of three full-length showcases to the Market programme, planning for 2020 and continuing on the considerable success of Tour-Makers, in delivering high-quality professional New Zealand theatre, music and dance throughout New Zealand.

Rejoining the PANNZ board Peacock Coyle takes over from James Wilson, who has recently stepped down from the role after three years. Wilson’s contribution to PANNZ has been described as “immense”, with the current board and staff acknowledging his passion, support and positive impact.

PANNZ also thanked outgoing board members Philip Tremewan, Dolina Wehipeihana and Sarah Anderson for their years of outstanding service and their tireless commitment to the arts in New Zealand.

PANNZ new Chair was recently appointed Hawke’s Bay Opera House and Arts Precinct Manager and has a long history in venue management, programming and presenting.. She has held key roles at the Baycourt Community and Arts Centre as Manager, Oamaru Opera House, where she was Director, and previously at the Hawke’s Bay Opera House, as Arts Programming Manager.

Commenting on her new role, Peacock Coyle says “the PANNZ Executive provides strong representation across our membership. Bernie, Charlie, Amber and Frances bring a wealth of experience and will be valuable in providing guidance across an array of opportunities for our industry, at a significant turning point”.

Bernadette Haldane is Head of Programming and Presenter Services at Auckland Live and brings extensive and varied venue management and international touring experience. Prior to joining the team at Auckland Live, Bernie’s key industry roles included serving as Director, Presenter Services at Arts Centre Melbourne and as Chief Executive of HotHouse Theatre.

Amber Curreen is part of the whanau that established Te Pou Theatre and currently holds a leadership role as Kaihautū – Taha Whānau at the performance venue. Amber is a tikanga Māori focused producer with extensive experience in delivering professional theatre with companies such as: SmackBang Theatre Company, Te Rehia Theatre Company and Ruia Taitea Creative.

Charlie Unwin is currently the Director of the Nelson Arts Festival. He has worked extensively in the performing arts as an actor, director and producer in Auckland before stepping in to the role of Director at SmackBang Theatre Company alongside Tainui Tukiwaho, Amber Curreen and Gabrielle Vincent. He joined The EDGE in 2008 and, in the role of Associate Producer Development Programmes, worked on the STAMP Programme and Auckland Fringe amongst other things. In 2011, Charlie left Auckland for Nelson to take on the role of the Nelson Arts Festival’s Producer, before becoming Director in 2016.

Frances McElhinney is Director at the Oamaru Opera House and the biennial Waitaki Arts Festival. An experienced venue manager, Frances was Manager at the Nelson School of Music for eight years, as well as being Festival Director for the annual Nelson Winter Festival, before moving to Oamaru. She was involved with the Nelson Jazz & Blues Festival as Festival Director, and has recently been appointed trustee for the Oamaru Whitestone Civic Trust. Frances is a champion for the performing arts in the South Island, regularly supporting the touring of professional New Zealand work. She managed the South Island touring consortium for four years.

Image: Megan Peacock Coyle