Coming Up: no snow in Tauranga this Christmas!


Had a great late afternoon in Downtown Tauranga last Sunday:   Christmas carols, ice cream, fish and chips and the fabulous Incubator and community produced Christmas trees.   Do not miss coming down to have a look at them.   They are a wonderful take on New Zealand culture.  

The design of the tree itself is spectacular.  Make sure you take a look at the traditional hei-tiki image painted by Michelle Estall as your reference for the intricate and traditional patterns comprising the tree itself.  I loved the repetitive heart shapes: manawa.   I detect a Christmas tradition that should be shared Bay-wide.

Tauranga artist Michelle Estall’s contemporary take on the traditional hei tiki form

And while you’re Downtown Tauranga take a look at the pop-up art and design store TOI at 12 Elizabeth Street (opposite the former IRD building).   The unique creativity of internationally acknowledged Shona Tawhiao.  This exhibition and sale of work is supported by the work of other significant Tauranga artists and artisans.

TOI Art and Design Store Elizabeth Street Tauranga to 24th December 2017

Now what’s happening around Tauranga and the Western Bay of Plenty.  Here’s a weekly roundup of events produced by Tauranga-based Creative Bay of Plenty.    You can join Creative Bay of Plenty’s email list and receive the What’s On list to your inbox.


CBOP IS HIRING: Arts & Culture Amplifier


Creative Bay of Plenty is now at an exciting milestone, and we are looking for an experienced marketing and communications professional to help us deliver on the sub-regional Arts & Culture Strategy from next year. 

Interested in becoming a part of a tight knit team or know of someone? Spread the news and read the full job description here.


FINAL CALL for Proposals: Someday Stories December 14


What: The Outlook for Someday team are calling for proposals to spark ideas, stimulate debate and convey some important info on the themes of environment, society, culutre, health, human rights and peace.

Someday Stories will be a series of six short films focused on sustainability by emerging young film-makers from Aotearoa New Zealand.

Further information: ​This incredible opportunity has some guidelines which are too extensive to list here. Check out their website here for the further details

Application deadline: December 14


Pop-up store: TOI – Art and Design December 11 – 24


TOI Art and Design Store in Tauranga is a two week pop up shop featuring a mix of contemporary Art and Design. TOI will feature local artists, designers and practitioners who offer a range of unique clothing, prints, paintings, sculpture, weaving and jewellery. TAWHIAO will be clearing out past runway collections of woven Avant-Garde and Haute Couture at never to be seen prices.
TOI is perfect timing to own one-off limited edition pieces and Xmas gifts.

When: December 11 – 24

Where: 12 Elizabeth Street

Further info: Check out their event on Facebook


Concert: The Original Wailers feat. Al Anderson at Totara St December 12


Join The Original Wailers as they carry on Marley’s message of  love and unity and perform ‘LEGEND’, an experience which will no doubt have the audience singing along, clapping hands and smiles beaming.

When: December 12, doors open at 7.30 pm

Where: Totara St, Mt. Maunganui

Further info and tickets: Click here


Film Night: Be the Change December 13


What: Five short documentaries, guest speakers, free tea.

When: December 13 (wrong date on flyer), from 7.30 pm

Where: Arataki Community Centre

Entry: Gold coin 


Christmas Party at Waihi Beach Hotel December 14


The Waihi Beach Hotel is hosting a Christmas Dinner in the Bistro, followed by Carols by Candlelight! The Blue Riders, Carol and Nataalia Storey will ensure this is anything but a Silent Night, so get a group together and let them bring joy to the world (and you)!

When: December 14, 6 – 10 pm

Where: Waihi Beach Hotel, 60 Wilson Road

Further info: Contact for bookings or check out their website


Street Prints Mauao December 14 – 18


Street Prints is the imagery of leaving creative footprints in the Street. PAINT presents Street Prints Mauao, bought to you by TECT and Powerco. A community led project and initiative to inspire and uplift our rangatahi and people of Tauranga.

18 International and National Artists will paint beautiful murals in downtown Mt Maunganui.

When: December 14 – 18

Where: Mt. Maunganui

Further info: Check out their event on Facebook


Exhibition: The Koula Salon at Zeus Gallery from December 14


Over 250 paintings and sculptures from the collection of Koula and Theo Vellinga.

Opening event: December 14 from 5.30 pm

When: December 14 – 23 and January 9 – 20 

Where: The Zeus Gallery 

Further info and opening hours: Click here


Concert: Shayne P. Carter at Totara St December 14


Shayne will be performing songs from across his entire back catalogue featuring songs he wrote and performed in such bands as Dimmer, Straitjacket Fits, Doublehappys and Bored Games as well as last years Taite Prize finalist solo album “Offsider”. He is one of New Zealand’s most celebrated musicians having first emerged in the initial wave of Flying Nun “Dunedin Sound” bands in the 1980s.

When: December 14 from 8 pm

Where: Totara St, Mt. Maunganui

Further info and tickets: Click here


Showcase: The Busiest 24 HRS Of Your Life by The Dance Education Centre December 15 – 16


An entertaining performance of Tauranga’s finest young dancers. 24 Hours of action packed entertainment. A super dance variety concert.

December 15 from 6.30 pm
December 16 from 1 pm and 7 pm 

Where: Baycourt Addison Theatre

Further info and booking: Click here


Live Art Demo by Nemesh at The Art Lounge NZ December 15


When: December 15, 12 – 3 pm

Where: The Art Lounge NZ


Coalesce Creative presents Don’t Tell Mama December 16


Coalesce Creative have teamed up with local and international artists to bring to you an interactive party and they want you to be involved in creating the vibe. They tied together, music, visual and live art to offer something a little different to your usual Saturday in The Mount.

When: December 16, 7 pm – 1 am

Where: Totara St, Mt. Maunganui

Further info and tickets: Click here


Exhibition: Folio at Tauranga Art Gallery December 16 – January 14


The best art folio boards created by local secondary school students features more than 30 works produced by students from: Papamoa College, Mount Maunganui College, Katikati College, Tauranga Girls’ College, Tauranga Boys’ College, Otumoetai College, Te Puke High School, Bethlehem College, and Aquinas College.

The boards were created as part of the students’ National Certificate of Educational Achievement in Visual Art studies during 2017.

When: December 16 – January 14

Where: Tauranga Art Gallery

Photo: Lochie Barton, Te Puke High School


A Night Before Christmas December 16


Once again over 10,000 people will come together to enjoy a festive variety of live music, dance, carols, and a massive fireworks display as this year’s event looks set to be another stunner.

Bring a picnic dinner, grab a bite from our amazing food trucks, take a photo at a photo booth, or maybe a selfie with one of the roving Christmas characters, and enjoy the picturesque grounds of the Bethlehem College Sports Fields.

When: December 16 from 5 pm

Where: Bethlehem College Sports Field 

Further info: Click here


Showcase: The Book of Life by Kaleidoscope Dance Studio & Liberty Dance Studio December 16


Story: The Book of Life is the joyful, colourful and heart-warming story of Manolo who was born to fight the Bull but really wanted to sing. It’s about chasing your dream and becoming who you are meant to be.

When: December 16 from 3 pm

Where: Katikati Memorial Hall 


Cool Bananas Christmas Show December 17


To finish off the year Cool Bananas is coming here with a fun filled Christmas show. It is a great show full of music, drama, dance humour and lots of fun. Always entertaining and with a great message for families and children to remember over the Christmas season.

When: December 17, 9 – 10.15 am

Where: Bethlehem Baptist Church

Further info: Click here


Concert: Tekla Klebetnica December 21


Tekla Klebetnica – the name of the band means “County gossip” and was taken from the local Silesian dialect of the Cieszyn region. The band performs folk music mainly from the Carpathian mountain range with an addition of a few Balkan melodies. This fusion of traditional folklore with elements of Gypsy, classical and jazz music is called folk crossover. Tekla Klebetnica started to play as a band in 2006 and regularly cooperates with various musicians and professional dancers. In 2013 the band skyrocketed to fame when they came in second place in the “Mam talent” tv show, the Polish version of “NZ’s got talent” show.

When: December 21 from 6.30 pm

Where: St Thomas More Church, Papamoa

Further info and tickets: Click here


Waihi Beach: Christmas in The Village December 22


Join this family friendly evening of entertainment, shopping & loads of Christmas & community spirit.

When: December 22, 5 – 8.30 pm

Where: The Village, Wilson Road, Waihi Beach


EP Release: Spoonfeed December 22


The legends from Spoonfed coming down to put on one heck of a gig for their EP release. Be there or be square!

When: December 22, 8 pm – 1 am

Where: At The Island (Next to Pap tav)

Further info: Check out their event on Facebook


The Mount Xmas Party at Totara Street December 23


This party will feature some of your party rockin favourite acts…it is also the Official Mount Thing Xmas Party.

When: December 23

Where: Totara St, Mt. Maunganui

Further info and tickets: Click here


Concert: Pow Wow at Talisman Hotel Katikati December 23


Pow Wow is coming out to Katikati to give everyone some amazing music while relaxing outside in the garden bar before Christmas day.

When: December 23, 6.30 – 10 pm 

Where: Talisman Hotel Katikati 


Downtown Tauranga presents Santas Wonderland December 4 – 23


Santa’s Wonderland – The Christmas Exhibition is open now in Goddard’s Centre!

Created by Goddard’s Centre and Downtown Tauranga, Santa’s Wonderland promises a veritable feast of all things Christmas. The exhibition features Reindeer, Christmas Displays, Digital displays, Christmas craft making for children, local artwork, Santa will be there and there’s even snow and snowballs! There truly is something for everyone. On some days there will be some market vendors in the display selling beautiful handmade soaps, bath bombs and candles and delicious hand-made truffles.

When: December 4 – 23, daily from 10 am – 4 pm

Where: Goddards Centre, Downtown Tauranga

Further info: Santa will be there on Saturday’s 11.30 am – 2 pm and daily in the week leading up to Christmas. For more visit Downtown Tauranga’s website. Entry is free.


Exhibition: Inc.Print Combined Pre-Christmas Exhibition from November 30


When: from November 30, daily 10 am – 3 pm

Where: The Incubator Gallery


PRESS RELEASE: Arts and Culture Strategy adopted by both Councils


The Arts & Culture Strategy Toi Moana has been formally adopted by Tauranga City Council and adopted in principle by Western Bay of Plenty District Council*. Developed over the past year, the strategy process was initiated by the community and overseen by a cross-sector steering group.
During mid-November, Creative Bay of Plenty (CBOP) presented at respective Council Community Committee meetings, at which both agreed to adopt the strategy to replace the 2013 Smart Arts Strategy. It was recognised that to grow in a transformational and sustainable way a revised plan needed to be in place.
To implement Toi Moana, CBOP will lead 14 cross-sector agencies that include local government, iwi, Tourism Bay of Plenty, the Incubator, Toi Ohomai and Priority One. Together they will deliver on 31 identified actions over the next three years starting July 2018.
CBOP has also asked to include its submission in both Council’s Long Term Plans to resource their actions and to oversee and support the other lead agencies on all remaining actions. Public consultation on the respective Long Term Plans will commence in March 2018.
The adoption of the Arts & Culture Strategy is a significant milestone for CBOP who managed extensive consultation with the local creative sector over the past 12 months.
“We are delighted to have come this far and congratulate the sector and the Tauranga and Western Bay communities on completing what was truly a community led and engaged project that will now be community delivered,” says Michelle Whitmore, Chair of CBOP.
“Over 1000 people contributed to the strategy development which is the same number as Melbourne’s arts strategy, a significantly larger and truly aspirational cultural city of excellence.”
The ambitious strategy provides a framework for arts and cultural events and initiatives in the Western Bay of Plenty and Tauranga regions. Sonya Korohina, Chair of the Steering Group says “I am delighted with the outcome. Creative expression enables us as a community to share our stories, which in return shapes our culture and identity. Through adopting the strategy, we are prioritising not only economic growth, but human capital – community health and wellbeing.”
Please refer to our website for a copy of the strategy and for further updates as known.
*subject to decisions made in terms of funding and actions being determined via the Long Term Plan process


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