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The Arts Foundation

Laureate Award

The Arts Foundation Te Tumu Toi Laureate Awards celebrate and empower New Zealand’s most outstanding practising artists - artists whose practise also has an impact on New Zealand. Every year we recognise up to ten exceptional artists with a $30,000 award and share their story with New Zealand. Thanks to the generosity of One NZ, the nine 2023 Laureates will each be receiving a top up of their awards to $35,000.



Scroll to the bottom of this page to view our over 100-strong Laureate Award alumni.

Funded Laureate Awards

Ten awards created out of dedicated generosity.

Toi Kō Iriiri
Made possible thanks to the radical generosity of philanthropist and recently appointed Arts Foundation Te Tumu Toi Trustee Hall Cannon, who has committed to backing this award for the next 10 years with a $300,000 gift. The award (of $30,000 per year) will be gifted annually to an outstanding queer artist whose mahi is representative of the queer community and is making a contribution to social change. Learn more here.

Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa Award
Established in partnership with Jillian Friedlander, this $30,000 gift acknowledges outstanding Māori and Pasifika creatives within the arts. Having been involved with the arts, behind the scenes for 25 years, Jillian saw a great need and potential to create Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa Award. Anchoring the support for our creatives in the Māori and Pasifika communities of Aotearoa entwines her own lineal descendant of Ngāi Tahu.

The My ART Visual Arts Award
My ART is a not-for-profit organisation that makes it easier to own original art through most New Zealand galleries by providing interest-free loans. This $30,000 award was established in 2020, in partnership with My ART Founders Sonja and Glenn Hawkins. The award is presented every year to an outstanding visual artist.

The Theresa Gattung Female Arts Practitioners Award
Established in partnership with Theresa Gattung, this $30,000 gift to an artist is one of many ways Theresa gives back to women and girls through business and philanthropy. At the time of enabling this award, 66% of the Laureates within the Arts Foundation whānau were men, making it a timely marker in gender equity.

The Burr/Tatham Trust Award
Adrian Burr and his late partner Peter Tatham are some of the most remarkable and well-known arts philanthropists in Aotearoa. This award, which was established in 2019, will recognise and reward an outstanding artist of any discipline.

Awarded every second year.

Dame Gaylene Preston Documentary Film Makers Award
Initiated by Dame Gaylene Preston and Sir Roy McKenzie, this award is funded through a collaboration of a legacy gift by Sir Roy, Vista Foundation and the NZ Film Commission, and selection is facilitated by the NZ International Film Festival. The award of $30,000 is given every second year to an outstanding Documentary Film Maker.

The Marti Friedlander Photographic Award
The Marti Friedlander Photographic Award was launched by the Arts Foundation in 2007, in partnership with photographer Marti Friedlander and her husband Gerrard. The award is presented every two years to an exceptional photographer to help further their career.

The Mallinson Rendel Illustrators Award
Mallinson Rendel was a publishing company specialising in illustrated children’s books. The $10,000 award was established in 2010 to recognise the painterly skills, imagination and artistry in picture books, and was presented every two years to a children’s illustrator. Now, due to the continuing generosity of our founding donor, and a new donor, this award has become a $30,000 Laureate Award awarded every two years.

The Sir Roger Hall Theatre Award
Sir Roger Hall is one of Aotearoa’s most successful playwrights. Established in 2020, the Sir Roger Hall Theatre Award will recognise and support exceptional talent in theatre. At Sir Roger’s request, this $30,000 award will alternate each year with a number of smaller awards (probably of $5000 each) to individuals or institutions so that the benefit of his trust may be spread widely.

John and Jo Gow Sculpture Award
John and Jo Gow are long-standing supporters of the arts community, and the visionaries behind the the Connells Bay Sculpture Park on Waiheke Island. Established in 2023, the John and Jo Gow Laureate Award recognises an outstanding sculptor with $30,000, and is awarded every second year.

Laureate awards are not open for applications.

Meet our Laureates

The outstanding artists shaping Aotearoa New Zealand.


The Laureate Selection Process

The Arts Foundation celebrates and increases the impact of New Zealand artists with financial awards. Understand the selection process for Arts Foundation Te Tumu Toi Laureate Awards.

Learn More

The Laureate Selection Panel

Meet your 2023 Laureate Selection Panel.

The 2023 Selection Panel