Polynesian Creative Cluster
Polynesian Creative Cluster
We are supporting an intensive programme for Māori and Pasifika creative entrepreneurs to take advantage of opportunities in Japan and Korea. The objective is to develop a market pathway for their products into the Japanese and Korean markets.
Creative industries is one area where Māori and Pasifika businesses can build high value products, services and experiences which appeal to the world and, in particular, the Japanese and Korean markets. Additionally, the programme is geared towards ensuring there is greater diversity of representation and depth to the Aotearoa brand in the export market. Participants are from the wider creative sector to ensure a diversity of products, experiences and skills, in order to maximise collaborative potential. We have partnered with Oyster Workshop, a Māori- and Pasifika-led organisation to develop and deliver the programme.
To learn more about our amazing cohort see the profiles below
Make-up Artist, Entrepreneur
Eithne is a renown Aotearoa-based hair & make-up artist and has worked across the entertainment and fashion industries since the 1980s.
Eithne’s passion, experience and talent led to her partnership with acclaimed scientist Sir Ray Avery to create her titular hair care range.
Her ground-breaking boutique hair care range was born out of the synergy between cutting edge scientific research and professional experience, and rooted in traditional Polynesian knowledge underpinned by our belief in the sacredness of hair.
The range is made from sustainable, ethical/cruelty free ingredients and is designed, to increase follicle oxygenation and hair health for all people across all hair types.
Jeanine Clarkin is a pioneer of Māori fashion in Aotearoa, having started her eponymous label over 27 years ago. Jeanine’s design story is one where success and integrity have been woven together to create a design history and practice that encompasses Haute Couture to Slow Fashion.
Jeanine has shown collections in New Zealand and internationally and continues to champion indigenous design both at home and abroad.
Jeanine draws her design inspiration from the conceptual body of the Wharenui, Whare tinana (body), Wairua (spirit), Mauri (life force) and Te Taiao (environment) and how these are held together in balance. She incorporates patterns which originate from Tukutuku, and through her creative practice continues the tradition of Māori women’s fibre art.
Her commitment to sustainable fashion is reflected throughout her work and notably her collections focused on repurposing vintage, fine woollen textiles embody this ethos and provide the medium for her exploration of colonization and the exchange of Māori lands for blankets. The resulting garments are contemporary high fashion statements, founded in Matauranga Māori.
Digital Creative, Designer/Strategist
Samantha (Sam) is a multi-disciplinary commercial designer, strategist and artist living in Tāmaki Makaurau. With around a decade of experience under her belt Sam has worked across a range of industries including branding, advertising, digital and future tech (with a focus on the wellbeing sector), education, cultural sector, startup world, public service and tourism.
Sam is passionate about Te Ao Māori, cultural preservation, mental health awareness, the arts and education – but most of all her passion lies in creating solutions for the Māori community and her whānau.
Sam works as a freelancer offering photography, AR/digital design and developing contemporary Māori design identity. She also commits her time to a local pop-up gallery and mentors young creatives. Sam’s entrepreneurial journey and creative focus is currently devoted to the exploration of identity and whakapapa. This work crosses creative technologies, story-telling , cultural preservation, and social innovation and equity.
Haley Lowe is a multidimensional creative who draws inspiration from her tupuna (ancestors) and their resourcefulness and ways of being. Her creative practice is the embodiment of kaitiakitanga (guardianship) of Papatūānuku (Mother Earth).
Through her creative work Haley focuses on ways we can become consciously aware of the destruction and devastation our current ways of being have on the planet and create a sustainable future that is attuned to the interconnectivity of all living things and environmental processes.
Haley’s current line of jewellery reflects the importance of the Raukura (feather) as a symbol of passive resistance, justice, peace, strength and solidarity for Māori. Each piece handcrafted from discarded bicycle inner tubing and transformed into taonga imbued with the life force of Papatūānuku and aroha of the maker.
Haley’s creative process is a transformative one – by taking the mundane or commonplace and connecting to the collective source, she creates contemporary talismans which amplify our collective obligation to the planet and each other.
Leanne Mulder is a contemporary visual artist. Her work represents abstractions of Te Ao Māori, and are expressed as paintings, sculptural pieces and textiles that are designed to be passed down through generations. Leanne uses a range of fluid mediums and locally produced fine textiles to express her vision which is grounded in colours, markings and symbols from Te Toi Māori and specifically her tipuna (ancestors) who were raranga (weaving) experts.
The focus of Leanne’s practice has been to present visual narratives of Te Ao Marama (the separation of Ranginui and Papatūānuku creating light and life) in the form of abstract landscapes. Her work is founded in the interconnectedness of Ranginui and Papatūānuku, and the mercurial interactions between their many children. It’s this mercurial state of play that inspires the depth, direction, and development of her practice. Her work is punctuated with traditional Māori symbolism and patterning (Taniko, Tukutuku panels and Whariki) and is drawn directly from the traditional raranga practices of her ancestors.
Through her practice, Leanne invites the viewer to contemplate their own connection to the whenua (land), their whānau (family) and ultimately, their identity and potential on this earth.
Entrepreneur & Circular Economy Creative
Kristy is passionate about enhancing wellbeing and caring for the planet and each other. This together with her love for the home and family led her to embark on a journey to create completely natural, zero waste cleaning and garden products that enhance wellbeing and the creation of sanctuary in the home.
In creating Green Sense Kristy carefully considered the impact and benefit of every ingredient individually and collectively. The result is an ethical cleaning range that is a blend of custom essential oils, botanicals and minerals with an all-natural ability to clean effectively and sustainably. The uplifting scent and properties of the essential oil blend providing consumers with added therapeutic benefits to elevate their sense of wellbeing while cleaning and in the home generally.
As Kaitiaki (Guardian) of our whenua (Land) sustainability is key in protecting Papatūānuku (Mother Earth). The solution is to harness nature’s abundance of sustainable ingredients, in combination with essential oils that elevate our sense of wellbeing to preserve the sacredness of the home and family.