Connection: The Arts Communications Hui

Thu 15 Nov 9:00 a.m.

Tickets only available through Eventbrite


$120 per person – includes refreshments and lunch
$30 student – must present their valid student ID on the day
National Services Te Paerangi are supportive of this hui and will be supportive of Travel Subsidy Grants. Full details here.
A limited number of sponsored places are available. If you require one of these please email the organiser Alexandra Grace no later than 17 October.

Connection: The Arts Communications Hui is a day-long hui that will bring together arts marketers, communicators and PR professionals from throughout Aotearoa New Zealand to meet and discuss how we can expand coverage and reach new audiences in a changing media landscape.

The days of studious media monoliths are gone, and with them paid and trained reviewers. Today’s media giants are algorithmically designed to serve us information that interests or outrages us. Springing to life in the wake of these changes is a democratising wave of new voices, experimental platforms, speculative outlets and subject specific publishers vying for our attention. With local media organisations swiftly changing and forging new paths in this landscape there’s much to be hopeful for and wary of.

With a situation this dynamic, how can the arts ensure they get their fair share of media coverage? How can we be seen by people outside our nurturing media bubbles of arts lovers, expand our audiences and be seen by the arts curious, or even arts agnostic? How can we put the arts in front of new audiences?

This hui will include presentations, lectures and panel discussions from media leaders from a range of platforms and backgrounds.


Adrienne Jansen, Social Entrepreneur
- Joining the artist panel with Lynn Freeman

Adrienne Jansen has been described as a social entrepreneur. She co-founded the Porirua Language Project, one of the first big English tutoring programmes in the country (now part of English Language Partners), and in 1993 founded the Whitireia Creative Writing Programme. In 2013 she was the co-founder of Escalator Press, a Wellington publisher committed to publishing new voices and perspectives, and in 2016 was part of a small team behind Landing Press. She is a teacher, editor and writer who struggles to keep up with all the marketing possibilities, and lives in Titahi Bay with her family.

Chris Brown, and Sophie Speer, Sputnik
- Truths from an Agency

Owner of Sputnik, a PR agency that has a smarter and more targeted PR approach, Chris Brown is a respected strategic counsellor, issues manager and brand navigator for some of New Zealand’s leading organisations and thought leaders.

Ex-journalist turned PR consultant and publicist for some of Wellington and New Zealand's biggest lifestyle and cultural events, Sophie Speer is an Account Director at Sputnik.

Eric Janssen, Chief News Director (Wellington) at
- and how to thrive in the changing media landscape

Hone Kouka (Ngati Porou, Ngati Raukawa, Ngati Kahungunu, Kai Tahu) M.N.Z.M.

Hone Kouka is an acclaimed Māori director, producer and writer, youngest winner of the Bruce Mason Playwrights Award and multiple award winner, he has had plays produced in South Africa, Britain, Hawaii, Canada, Australia, Japan, New Caledonia, as well as throughout New Zealand, with three plays being translated into French, Japanese and Russian.

Kouka, along with Miria George founded theatre and film production house Tawata Productions, producing the works of Māori and Pacific artists and in 2015 he became Artistic Director of Kia Mau Festival - a Māori, Pasifika and International Indigenous multi arts platform based in Wellington.

He became a member of the New Zealand order of Merit for his services to Contemporary Maori Theatre in June 2009 and was awarded the New Zealand Writers Guild - Mentors Award 2013. He had two films screened at the 2016 Berlin Film festival - Born to Dance (screenwriter) and Mahana (Executive Producer) and in 2017 he was awarded the Arts Category for Wellingtonian of the Year.

Lynn Freeman, Standing Room Only, RNZ
- Hosting a discussion panel with artists

Lynn Freeman has been RNZ National’s arts specialist for almost 20 years. Her Sunday Afternoon arts/entertainment/culture programme Standing Room Only (formerly Arts on Sunday and What’s Going On?) cover both the country and the broadest possible arts spectrum. Freeman is Kathryn Ryan’s backup for Nine to Noon and often hosts a programme over the summer break. She produced and presented the award winning 14 part documentary Encore – the Story of New Zealand Theatre. Before moving into presenting she produced Nine to Noon and Morning Report, and enjoys making radio documentaries about her travels.

Nathan Pohio, (Ngāi Tūāhuriri, Ngāti Wheke)
- Joining the artist panel with Lynn Freeman

Nathan Pohio is an artist working in video and other photo media, exhibited widely his is interested in high complex dualities, where for example tikanga Māori, Ngāi Tahutanga exists within the contemporary Māori experience, what that experience looks like form a particular perspective. Cinema and pre-cinema histories are employed to support this cultural aspect, delivered by way of a minimal cinematic installation.

Pohio was invited to participate at both Documenta14 venues, Athens Greece and Kassel Germany, 2017.

Pohio is a long term board member of The Physics Room, a contemporary project space in Christchurch. He is also a founding member of Paemanu, a collective established to be used as a whata/platform for the advocacy of Ngāi Tahu Contemporary Visual Arts.

Toby Manhire, The Spinoff
- How I learned to stop worrying and love partner content

Toby Manhire is the editor of The Spinoff. He is a former columnist for the NZ Herald and the Listener and was at the Guardian in the UK from 2000-2010.

More speakers announced soon!

*To us arts is a broad term that includes but is not limited to visual, music, theatre, toi Māori, publishing, contemporary dance, comedy and so on.