This symposium was:

  • An event to celebrate the progress of the creative sector in Northland and enable it to take some big steps to thinking what is possible – to stretch our horizons;

  • A means to connect the creative sector so that it is able to focus on the business of sustainable growth;

  • An opportunity for the creative community to be inspired and to step out on to the world stage; and

  • A way to demonstrate the innovation and resources of the Northland creative sector, as well as enhance its capability.

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Calling all

artists, digital designers, writers, inventors, musicians, software designers, architects, new technology developers, business developers, entrepreneurs, industrial innovators, advertising agencies, architects, craft producers, fashion designers, film directors, textile designers, performing artists, publishers, R&D managers, software designers, toymakers, games producers, TV and radio directors, video games developers, photographers, new media designers, printers, woodworkers, furniture designers, green technology practitioners ...

totems & totara – Innovation for the Creative Sector


Supported by CHART (Culture Heritage Arts Resource Trust)


totems & totara took place at the Old Library Community Arts Centre in Whangarei on the 11-13 May 2012 and included exciting guest speakers, forums, workshops and an Innovations Fair.



Stay tuned for totems & totara 2014. Click here for updates

Are you Creative, Innovative or Enterprising?
With new and imaginative ways of looking at the future, or wanting to broaden your horizons and reach new markets ...

2012 Guest Speakers included:


Peter Kageyama

We proudly hosted our international keynote speaker Peter Kageyama who came all the way from St. Petersburg/Florida. Peter is an internationally recognised expert on community development and grassroots engagement. In his book 'For the Love of Cities' he focuses on exploring the value of emotional engagement with our cities, how that connection is created and nurtured and how it can be turned into a development resource for places. Peter engaged with the community of Whangarei, Councillors and business people in various in-depth workshops that set off a number of community driven initiatives in the District.




Rau Hoskins

Rau is a founding Director of the design TRIBE architectural company in Auckland, which specialises in the field of Māori architecture. The title of Rau’s presentation was ‘Our faces in our places - the case for iwi cultural landscapes’ as it focused on challenges and opportunities for local government, iwi and their designers to collaboratively engage in cultural landscape enhancement processes.


Vicki Allpress Hill

Vicki developed The Audience Connection in order to help artists and arts organisations to build and engage with their audiences via an integrated and effective use of online channels. In her interactive and thought-provoking session ‘Traveling with your audience’ Vicki explored various audience journey and audience engagement models that were developed internationally.


Dame Cheryll Sotheran, DNZM

Cheryll has had an extensive career in the cultural and tourism sectors, including senior management in the museum sector, membership of the Queen Elizabeth II Arts Council and most recently Senior Strategic Advisor at NZ Trade and Enterprise. At totems & totara she talked about authenticity, confidence, courage and aspiration in her keynote speech ‘The creative sector as a foundation stone for economic growth’.


Event photos





The event would not have been possible without the commitment and dedication of these organisations: