PHOTO: Aotearoa ISPA attendees are welcomed to the First Nation gathering – including Dolina Wehipeihana, Ata Papa, Tupe Lualua, Sefa Enari, Victor Rodger, Leki Bourke, Tānemahuta Gray, Ana Corbett, Fasi Amosa and Tawera Tahuri (Creative NZ Lead Adviser – International Indigenous Exchange).

In May 2024 the PANNZ leadership team – Louise Gallagher (Chief Executive), Dolina Wehipeihana (Kāiarahi Māori) and Jo Bond (Senior Producer) accompanied a group of New Zealand Arts Directors and Producers to the International Society for the Performing Arts congress (ISPA 24) in Perth. ISPA is a global network of more than 500 leaders in performing arts. In addition to supporting our arts makers at ISPA, PANNZ Chief Executive Louise sees her role on the ISPA Planning Committee as an opportunity to be a voice for Aotearoa and our sector.

Many of the NZ cohort had attended the PANNZ Arts Market earlier in the year and ISPA provided a platform for the continuation of conversations that had started through our Market, with some extremely promising outcomes on the horizon.

Through the International Indigenous Exchange Programme and Pacific Arts Strategy Creative New Zealand funded Fasitua Amosa (Director/Co-Producer UPU Collective), Ana Corbett (Artist, UPU Collective), Sefa Enari (Director, Pacific Dance NZ), Tānemahuta Gray (Artistic Director and FAME Mid-Career Award recipient 2023), Leki Jackson-Bourke (Playwright), Tupe Lualua (Director of Le Moana and FAME Mid-Career Award recipient 2022), and Victor Rodger (Producer of FCC). (A full list of all the New Zealand delegates who attended can be found here)

Recent FAME Mid-Career Awards recipients Rowan Pierce (Director/Designer) and Bianca Hyslop (Director/Choreographer) were unable to attend ISPA in person, however the duo’s work He Huia Kaimanawa was one of only 10 new works from across the globe selected to pitch at the event. Marama Lloydd (Artistic Director of Atamira Dance Company) presented the work beautifully on behalf of Rowan and Bianca and it has received immediate interest from presenters as a result.

PHOTO: Marama Lloydd pitching on behalf of Bianca Hyslop and Rowan Pierce


In addition to our own Performing Arts Market and National Touring Programme, creating connections and supporting practitioners at events like ISPA is a significant part of the behind-the-scenes work PANNZ does.

PANNZ was able to work alongside the Creative New Zealand Pasific Arts team to help identify local practitioners to be funded for the trip through the CNZ International Indigenous Exchange Programme and its Pacific Arts Strategy.

We see our role as critical to ensuring these incredible arts makers are introduced to key players in the international sector and we were only too happy to be in the room for meetings and networking, helping lay a path for fruitful outcomes on all sides.

Beyond our own role, it was rewarding to watch tuakana-teina relationships developing within the NZ cohort. All of our arts makers really took advantage of their time in Perth to absorb, to learn, to create and to be inspired. It was a privilege being able to spend time with them discussing what opportunities might be right for them and how they could capitalize on those opportunities.


Part of PANNZ’s work over the years has been in supporting and enabling the sector’s aspirations of growing global indigenous artist networks. Attendance at ISPA was such an important part of this mahi. In my role as Kāiarahi Māori I attended the Global First Nations gathering that took place immediately prior to ISPA, coordinated by Eva Grace Mulalley from PAC Australia, to continue work on this.

Opportunities like ISPA and the First Nations gathering spaces are invaluable for Māori and Pacific artists to make connections and strengthen relationships. Travelling as a cohort was a wonderful way to bring the diversity of our artistic and cultural perspectives and experiences as artists from Aotearoa into the current conversations. 

These are the moments in which we continue to support the relationships that our arts makers have been developing internationally, standing in solidarity with Indigenous artists from Te Whenua Moemoea, Hawai’i and Turtle Island.


PHOTO: Dolina Wehipeihana, Sefa Enari, Ana Corbett, Tupe Lualua, Leki Jackson-Bourke, Tānemahuta Gray, Jo Bond, Victor Rodger, Ben Crowder, Louise Gallagher and Fasitua Amosa.