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Creative Northland has an ongoing commitment to making sure that the arts sector in Northland is dynamic, thriving, influential and productive.

Our Team

hinu-3Hinurewa te Hau (Hinu) – General Manager

MPhil Economic Development

Hinu is a Cultural Economic Development practitioner whose primary sectors are: Creative industries, SME development and Information Communication Technologies. Hinu’s field is economic development in particular how much culture matters to economic outcomes and the relationship it has with our creative communities. Her vocation for the past decade has been to work collaboratively across the public and private sectors as a conduit for cultural & economic transformation. She is a strategist, advisor, and implementer. She has one daughter living in Auckland and has returned to Whangarei as our General Manager for Creative Northland, to live, work and play in a region that is rich in narrative, people and mystery.

Contact: hinurewa@creativenorthland.com | 027 4223 739

Karen Sidney – Creative Manager

BA double major in Maori and Anthropology

Karen Sidney is an award-winning drama scriptwriter with broad experience in all aspects of film and television as a producer, writer, director and researcher with an emphasis on Maori film and television. Growing up around arts and artists, she strongly believes in the power of arts to transform.  She has contributed her strong organisational and administrative background to being a representative on a number of committees and arts organisations and has attended many international film and television festivals and marketplaces in that capacity.  Karen’s passion is scriptwriting and for the past four years she has been working part-time at Channel North as the Station Manager.

Contact:  karen@creativenorthland.com  | 027 9200 422


Briar Fabian – Events and Marketing Assistant

BMS honours majoring in Marketing and Specialising in Events Management

Briar started at Creative Northland as an intern in February 2017 after completing her degree at the University of Waikato. She then moved into the Events Assistant position in November 2017 and onto Events and Marketing Assistant in February 2018. Briar is a true Northlander, born in Kawakawa and lived most of her life in Whangarei. She is eager to learn more about the arts and creative sector in Northland whilst also assisting to help it grow and thrive. Briar is passionate about organising events and using marketing as a tool towards the best possible outcome. Briar is excited to develop and expand her current skills at working with the highly experienced team at Creative Northland.

Contact:  briar@creativenorthland.com 

Leonard Murupaenga – Event Coordinator

Lenny was born and raised in Pukepoto and moved to Whangarei to study at Northtec gaining a Diploma in Applied Arts. He then went on to study at Te Wananga O Aotearoa and completed ‘Toi Paematua’ – Diploma in Maori Art (Whakairo) in 2016. During his study at Te Wananga O Aotearoa he was awarded the ‘Toi Maori & Indigenous Art Scholarship’, the only recipient for Tai Tokerau. Lenny has also contributed to over 40 exhibitions and curated nine shows during his career.  Lenny began working for Creative Northland via the 2017 Toi Māori Aotearoa Māori Arts Internship (MAI) Programme and is now working on the delivery of the 2018 Whangarei Sculpture Symposium.

Contact:  lennie@creativenorthland.com

Andrea Eve Hopkins – Curator

Andrea was a skilled kaitataki-wahine (kapa haka), went on to train for 6 years in Māori and mainstream tertiary Art institutions then gained her Grad.Dip in Teaching.  She was represented by leading galleries straight out of art school, travelled and participated in international group shows then created the first tertiary accredited contemporary Māori arts certificate programme in Northland via NorthTec.  Andrea has curated and helped others with “more shows than I can remember” both nationally and internationally since 2001.  She gathers and manages art in public spaces, such as the Quest Art Space, for Creative Northland, individual artists and local community groups.

Contact:  questartspace@creativenorthland.com  |  021 041 9866