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Tanea Heke MNZM, Ngāpuhi nui tonu, Ngāti Rangi, Te Uri Taniwha, Ngāti Hineira, brought her star sparkle to the Wellington Art Show April 19 2024 at the amazing Takina Events Centre.


Charismatic luminary of the NZ Arts scene and well-known Wellington star of stage and screen, most recently seen in the movie ‘Cousins’ and the drama 'After The Party', Tanea actioned the 2024 Celebrity Choice Award at The Wellington Art Show VIP Preview – choosing Sean Beldon for the powerful and popular body of work he had on display.

Tanea has an illustrious 25 year+ involvement in the arts sector as a creative and as an administrator. Tanea is the Producer of Hāpai Productions - a mana wāhine, kaupapa Māori theatre company she and Nancy Brunning set up in 2013.  She is currently mentor for the Māori Arts Interns Programme run by Toi Māori, a Board member of Track Zero (bringing art and science together to inspire transformative climate action) and Te Tumu Toi – The Arts Foundation (Arts Laureate programme).  In 2019 she returned to Toi Whakaari as Tumuaki and in 2020 was the recipient of the Creative New Zealand Ngā Tohu Hautūtanga Auaha Toi Making a Difference Award. In 2022 Tanea was appointed a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to the arts and Māori.


Tanea is a graduate of Te Ako Pai: Wellington College of Education, Victoria University and Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School. She has been working as a creative and administrator in the arts industry for nearly three decades and started at Taki Rua Productions in a producing role before moving to Te Papa Tongarewa overseeing exhibition management.  At Creative New Zealand, Tanea was responsible for delivering the Venice Biennale project and working with the Aotearoa delegation of Māori and Pasifika artists at the Festival of Pacific Arts in Guam.  In 2012, Tanea worked in Germany as New Zealand’s Project Director at the Frankfurt Book Fair. 


Tanea has appeared in several television (After the Party 2023 and Not Even 2023), film (Cousins and The Justice of Bunny King)  and theatre productions.

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