Our Story

In the heart of New Zealand’s cultural capital, a hub for creative students is about to emerge. It will be a world-class institute, delivering leading programmes in creativity and innovation. It will stand proud of our place in the Pacific, in our home of Aotearoa, New Zealand.

Please note that this render is indicative only and signage placement is still to be finalised.

Wellington has a reputation for world-class screen production and technology development. It is a national arts, music, dance, museum, festival and events mecca. It is the perfect location for an institute of applied creativity.

This new and innovative institute will welcome and inspire our next generation of creatives. It will attract the story-tellers, the circuit-breakers, the challengers, the inventors, the communicators, the artisans, the leaders and the visionaries of the future. It will be the place to study for those who want to turn their aspirations into reality.

Students will be surrounded by like-minded, ambitious peers and expert tutors, working in new, purpose-built facilities. It will be a place where creativity and talent will collide, combine and evolve. 

Bringing together these shapers, creators and innovators, into a single space, is the inspiration for the name for the new building,

“Te Kāhui Auaha” “the cluster of creativity”.

This will be the home of “Te Auaha”, meaning “the creative” – the New Zealand Institute of Applied Creativity.

“Te Auaha” is a proud and strong name, which celebrates and welcomes the students who will enter through its doors.

Te Auaha’s description as the “New Zealand Institute of Applied Creativity” communicates its position as a leader in delivering educational excellence, with a focus on experiential learning in a stimulating shared environment that will broaden students creative skills and prepare them for success in the creative sector.

Our Campus

Opening in 2018, Te Auaha will welcome up to 1,000 students and staff converging on the heart of Wellington’s arts and cultural community to learn together in a vibrant new campus. 


Te Kāhui Auaha also includes specialist learning spaces designed to house:

-  dance studios, rehearsal and performance spaces for theatre and stage
-  digital recording studios for musicians and artists
-  control-mixing rooms and an in-house radio station
-  stylists’ studios and salons for hair, beauty and make-up artistry
-  workshops for woodwork and fabrication for creative technologies, jewellery making and sculpture
-  film photography studio and dark rooms
-  a 250 seat theatre, and
-  a 60-seat cinema.

Visual Identity

Our visual identity draws on the concept of giving a voice to the creative students who will attend Te Auaha.

Caption to be written

It combines an exclamation mark symbolising the unique, creative voice our students will find, with a waharoa, or gateway, to a creative future. Together, they form the “A” in Auaha.

The identity uses the black and yellow that identifies it as belonging to Wellington - the creative heart of New Zealand. Yellow is also associated with joy, happiness, intellect and energy.

The use of photography to showcase the essence of our students’ creative output is a way that we can celebrate Te Auaha’s vibrant and unique personality and inject this voice into the brand.

The brand identity is a strong, confident and unique visual mark. It is easy to identify and simple to draw. It can be interpreted in many ways to represent the different programmes within “Te Auaha.”

We envisage that the students themselves will explore, interpret and develop Te Auaha and over time will be the ones to bring to life our world class, New Zealand Institute of Applied Creativity.


Māori definition

The word “auaha” could mean any of the following – to shape, create, form, fashion, creative, innovative

“Te Kāhui” is a term commonly heard among Taranaki Whānui and lends the support to “auaha” which means – cluster, hub, clan, flock, company.

Therefore “Te Kāhui Auaha” can be interpreted as any of the following:

-   The Innovative Cluster/Hub
-   The Creative Cluster/Hub

We are grateful to Te Atiawa and Ngāti Toa for their support and assistance in the design and selection of our name.

The Māori saying

Pupuke te hihiri
From the welling up of emotions to a sense of desire

Pupuke te mahara
From the welling up of emotions to creative thought

Pupuke te wānanga
From the welling up of emotions to new found knowledge

Te wānanga nui o te kāhui auaha
The abundance of philosophical knowledge of the innovative cluster