Pacific Dance New Zealand (PDNZ) was formed in 2010 and is located at 147 Great North Road, Grey Lynn in Auckland. It is a development organisation delivering a wide range of services for the Pacific dance sector of New Zealand. The organisation is governed by the Pacific Islands Dance Fono Trust.

Taualeo’o Stephen Stehlin


Stephen has extensive experience in the NZ Television Industry. He is the Executive Producer of Tagata Pasifika and is Chairperson of the Pacific Islands Dance Fono Trust, and member of both the AUT Council and the Pacific Islands Advisory Board to ProCare.

Cathryn Laban

Board Member

Cathryn has an extensive background in business administration, customer service and event management in public and private sectors. She was the Performing Arts Manager for St Cuthbert’s College and has experience in media. She is a New Zealand-born Samoan and has a real passion for helping others, especially Pacific people as she was brought up in a family who are heavily involved with Pacific communities. Cathryn has a love for the Performing/Creative arts, she firmly believes in the concept of paying it forward and helping others not just here in Aotearoa, New Zealand but also in the Pacific regions.

Kolokesa Uafā Māhina-Tuai

Board Member

Kolokesa Uafā Māhina-Tuai is an independent curator, arts advocate and writer. She is of Tongan heritage, from the villages of Tatakamotonga in Tongatapu and Tefisi in Vava’u. Kolokesa’s background is in Art History, Social Anthropology and Museums and Heritage Studies. She champions a holistic and cyclical perspective of Moana Oceania arts that is rooted in indigenous knowledges and practices. Kolokesa has worked as a curator at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa (Te Papa) and more recently at Tāmaki Paenga Hira Auckland War Memorial Museum. She is currently working as an independent curator and research advisor on the ‘Visible Voices Project’ at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki. Kolokesa is also a Research Associate at Tāmaki Paenga Hira focusing on researching and writing a major new history of craft in Aotearoa and the wider Moana with Dr Damian Skinner and Karl Chitham. She is also working with Hūfanga Professor ‘Ōkusitino Māhina on writing the first book of Tongan arts from a Tongan perspective.

Image courtesy of Tāmaki Paenga Hira Auckland War Memorial Museum.

Tania Kopytko

Board Member

Dr Tania Kopytko is based in Palmerston North and works freelance in dance and arts, developing community projects and collaborations as well as lecturing and writing on dance. She has a PhD in Dance Anthropology from the Queen’s University of Belfast, Northern Ireland. Her key interest is the role and significance of dance in our communities and societies. Tania was the Executive Director of DANZ (the national service org. for the NZ dance industry) from 2004-2015. Before that she worked in dance and arts development internationally and in New Zealand. She was involved in setting up Pacific Dance New Zealand has been a Board Director since its formation.

Eseta Le’au

Board Member

In her day job at the Pacific Business Trust Eseta manages programmes that explore economic development as a tool, empowering our communities to become global leaders in enterprise. New to the Pacific Islands Dance Fono aiga, she is excited to help create commercial realities for creative artists in Aotearoa where possible. She is a graduate of the University of Auckland with a commerce and law degree.

Pacific Islands Dance Fono Trust Deed


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