Indigenous brands, Maori business, Kaupapa Growth and innovation, collaborative pilot projects, culture connection and exchange, design enabled economic, culturally enriched.

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Desna Whaanga-Schollum (Chairperson)   B.Des (vis com), Toi Iho

Pae Matua

Tamaki Makaurau Environmental Planning and Management, Art, Design, Co-Design

Ngāti Rongomaiwahine + Ngāti Kahungunu + Ngāti Pāhauwera

Founding member
Nga Aho Chairperson 2016
Co-Chair 2011-15

Born in 1976, raised Mahia / Wairoa (East Coast, NZ). Completed B.Design (Visual Communications) 1997, Unitec, Auckland. Currently member of Otago Uni, Indigenous Agro-Ecology research team, Masters in Science Communications candidate.

Director of DWS Creative ltd; Designer, Artist and Researcher, Desna's work is connected through the kaupapa of exploration and articulation of identity. 

"We look to past tāonga to see how the tangata whenua of that time interacted and what their world views were, our contemporary mahi designs our cultural futures."

Desna has recently worked as a photographer and researcher for Te Tira Whakaemi o Te Wairoa - Mahia/Wairoa Treaty of Waitangi claims and is actively involved in Māori Identity discourse in Aotearoa via exhibitions, hui, design and arts events / speaking engagements. 

Desna’s art and design work is accredited with the inaugural toi iho mark of Māori arts authenticity and quality.
• Committee member of annual Mahia Māori Arts Exhibition, Gifted Sands (estb. 1999)
• GDSNZ, Accreditation Board
• Artspace, Board of Trustees
• Te Uru, Governance Board

m  021 289 1180
fax  021 289 1180

Desna Whaanga-Schollum (Chairperson)

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