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Te Hā Sestercentennial Trust appoints new general manager and team

Media Releases - 23rd February 2018 Te Hā

The Te Hā Sestercentennial Trust today announced the appointment of its new General Manager and team to lead its work for Tairāwhiti in the delivery of the Sestercentennial programme for the region in 2019.

Glenis Philip Barbara, of Ngati Porou has been appointed General Manager, to take up the role with immediate effect. Most recently Deputy Chief Executive at the Ministry of Social Development, Glenis was previously CEO of the Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori (the Maori Language Commission) and Business Development Director at Tairāwhiti Polytechnic.

In welcoming Ms Philip Barbara, Trust Chair Richard Brooking acknowledged the experience and expertise that Glenis will bring to the role, in this crucial phase of delivery for the Trust. “The Trust is delighted to have secured someone of Glenis’ calibre and connections, who shares the Trust’s vision and is committed to working with our iwi and community to deliver long term benefit for the people of Tairāwhiti”, he said.

In taking up this role, Ms Philip-Barbara said she’s humbled to be in a position to support Tairāwhiti to tell its own stories. “What’s exciting about this mahi is the chance to connect whānau with ‘a tātau kōrero’, the many narratives of this place that weave our history and our future.”

Glenis will be joined by Tama Waipara as Festival Director, Briony Ellis as Commemorations Programme Director, Mere Boynton as Programme Manager, Kerry Donovan as Marketing and Communications Manager, and Niki Ovenden as Administrator and Executive Assistant. The team will continue to be supported by Advisor Sharon van Gulik.

Tama Waipara of Ruapani, Rongowhakaata and Ngāti Porou is currently Senior Programme Manager at the Auckland Arts Festival, and is well known as a leading musician, singer, composer and producer. Tama will be responsible for leading the development of a new Festival of Arts and Culture for Tairāwhiti. This event will be a key legacy from the sestercentennial and will be an annual event in Gisborne’s calendar from 2019 onwards.

Briony Ellis has built and delivered a number of New Zealand’s major commemoration and community festival programmes, including the nationwide REAL New Zealand Festival and community engagement programme for the 2011 Rugby World Cup and the British and Irish Lions Tour in 2017. She works as a cultural project manager for many government and non-government organisations including Te Papa and the NZ Rugby Union. Briony will lead the development of the overall commemorations programme, working with the Government and community to develop a programme throughout late September and October 2019 that tells the many stories of Tairāwhiti.

Mere Boynton of Te Aitanga a Māhaki, Ngāti Oneone and Tūhoe is a renowned artist and singer and is well known within Gisborne, having worked for the Trust and delivered its October event programme for the last two years. Mere brings huge experience in event production and programming and will provide continuity through to 2019.

Ms Donovan has worked for a number of organisations within Gisborne, and brings a wealth of experience in leading marketing and communications programmes and projects. Ms Ovenden, born and bred in Gisborne, has recently returned from overseas and is delighted to have the opportunity to work as part of the team responsible for delivering this important event for the region.

The Trust is currently finalising a new office location, and team members will be on board from next week, building to a full complement in April this year.

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