The Mauao Performing Arts Centre, soon to be named ‘Totara Street’


This is a special review of the amazing MAUAO P.A.C events venue which I am very excited to showcase to you here on ARTbop.


Although the venue has been holding concerts there for 3 or 4 years, (as part of student concerts linked to the School), it has evolved into much more of a reality over the last year with some very successful public gigs. We’ve reviewed several of these shows on ARTbop including the gigs for Swamp Thing and Sidewalk Empire. Many more acts have already performed there including The Deeds, Riverhead Slide, Brilleaux, The Phonics, Kokomo, Dee DeLuca, My Baby, Les DeMerle, The Hipstamatics, Spank the Funky, Rodger Fox, Shaken not Stirred, War of Ages, Hand of Mercy and Mel Parsons.

11281757_835356179905799_970355915_nMauao P.A.C (Mauao Performing Arts Centre) is a community centre set up specifically to foster and promote music and performing arts in the greater Tauranga area. Incorporated in the centre is a 423 sq meter events room with a mezzanine floor covering the full length and width of the venue, with a maximum capacity of 400 people. The events room is essentially a mini version of the Powerstation. Fully equipped with staging, lighting truss, Martin Audio sound system, house lighting rig and infrastructure to allow for large scale shows. With high ceilings and great sight lines from downstairs and the mezzanine floor, this is the brand new premier live music venue in Tauranga.

It is important to mention that, In the near future, the name of the venue will be changed to ‘TOTARA STREET’, but for the meantime it still holds the name of Mauao Performing Arts Centre. The venue is located in the centre of the Mount Maunganui township at 11 Totara Street. It is situated at the back of Mauao Performing Arts Centre and will be branded as ‘TOTARA STREET’ in the coming months with an official launch event to coincide with the name-change. We’ll be sure to cover this event on ARTbop.

I can envision big NZ touring bands performing here, as the venue size and facilities are perfect for contemporary acts such as Shihad, Devilskin, Silence the City, Black River Drive, Tiki Taane, Katchafire, Kora, Shape Shifter, P-Money, and many other successful NZ artists.11350214_835356189905798_848291378_n

My own personal experience of the venue is a very good one. The space of the room has been utilised very well, with a large main floor area in front of a very sizeable stage. As a musician myself, I am impressed with the decent size of the stage, both width and depth. Plenty of room on the floor for punters, dancers and fans alike, with a bar to the left. A large staircase leads up to the mezzanine where people can either sit back and relax in the lounge-style seating or lean over the banisters and enjoy an epic view of the stage. Surrounding the lounge area is a tasteful collection of art that helps add to the musical theme of the venue. It’s also worth noting that a cafe/bar is due to open on the mezzanine next to the lounge seating. Such a well thought-out layout with everything a music loving punter could want. There are even large drapes hanging from the right wall of the event room. The high ceilings really create an exciting feeling of space and atmosphere.

11301432_835356166572467_908811367_nJay has assured me that they will be improving the acoustics by installing acoustic tiles to the ceiling and doing everything possible to deaden any unwanted echo. With Aaron Saxon also at the helm of the Mauao PAC, we can be assured that ‘sound’ and ‘acoustics’ will be treated with the seriousness of a veteran musician.

There are still a few more finishing touches to be done, but this venue is already set up to accommodate and to deliver a successful show with all the trimmings: Big stage, large dance floor, Quality P.A system, bar, mezzanine and cafe… what more could you want


!! Actually there is another thing you might want… the chance to see a big group such as Trinity Roots performing here. Well, your wish is their command, as the group is booked to perform there on Wednesday the 10th of June. Doors open at 7pm and tickets can be pre-purchased via Trinity Roots are giving a nation wide tour to celebrate the release of their new album, Citizen. The band have already had a successful career with their previous albums achieving platinum sales. This will be a night that you won’t want to miss. A real musical treat for the people of Tauranga and the Mount.

I am very excited that there is such a great live convert venue in the Tauranga area. This is something that Tauranga has needed for a long time, so let’s get behind the team at The Mauao P.A.C and get along to the shows that they have planned for us. I certainly will be ! There is also a hint that Knightshade will be performing there later in the year. So keep a close eye on the gig roster for nights such as these. Visit them at:


11301469_835356163239134_1825780362_nA run-down of the spec’s for sound and lighting at the Mauao PAC venue:

4 x Martin Audio W3 Tops and 4 x Martin Audio WSX Subs (2 per side) powered by Macro-tech 2400,s
Presonus Studio live 24/4 console with iMac connected.
FOH Desk capable of 8 sends, amps and speakers for 7 Sends
6 Sends using 4 x Martin LE12J wedges and 2 x RH TRC121/9 wedges, plus drum fill using QSC KW122 top and KW181 Sub, separate foldback mix available by request.
Beta 58’s
SM 58’s
PG 81’s

2 x Par 64 Led Cans
6 x Par 56 Led Cans
3 x Small Led Movers
2 x Larger Movers
SGM Desk


By Kingsley Smith: 

Kingsley Kingsley Smith is a veteran musician who cut his teeth in the Hamilton music scene 25 years ago. He has been in dozens of original and cover bands. Has opened for Tania Donnelly, Anika Moa, Pluto, Renee Geyer, and The Black Seeds. Has 3 solo albums and recorded keyboards for other artists including Cassidy and Max Creepy. He is a multi-instrumentalist in his home recording studio and has been working hard this past year on new material for a new studio rock project known as Audio Storm. Kingsley also produce’s and DJ’s a music radio show called the NZ Hard Rock Show featuring the latest original hard rock from all around the country. It is played on 12 FM stations around NZ and also overseas on Rock Bandom Radio.


Photos By Baz Mantis:

Baz Mantis Artbop Avatar (1)

Baz Mantis is a Tauranga based photographer, recording artist and film maker who has
been the chief photographer for ARTbop Alternative since 2014. Alongside his passion
for experimenting with visual imagery in multiple genres, he is also a musician and has
released an album and several music videos as The D-Day Saints, which features 7guest vocalists from around the North Island. In betweenphotographic assignments, Mantis is busy writing and recording new material for the Saints as well as crafting the sequel to his 2012 underground cult horror/comedy film Chair Evil, and he has a website @

About Author

ARTbop has been written, collated and distributed as a free Bay of Plenty arts focused periodical to cafes in Tauranga and its surrounds.  Starting as a simple text newsletter, ARTbop now has several excellent contributors and covers a wide range of topics informing readers of the thriving art scene and interesting events that happen in the Bay of Plenty. You might have heard about us through friends, or even picked up a copy to read while you were out having coffee. We've got lots of exciting and ambitious plans for this website.  If you’re interested in contributing, advertising or you would like to profile your portfolio on our artists gallery, or have an event that you think should be reviewed, please contact us at

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