governance

Te Uru Waitākere Contemporary Gallery Incorporated is a registered charity responsible for the governance of Te Uru. Our Charities Commission registration number is CC41215.

Our Patron is Sir Bob Harvey.

The current Te Uru Governance Committee were confirmed at the 2020 AGM.

  • Chairperson - Alison Booth

Dr Alison Booth is currently an independent researcher and a research affiliate at the Centre for Global Migration at the University of Otago, specialising in cultural representation, India diaspora and global community events. She is a teaching and research specialist in ethnography, festivalisation, social sustainability cultural representation of diasporic communities, event management theory and event production practices. She recently retired from an academic career at AUT and is a member of the Society of Ethnomusicology, New Zealand Asian Studies Society, International Association of Popular Music and the New Zealand Indian Research Institute. Her PhD, Performance Networks: Indian Cultural production in Aotearoa, (University of Otago) explores the processes and relationships that support the production of cultural events, with specific reference to events that are of interest to or produced by New Zealand's Indian communities. Alison holds a Masters in Creative and Performing Arts with honours from the University of Auckland, specialising in Arts Management, with primarily a world music performance and event production focus. Alison was co-opted to the committee in May 2017, elected at the 2017 AGM, has been Acting Chair since 2018 and Chair since 2019.

  • Secretary –  Elizabeth Turner

Dr Elizabeth Turner lives in Titirangi and is an independent researcher affiliated to Auckland University of Technology, where she worked for 24 years as a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Society and Culture. With teaching and research expertise across disciplines at AUT in the fields of applied linguistics, academic literacies, academic and research writing and cultural studies, she continues to provide writing advice for academic colleagues and postgraduate students at the university. Elizabeth's PhD research drew on the work of Mikhail Bakhtin, who viewed utterances as ethical acts and meaning as dependent on social and cultural context. Her doctoral thesis contributes to knowledge in the fields of cultural studies, popular music studies and Bakhtin studies; it explores the construction of social commentary, protest and resistance in the discourse of New Zealand band Herbs’ first album, What’s Be Happen? Elizabeth was invited to join the committee in 2020 and became Secretary at the 2020 AGM.

  • Treasurer - Steve Tollestrup

Steve Tollestrup has lived in West Auckland since 1985 and has served the community through the local Resident’s Association, Auckland Council Waitākere Ranges Local Board and Waitākere Licensing Trust. Steve is the Director of Ploughshare Consulting, a specialist consultancy focused on the Not for Profit and community sector that offers advice in planning, governance, fundraising, promotion, organisational development, and executive mentoring. Steve has a strong commitment to supporting the arts as critical to community well-being and development. He attended art school in the United States and throughout his life has pursued an interest in the global art scene. Steve was invited to join the committee in 2020 and became Treasurer at the 2020 AGM.

  • Elected member - Mark Harvey

Mark Harvey is a Titirangi based artist, specialising in a range of contemporary practices, including but not limited to performance and video. He has presented work extensively nationally and internationally including the 55th Venice Biennale and the New Zealand Festival of the Arts at City Gallery Wellington. He is a Senior Lecturer in Creative Arts and Industries at The University of Auckland and holds a PhD from AUT’s School of Art and Design. Mark was an Ecomatters board member (2013-2019) and he helps to co-organise the local conservation group, Waima Laingholm Pest Free. Mark Harvey joined the committee in August 2018 and was endorsed at the 2018 AGM. He was elected at the 2019 AGM.

  • Elected member - Charlotte Graham

Charlotte Graham, of Māori descent, identifies with Ngāti Mahuta, Ngāi Tai ki Tāmaki, Ngāti Whanaunga, Ngāti Pāoa and Ngāti Tamaoho. Her art practice draws on her Māori heritage to explore critical issues that affect New Zealand society such as racism, cultural stereotyping and land rights, particularly the controversial foreshore and seabed legislation. Graham graduated with a Bachelor of Māori Visual Art from Massey University, studying under Robert Jahnke, Shane Cotton and Kura Te Waru Rewiri. After completing her bachelors in visual art, Graham trained as a teacher and worked at secondary schools in Auckland, including Māori boarding school St Stephens, while continuing to make art, and has since contributed to many solo and group exhibitions. She believes that the foreshore and seabed controversy was the issue that gave her the political drive as an artist. Charlotte Graham was endorsed as a committee member at the 2019 AGM. She was elected at the 2021 AGM.

  • Co-opted member – Andrea Low

Dr Andrea Low is Associate Curator, Contemporary World at Auckland Museum. She was previously Project Curator Pacific on the exhibition Tāmaki Herenga Waka: Stories of Auckland at the museum which opened in January 2021 and will run for ten years. Andrea's doctorate Sound Travels, researched the transmission of Hawaiian music through the Pacific, Australasia and in Asia in the period between the two world wars. Andrea is a regular contributor to the Museum website of articles that trace histories of Pacific peoples in Tāmaki and the wider Pacific. 

Prior to her various roles at Auckland Museum, Andrea taught in the Anthropology and Fine Arts departments at the University of Auckland. Andrea has a PhD in Anthropology (Ethnomusicology), an MFA in Sculpture and a BA in English, all from the University of Auckland. Andrea traces her whakapapa to the ahupua'a of Kahana on the northeast shore of O'ahu, Hawai'i; to the villages of Fasito'otai, Toamua, and Solosolo on the island of Upolu in Samoa; to Tongareva/Penrhyn, Fanning Island and Fiji. Andrea has ties to both Ayr and Argyle in Scotland and these entanglements of history, identity, biography and place are central to Andrea’s research interests. Andrea joined the committee in November 2021.

  • Local Board representative – Mark Allen

Mark Allen is the Waitākere Ranges Local Board representative and so is a non-voting member of the committee. He is also the Executive Officer for Community Waitākere and a Waitākere Licensing Trust member. Prior to joining Community Waitākere and then being a local board member, Mark has worked in local government for over 30 years in a wide variety of roles including as a summer major events organiser, a community developer, the Waitākere City Leisure Services manager, a social wellbeing broker, a strategist, and most recently as the Senior Local Board Advisor with the Whau Local Board. He was raised in Laingholm, acted at Titirangi Theatre and now lives with his partner in the bush at Bethells Beach/Te Henga in a home they built themselves. He is a passionate advocate for the arts reaching into and reflecting on our diverse and unique communities of place and identity in the Waitākere Ranges.

  • Ex-officio member - Andrew Clifford

Te Uru Director, Andrew Clifford, attends governance meetings in an ex-officio capacity to report on Te Uru's operations - he joined the organisation in November 2013. He was previously Curator and Acting Director at the University of Auckland's Centre for Art Studies, where he helped manage the university's Gus Fisher Gallery and art collection. Also with a long-standing practice as a freelance writer, his research interests span the worlds of contemporary art, performance, new media and music, and he has contributed many articles to publications throughout the Asia-Pacific region. Essays have been printed in publications about Billy Apple, Lisa Reihana, Len Lye, Sean Kerr, Reuben Paterson, and a chapter on invented instruments for Home, Land and Sea: Situating Music in Aotearoa. Alongside his writing, from 2002-2007 he produced music programmes for Radio New Zealand, preceded by 10 years producing and presenting a variety of shows for 95bFM. He has been a judge for the Wallace Art Awards, a juror for the Walters Prize and has sat on various other selection panels. He is also a trustee for the Len Lye Foundation and CIRCUIT.

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