Mātanga Kaiwhakatauira



    ‘ĀKAU Mātanga Kaiwhakatauira’ is a new opportunity for established designers, across any discipline, to contribute to the ĀKAU kaupapa while learning new skills and mātauranga to fill up their kete and creative practice.

    DETAILS : 1-year contract. Part or Full time. Preferably based in KaikoheTe Taitokerau, but for the right candidate we'd be open to them being based in a remote office with approximately one week a month being in Kaikohe, Te Taitokerau.

    ĀKAU strives to empower taitamariki (young people) around Aotearoa to become connected, creative learners. We help taitamariki recognize and harness the creativity of their tupuna by involving them in tangible projects that have real impact for taitamariki, their whānau and their community.

    As part of this opportunity, the experienced designer will help develop community design projects alongside the ĀKAU team and taitamariki that we engage with. We are looking forward to working with someone who has a high level of design conceptualisation and the ability to deliver these through to a high-quality tangible outcome.

    In 2020 we are particularly looking for designers with a focus on graphic, architectural, landscape, placemaking or spatial design.

    An understanding of Te Ao Māori and Te Reo Māori me ōna tikanga or a strong willingness to learn is a definite advantage.

    We engage taitamariki in the design of our projects, this designer will need to be passionate about developing taitamariki concepts through to completion. We see this as a mutually beneficial process where we learn from each other for the benefit of the kaupapa! As well as developing great concepts the designer will also need to:

    • Project Manage a range of projects

    • Ensure design outputs are to a high standard

    • Support ĀKAU Leaders! (our young design leaders) to increase their design, technical and project-related skills

    • Mahitahi! We are a very tight team at ĀKAU so this person will need to be able to work collaboratively with us as well as our extended whanau.


    Each year we work on a range of community projects in various communities. To date this has been as varied as community flags, a taonga trail, pou kōrero, interior design, forts, kākahu, basketball courts, urban design through to architectural projects. This is a few kaupapa planned for 2020:

    Where taitamariki and creatives connect through design to create street light installation that feeds the soul and supports safer communities.

    A series of community placemaking interventions to enliven the Kaikohe Streetscape including promoting the use of Te Reo Māori through design and upgrading buildings and community space.


    To enquire or to apply please contact Ana Heremaia. We’d love to hear about what you’re passionate about and some examples of your previous mahi and experiences. It's important to find the right fit and we'd appreciate it you could get back to us by February 18th, 2020 if you're interested. After a kōrero we can send you a more detailed Job Description and potentially go through a more robust interviewing process. ana@akau.co.nz or 021 0291 9799

    Working with ĀKAU since early 2019 has been a deep experience and rich exchange of mātauranga, reflected in awesome design concepts by taitamariki. My role as kaitautoko is alongside the ĀKAU whanau and taitamariki to help design and develop community projects with real, tangible outcomes that are meaningful and relevant.

    To see taitamariki empowered by design, the ĀKAU kaupapa, is breathtaking — they are the future kaitiaki of Aotearoa. To be given space to learn te ao Māori and tīkanga by working with ĀKAU ... kei ngā whakawhetai mō tēnei ahau.

    Catherine Griffiths