E whai ana tātou i te hua o te whakawhānuitanga manaakitanga, kia tauawhitia ai tātou katoa!  

           E whai ana tātou i te hua o te whakawhānuitanga manaakitanga, kia tauawhitia ai tātou katoa!  

  E whai ana tātou i te hua o te whakawhānuitanga manaakitanga, kia tauawhitia ai tātou katoa!  

           E whai ana tātou i te hua o te whakawhānuitanga manaakitanga, kia tauawhitia ai tātou katoa!  

  E whai ana tātou i te hua o te whakawhānuitanga manaakitanga, kia tauawhitia ai tātou katoa!  

Arts Makers / Kāhui Ringatoi Aotearoa (AMA) believes in the power of arts, culture and creativity to enrich the lives of all New Zealanders. AMA aims to raise the standard of support for visual artists and the arts sector as a whole. It is time for art makers to shape the policies that directly affect our arts communities, work and wellbeing.

Since 2020, AMA has become an established advocacy network tuned into the discussions taking place amongst our extended whānau, friends and peers. We hear the widespread frustration that our creative community feels and use this knowledge to inform the trajectory of our work directly.

The current state of affairs is impacted by the threat to arts funding and the bias in society in undervaluing art and artists. AMA has contributed to the campaign for Resale Royalties in the secondary market and has created the first set of guidelines on Artist Fees in Aotearoa, New Zealand.

Arts Makers Aotearoa has identified the need for a diverse collective of makers to self-organise and create initiatives that can sustain the members of our creative community. We believe that working together is the surest path to meaningful change and radical imaginaries.

 Areas of Discourse 

Nau mai ngā ora, Nau mai ngā pai, Nau mai kia nui kia hāwere ai.

01 / care


How can we ensure equitable inclusion and representation of art makers that reflects the diversity* of Aotearoa?

02 / nurture


How are arts organisations, the education sector, local councils and central government engaging with and listening to the concerns of arts makers?

03 / support


How can we support and sustain skill sharing and development within our arts communities?

04 / sustainability


What does health and sustainability look like for you as an arts maker and us as an arts community?

05 / education


How are the arts and arts makers valued within our education systems?

* In regards to cultural identity, ethnicity, ancestry, religion, age, ability status, social class, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, mental health status, and / or any other characteristic.

 Who is behind the scenes ︎︎︎︎ 
 ︎︎︎︎ of Arts Makers Aotearoa

AMA was founded in 2020 by Judith Darragh, Richard Orjis, Heidi Brickell, Mark Harvey, Rebecca Hobbs, and Roxanne Hawthorne. With arts funding AMA were able to employ Sophie Sutherland as a part-time Project Manager and Administrator. More recently Natasha Matila-Smith has taken over the role after Sophie departed for new adventures in July 2023. We’d also like to welcome into the fold Zoe Black and Sian Torrington who are kindly donating time to help us expand. Ka rawe!

 Judith Darragh ONZM 

Judith exhibits throughout Aotearoa and is renowned for her sculptural assemblages, collage, photography, video, and poster art – with many works held in public collections. Alongside co-editing Femisphere, a zine / publication supporting women’s art practice Judith was central to the development of Artspace Aotearoa, as well as artist-run spaces Teststrip, and Cuckoo. Judith has also been an educator, and mentored many artists over the past 30 years.

 Dr Mark Harvey 

Mark, Ngāti Toa, Ngāto Raukawa, Clan Keith, is a senior lecturer at the University of Auckland as well as a performance artist and live artist working with choreography. Marks practices are conceptually driven and often dialogue and test out notions of minimal endurance with constructions of idiocy, seriousness and deadpan humour, drawing from his visual arts and contemporary dance influences.

 Rebecca Hobbs 

Rebecca completed a BVA (HONS) at the Victorian College of the Arts and received the Samstag Scholarship, attaining a MFA from the California Institute of the Arts – after which, she completed a practice-led research DocFA project entitled Ngā puia o Ihumātao at the University of Auckland. Rebecca’s socially engaged creative practice prioritises collaboration to create multimedia artworks that celebrate dynamic bodies and their relationship with specific sites.

 Dr Richard Orjis 

Richard is an artist, tertiary educator and curator from Tāmaki Makaurau. Richard completed his PhD from AUT in 2021 that focussed on queer and indigenous representation in contemporary art. Richard has exhibited extensively in private and public institutions across Aotearoa, Australia, North America and Europe.

 Roxanne Hawthorne 

Roxanne is a graphic designer / creative, and advocate for the arts. Originally trained in advertising, her design studio Lovely focuses on more socially-minded brands, alongside designing graphics / props for film. Roxanne has been involved with AMA since its formation, helping develop and design the collective’s identity and online presence. Roxanne also dedicates time to pro-bono work within the political, environmental and arts sectors.

  Natasha Matila-Smith  

Natasha has joined AMA as a Project Manager and Administrator. A creative practitioner based in Tāmaki Makaurau and she graduated with a Master of Fine Arts degree in 2014 from Elam School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland. As an artist her specialty is “sad girl confessional” art and finding humour in moments of awkwardness. She writes, edits and curates sometimes too.

 Zoe Black 

(Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Hine, Pākehā) is the deputy director of Objectspace in Tāmaki Makaurau. Her curatorial practice has focussed on community development and advocating for critically underrepresented craft and object art forms. She is currently Norwegian Crafts’ Curator in Residence, working on projects that create a dialogue between Indigenous making practices in Aotearoa and Sápmi.

 Siân Quennell Torrington  

(She/her, Pākeha) explores alternative structures through materials. Holding space and sharing creative processes is part of her practice, enabling conversation, connection, and collective imagination. Siân has regularly exhibited nationally and internationally, been commissioned to make works for public art institutions, and has been awarded two international artist residencies. Torrington graduated with an MFA with distinction from Massey University in 2010.
 Sophie Sutherland 

Sophie is the AMA administrator, coordinator and social manager. Sophie is also an artist and writer, having recently graduated with a Masters of Visual Arts from Auckland University of Technology. Sophie has exhibited at ST PAUL ST Gallery and the Audio Foundation. Alongside her own practice, and the work Sophie does for AMA, she is a facilitator at RM Gallery and Project Space.


We are a community of makers for makers jointly advocating for the arts through grassroots platforms to voice shared concerns. He waka eke noa!