A Message from the
Toi Māori Chairperson:
Waana Davis Morrell QSM
Tēnā tātou katoa.
Ko tātau e kimi ana i te orangatonutanga mē te mana motuhake mō a tātau whānau, hapu, iwi hoki i tēnei aō hurihuri. Otirā ki te tira mātaipō kua nunumi ki te pae o maumahara, kei te tangi tonu mō rātau kua hinga i roto i ngā marama tata nei. Ka hoki ora mai ki a tātau te hunga e kawe ana i ngā mahi o a tātau tīpuna, kia ora rā tātau katoa.
It is customary to use this opportunity to acknowledge the work of Toi Māori Aotearoa and the support that we receive from partners such as Creative New Zealand. As many of you know, however, I am at a stage in my life when customs are no longer as important as they once were. For this reason this message is directed to the artists for whom we all work on behalf.
I have seen many changes during my twenty-three year term on the Board of Toi Māori Aotearoa. But the founding purpose of Toi Māori Aotearoa, as an independent organisation that supports Māori artists, remains the same. My kaupapa as a Trustee and Chair has never waivered; I stand for mana motuhake in everything we do as Māori people.
I want to pass that message to our artists. You are intelligent, creative and immensely talented people. I look to you for inspiration, new perspectives and nourishment for my soul as Māori. Without you our world would be impoverished.
I am seeing a huge swell in the support and curiosity for Māori art within this country and around the world. There is a wealth of opportunity now available to Māori artists. This is a mark of our collective success.
Soon, we are told, there will be more opportunities and support for Māori artists. Toi Māori Aotearoa will be part of this period of growth, development and diversification. Our priority is to maintain the strength of our collective identity, inspire your creativity, and support the right opportunities for Toi Māori artists.
It is your responsibility to meet this demand. Accept the support of others to practice your creativity and demonstrate your talent. Take time to put your mahi first and be productive. Take care that your creativity is not driven, guided or distracted by one-off opportunities. Draw on the power that comes from being Māori, be bold and show yourself to the world.