Te Pou Theatre is a kaupapa Māori performing arts venue for all that supports the presentation and development of contemporary and community performing arts locally, nationally and internationally from our home in Waitakere, Tāmaki Makaurau.   


Our wawata is that tikanga Māori led performing arts transforms the arts sector and makes a necessary difference to society in Aotearoa and the world 

Our purpose is to provide mana uplifting experiences and storytelling through tikanga Māori led,  collective approaches to performing arts 

Courageous ingenuity

Doing it right 
Keep it light 



In 2021 Te Pou Theatre will present a programme of three original works, partnership presentations, our Whakapuawai programme of development wānanga for the performing arts sector, Rangatahi focused activities and our annual Kōanga Festival celebrating Māori stories and storytellers.



Our programme of Te Pou Theatre performances at our venue and on tour



Our Annual Kōanga Festival celebrates Māori stories and storytellers


Performances, opportunities and support for Emerging Rangatira



Development workshops, wānanga and hui for the performing arts sector  


Te Pou Theatre Trust // The Te Pou Theatre is governed by Te Pou Theatre Trust, a charitable trust established 2017  


Naomi brings to the trust 40 years of experience in arts management and consultancy. For 17 years the Arts Manager for Waitakere Council, she instituted an arts and cultural practice that put art at the heart of the city; in infrastructure, public art, events and governance organisations. She set up the Waitakere Arts and Cultural Development Trust in the late 1990s which runs the Corban Estate Arts Centre and which is partnering with the Te Pou Trust to build it's new theatre. She also inaugurated the McCahon House Trust museum and residency project, now one of the premier visual arts residency programmes in Aotearoa. The Going West Writers Festival, launched in 1996, is now in its 25th year and has a track record of presenting Maori writers to a wide audience.  Naomi brings to the Te Pou Trust both her lifetime's experience in governance and her passion for the magic of theatre. Naomi was awarded an MNZM for Servies to the Arts in 2020.

Board Member

Naomi McCleary MNZM

The founder of Te Pou Theatre, Tainui joined the board in 2020.


He brings with him a deep understanding of the performing arts from the perspective of a practitioner, and especially his experiences of the challenges unique to Māori creatives in this sector.


Tainui has 19 years experience in the industry with 10 years experience as a leader in the field.

Board Member

Tainui Tukiwaho

Tūhoe, Te Arawa

Ascia has worked in the performing arts industry for over 15 years. A 2001 graduate of Unitec Performing arts school Ascia performs as an actor but is primarily an actors agent, being one of the associates of Kathryn Rawlings & Associates. Recently she took a year off to study Te Reo Māori & Te Ao Māori at Te Wānanga o Takiura - which she says was the single most changeling & rewarding step of her life to date. She believes in finding a path towards inclusivity in our industry. She knows many actors feel they are on the 'outside' trying to 'break into' the elusive Theatre or Film & Television world. This motivates her to ensure the sector takes care of & supports one another. She comments "this is what it means to work under tikanga Maori. To uplift the mana of others - Manaakitangi". Ascia is a founding board member.

Interim Chair

Ascia Maybury

 Max brings 20 years of involvement in screen work in Australia, and a deep understanding from personal experience of how the performing arts can change the life path of youth, and transform understanding of personal expression.

Board Member

Max Pirini

Te Rarawa

Kaimahi // Our on the ground Te Pou Theatre whānau


Tainui Tukiwaho

Tūhoe, Te Arawa

Kaihautū Taha Wairua 


Amanda Rees

Ngāi Pākeha

Kaihautū Taha Hinengaro


Amber Curreen


Kaihautū Taha Whānau 


Chloe Weavers


Kaiwhakahaere Whakaari


Maioha Allen

Waikato-Maniapoto, Ngāti Kahungunu

Rosemary Such

Development Manager 




The whakapapa of Te Pou Theatre starts with our tūpuna and taonga they have passed down to us, the political movements and work of the leaders in Māori arts over the last six decades and the path they have laid for us to be able to do the mahi we do.  


Te Pou Theatre was named in 2015 in a collective national process where Māori artists from around the motu put forward name options which were decided on by kaumātua in the industry. 


Te Pou is a support post for Māori performing arts in Aotearoa

TE POU THEATRE Portage Road 2015 - 2018

In December 2014 our Auckland Māori arts community came together to discuss what we need to grow and strengthen our industry. The need for our own theatre space, a whare, was voiced strongly. The karanga was heard and answered – we were extremely excited to announce that as of the 1st of March 2015, the lease was signed on the building at 44a Portage road New Lynn. Renovations commenced with a dedicated team of volunteers working day and night to create a whare we could all be proud of. On April 11, we held the official opening for TE POU- The Auckland home of Māori theatre’. Te mutunga kē mai o te mīharo!

TE POU THEATRE Corban Estate Arts Centre 2018 - 2019

In July 2018 Te Pou moved to Corban Estate Arts Centre to create a new Māori home for theatre in the historic Shed 1 which has held decades of artists work. Over this time Te Pou planned an ambitious build and fit out that would create a fit for purpose kaupapa Māori home from performing arts. While planning the build of new Te Pou, "Te Pou Hou" we were busy delivering our development programme Whakapuawai Programme and Kōanga Festival while being an affordable rehearsal and performance venue for many different arts and community groups.

TE POU THEATRE Corban Estate Arts Centre 2020 

In partnership with Corban Estate Trust we fundraised and gathered support from He Waka Anga Mua Ki Uta  (Auckland Council) to develop the feasibility study and designs from the wonderful Graeme Burgess and the team at Burgess & Treep .  From there we gathered support from Foundation North, Lotteries & The Trusts Community Foundation. With the incredible team at Chain Contruction led by James Delaney we began construction of the new Te Pou in 2020. In 2020 we supported the community through COVID-19 taking theatre to the front yards of the elderly in Tāmaki Makaurau, making digital theatre for free viewing and developing writers and performers through our programmes. 

We continue to fundraise and build with a planned completion of 2022.  In the meantime Te Pou is a space for development for all performing artists and companies, small scale presentation and delivery of innovative theatre programmes.