We are very excited to announce the launch of a new, much-needed arts initiative for the Thames-Coromandel District/Hauraki rohe – the pARTner Up Mentoring Programme.  


With support and funding from Creative New Zealand’s Arts Continuity Grant, pARTner Up will connect creatives with experienced artists, who between them hold a wealth of skills, knowledge and life experience, to help mentees take a significant step forward in their artistic careers. 


This coincides with the end of the COVID-19 lockdown and the ongoing need to sustain careers for artists, arts practitioners and technicians, groups and organisations. 


pARTner Up is a 9 month commitment but will be delivered in two phases. The first phase runs from mid June 2020 to 30 September 2020. The second phase will run through from Oct 2020 to March 2021 with a break over December and January.


As the go-to organisation for everything arts and creativity related in the Thames-Coromandel District, Creative Coromandel is fully committed to supporting local creatives to reach their full potential. 


The Thames-Coromandel region, while a beautiful location to live and work, is also isolated and individual communities are remote. This can prove challenging for artists of all disciplines, who may not always have the opportunity to work alongside or learn from other artists in their field, nor find ways to gain exposure for their practice outside of our communities. 


Currently, there is no artist mentoring programme in the Coromandel Peninsula and Hauraki rohe, which is responsive to the needs and aspirations of individual artists. 


To design this new initiative, we drew inspiration from a similar mentoring initiative run in Northland in 2010, called Crossing the Gap, facilitated by Mary Britton under the Cultural Heritage and Arts Resource Trust (CHART), which has since transitioned into Creative Northland


We also called on the expertise of Master Certified Coach and PapaAroha resident, Linley Rose, to facilitate the programme. Linley is a globally qualified and experienced coach and mentor, with close to 10,000 hours of coaching clients and training coaches in many diverse industry groups. 


“We are looking for creatives who are strongly committed to developing their art practice and are willing to see the programme through from start to finish,” explains Linley.


“Each creative will be paired with a mentor who will work with their mentee in the spirit of being their champion. The mentors will share their experiences and wisdom for success in the art world and encourage their mentee to step outside of their existing comfort zones”. 


Creative Coromandel wants mentee’s to be inspired to set goals around developing an art practice that is financially sustainable, making their art more visible on a broader stage, resolving a creative block or finding their artistic ‘voice’ at a higher level.


“It’s of utmost importance to us that our creatives are supported and encouraged to engage in their artistic practice, and feel confident in their abilities to set and achieve long-term career goals,” says Jan Wright, Chair of He Mana Toi Moehau Trust/Creative Coromandel.  “But not everyone wants to make a living from the arts, so this programme is also for creatives who feel driven to become the best they can possibly be in their practice.


“We have amazing artistic talent in this region and several nationally and internationally acclaimed artists call The Coromandel home. The aim for pARTner Up is to share knowledge and inspiration which supports creatives to make that very personal, and often quite daunting, transition from ‘good’ to ‘great’.


“This is how the idea for pARTner Up came about. We realised a formal facilitation of mentee-mentor relationships was needed, a programme that was grounded in coaching and mentoring principles rather than arts techniques or skills”.


With the creative arts playing such a significant role in making the Thames-Coromandel District and Hauraki rohe an attractive destination for domestic and international visitors, we believe pARTner Up will go a long way in strengthening the creative arts sector in this region. And we can’t wait to get started!  


We encourage all those interested in participating as either a mentor or mentee to get in touch with us.


How to Apply


If you or someone you know is interested in participating in the pARTner Up Mentoring Programme, as a mentee, we have limited places available in the first phase of the programme (27 June – 30 September). 


You need to: 


  • – Be a resident in the Thames, Coromandel or Hauraki region (TCDC and Hauraki rohe).
  • – Be committed to your art and have a level of competence in your field.
  • – Be working in any genre either visual and performing arts.
  • – Be prepared to commit to completing the programme and accepting the challenges that may arise from it.
  • – Be strongly keen to develop your art practice and/or your art business.


If you or someone you know is interested in participating in the pARTner Up Mentoring Programme, as a mentor, we have limited places available in the first phase of the programme (27 June – 30 September). 


You need to: 


  • – Be preferably a resident in the Waikato region.
  • – Be a well established successful arts professional who has achieved excellence in your art form.
  • – Be a champion for a mentee via one to one mentoring for 15 hours over 6 months.
  • – Be happy to share your experience as it relates to your mentee.
  • – Be an encouraging and supportive mentor to help the mentee step outside their comfort zone.
    • – Be willing to meet with the programme coordinator and fellow mentors to strengthen mentoring techniques for a proposed maximum of 8 hours over the life of the programme.


To request an application form, contact Kerryn Wakelin on 



Applications close Sunday 21 June, 5pm. 

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