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Tanea Heke 3

Tanea Heke

Te Whanganui a Tara Wellington

Ngā Puhi, Ngāti Porou

Tumuaki – Te Kura Toi Whakaari o Aotearoa


Ngāti Rangi, Te Uri Taniwha, Ngāti Kiriahi, Te Whānau Wai, Ngati Mau

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 over 25 years. She started at Taki Rua Productions in a producing role before moving to Te Papa Tongarewa overseeing exhibition management. At Creative New Zealand she was responsible for delivering the Venice Biennale project and later she came back to work with Māori and Pasifika artists representing at the Festival of Pacific Arts in Guam. In 2012, Tanea worked in Germany on Aotearoa being the Country of Honour at the Frankfurt Book Fair.

She has appeared in a number of theatre and film productions over the years including Cousins directed by Briar Grace Smith and Ainsley Gardiner (based on Pat Grace’s book), The Justice of Bunny King directed by Gaysorn Thavat, Waru by Briar Grace-Smith and No 2 by Toa Fraser. Her theatre highlights include: Astroman by Albert Belz, He Kura e Huna ana nā Hōhepa Waitoa, Portrait of an Artist Mongrel by Nancy Brunning and The Prophet by Hone Koukua and Revenge of the Amazons by Jean Betts.

Tanea is producer of Hāpai Productions, a mana wahine, kaupapa Māori company she and Nancy Brunning set up in 2013. She is currently mentor for the Māori Arts Interns Programme run by Toi Māori and a Board member on Track Zero (bringing art and science together to inspire transformative climate action).

Tanea was the 2020 recipient of the Creative New Zealand Ngā Tohu Hautūtanga Auaha Toi Making a Difference Award and was conferred as a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the New Year Honours List 2022.