Victoria Spackman appointed to lead Te Auaha

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Recognised as one of New Zealand’s most influential business women and advocate for the creative arts sector, Victoria Spackman ONZM has been appointed to lead Te Auaha.

Victoria Spackman, whose ONZM is for services to theatre, film and television, takes up the role of Director Te Auaha in May 2017 when she leaves her current role of CEO of the visitor experience, film and television production company Gibson Group.

Roger Sowry Chair of WelTec and Whitireia, the institutions establishing Te Auaha, which will open early 2018 says, “Victoria Spackman has the skills and experience to lead the formation of Te Auaha, establishing it as New Zealand’s Institute of Applied Creativity. She is very well placed to take up this leadership role particularly with her experience as a Chief Executive and Board member of Education NZ.

"We are establishing a prodigious reputation for Te Auaha in New Zealand and internationally, building on Whitireia and WelTec's long-standing delivery in applied arts and creative technologies.

"Te Kāhui Auaha, the name of the new campus on Cuba/Dixon Streets in Wellington – New Zealand’s creative capital city - is currently being fitted-out to a very high standard reflecting a modern tertiary learning environment with outstanding facilities for theatre, performance, music, broadcasting and art. Creative technologies and applied arts programmes ranging from certificates through to Master’s level will draw students from around New Zealand and overseas.

"When Te Auaha opens in 2018 we will be at the cutting edge of creative technologies and able to support Wellington’s flourishing film and television production companies as well as others in the creative sector," says Roger Sowry. "Victoria Spackman is the ideal person with her background in the arts and law, and her experience in Wellington’s theatre and film sector to drive Te Auaha to reach its full potential."

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Victoria Spackman outside Te Kāhui Auaha

Victoria Spackman says, "Te Auaha will be a leading contributor to Wellington’s creative scene. It will match Te Papa and WOW as a major draw card for students and visitors to Wellington. The campus will be incredibly vibrant with up to 1000 students and 100 staff on site. I’m looking forward to welcoming the public to performances, concerts and exhibitions in the galleries, studios and theatres under construction at Te Auaha. We’re going to invite the creative community to mix, mingle and exchange ideas with young talented creators at Te Auaha as our spaces are opened up to industry and the public.

"I’m incredibly excited to be part of this new venture and I can’t wait to meet the exceptionally talented staff and students who will form Te Auaha and work with them to realise its full potential," says Victoria Spackman.

Victoria Spackman is a co-owner of the Gibson Group and its current Chief Executive. She has degrees and post graduate qualifications across theatre, film, law and linguistics.

In 2012 she was awarded the prestigious Private Sector In-House Lawyer of the Year Award by the New Zealand Law Society to recognise her contribution to the profession and the Gibson Group. Victoria was recognised as a Women of Influence in the 2015 nationwide awards and in June 2016 was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to theatre, film and television in the Queen's 90th Birthday Honours List.

Victoria also has strong governance experience, having chaired Wellington’s iconic BATS Theatre for 12 years, served two three-year terms on the Screenrights board and sat on the SPADA executive board for six years. In 2015 she was appointed by the Minister of Tertiary Education to the board of Education New Zealand. She is recognised as a leader in the creative sector and brings skills, experience and interests quite different to most in the industry. She has high-quality connections in NZ’s creative and technology industries, central and local government, as well as in the creative industries in Australia and China.

Executive Producer credits include NZ Idol, two series of Street Hospital and various other productions for the Gibson Group. She has also undertaken legal, financing and structuring work on films such as We’re Here to Help, Sione’s Wedding and Fresh Meat and international TV co-productions Kidnapped, Maddigan’s Quest, Captain Cook: Obsession and Discovery, Panic at Rock Island and Paradise Café.