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PANNZ Announce Changes to Executive, Joins CNZ investment Programme

The Performing Arts Network of New Zealand (PANNZ) announces new executive appointments and multi-year funding as it joins Creative New Zealand's Toi Uru Kahikatea investment programme.


The Performing Arts Network of New Zealand (PANNZ) announces the appointment of Bernadette Haldane, Amber Curreen, Charlie Unwin & Frances McElhinney to their board, as well as Megan Peacock Coyle taking on the role of Chair. Megan says it is an invigorating time to lead the organisation, with PANNZ joining Creative New Zealand’s Toi Uru Kahikatea investment programme. PANNZ has received multi-year funding towards internationalising the PANNZ Arts Market, including the addition of 3 full-length showcases to the Market programme, planning for 2020 and continuing on the considerable success of Tour-Makers, in delivering high-quality professional New Zealand theatre, music and dance throughout New Zealand.

Megan Peacock Coyle, has re-joined the PANNZ board and is stepping back into the role of Chair, taking over from James Wilson, who has recently stepped down from the role after three years. James’ contribution to PANNZ has been immense and the current board and staff would like to acknowledge his passion, support and positive impact on our industry. PANNZ would also like to thank outgoing board members Philip Tremewan, Dolina Wehipeihana and Sarah Anderson for their years of outstanding service and their tireless commitment to the arts in New Zealand. 

PANNZ new Chair was recently appointed Hawke’s Bay Opera House and Arts Precinct Manager and has a long history in venue management, programming and presenting in NZ. She has held key roles at the Baycourt Community & Arts Centre as Manager, Oamaru Opera House, where she was Director, and previously at the Hawke’s Bay Opera House, as Arts Programming Manager. Megan says, “The PANNZ Executive provides strong representation across our membership. Bernie, Charlie, Amber and Frances bring a wealth of experience and will be valuable in providing guidance across an array of opportunities for our industry, at a significant turning point”. 

Bernadette Haldane is Head of Programming & Presenter Services at Auckland Live and brings extensive and varied venue management and international touring experience. Prior to joining the team at Auckland Live, Bernie’s key industry roles included serving as Director, Presenter Services at Arts Centre Melbourne and as Chief Executive of HotHouse Theatre. 

Bernie has served on numerous Australian industry groups with a focus on touring nationally and internationally and brings a passion for supporting artists to extend the life of their work. She is also recipient of a Churchill Fellowship investigating sustainable theatre models, producer/presenter relationships and practices for new work development and touring in the UK, Canada and USA.  

She is thrilled to join the PANNZ Board and says that she’s pleased to be able to contribute to the international opportunities for artists through PANNZ and to build on established international relationships. She says, “it is an exciting time for New Zealand artists, with growing opportunities for international exposure.” 

Amber Curreen is part of the whanau that established Te Pou Theatre and currently holds a leadership role as Kaihautū – Taha Whānau at the performance venue. Amber is a tikanga Māori focused producer with extensive experience in delivering professional theatre with companies such as: SmackBang Theatre Company, Te Rehia Theatre Company and Ruia Taitea Creative. 

Amber has a focus on international indigenous arts exchange. Part of the indigenous curatorial team for First Nations Exchange at APAM 2018, she is currently developing exchange and collaboration with indigenous theatre companies in Australia, Canada and Ireland. Amber strives for a strong tikanga based arts practice and the presentation of high quality, innovative story-telling that brings Te Ao Māori to the stage and supports the reclamation and revitalisation of te reo Māori. 

Amber feels it is the right time in the arts for change and development within the Arts Market and touring, “PANNZ is the weave that brings together artists, their work and those who support its presentation”. 

Charlie Unwin is currently the Director of the Nelson Arts Festival. He has worked extensively in the performing arts as an actor, director and producer in Auckland before stepping in to the role of Director at SmackBang Theatre Company alongside Tainui Tukiwaho, Amber Curreen and Gabrielle Vincent. He joined The EDGE in 2008 and, in the role of Associate Producer Development Programmes, worked on the STAMP Programme and Auckland Fringe amongst other things. In 2011, Charlie left Auckland for Nelson to take on the role of the Nelson Arts Festival’s Producer, before becoming Director in 2016.

He says that PANNZ flag-ship event, the PANNZ Arts Market, brings artists, presenters and venues together and is “ideal for knowledge sharing and support”. He is thrilled to join the PANNZ board at a time where “we have the opportunity to really advocate for the sector and make things happen.” 

Frances McElhinney is Director at the Oamaru Opera House and the biennial Waitaki Arts Festival. An experienced venue manager, Frances was Manager at the Nelson School of Music for 8 years, as well as being Festival Director for the annual Nelson Winter Festival, before moving to Oamaru. She was involved with the Nelson Jazz & Blues Festival as Festival Director, and has recently been appointed trustee for the Oamaru Whitestone Civic Trust. Frances is a champion for the performing arts in the South Island, regularly supporting the touring of professional New Zealand work. She managed the South Island touring consortium for 4 years. She says that PANNZ provides a key “support network for both practitioners and venues”, and she’s happy to be returning to the Executive Committee.  

Further information: 

PANNZ Board: Megan Peacock Coyle (Chair), Bernadette Haldane, Charlie Unwin, Amber Curreen and Frances McElhinney.

PANNZ Team: Louise Gallagher (Executive Director), Drew James (Executive Producer), Stephanie Richardson (Marketing & Audience Development Manager), Andrew Malmo (Production Manager, Arts Market 2019) and Lesley-Anne Carey (Office Manager).

Media enquiries: Stephanie Richardson, (021) 560 114,

Written by

Performing Arts Network of New Zealand

20 Aug 2018