Ria Hall Departs Director Role at Tauranga Arts Festival

Monday 29 June 2020

Singer-songwriter, presenter, and visual artist, Ria Hall is departing her position as director for the Tauranga Arts Festival. While she has been in the position for only four months, there is a very good reason for her sudden departure. The award-winning singer-songwriter is expecting her second child in September.

In a recent statement, Ria said, “It wasn’t my intention that my tenure should be so short,” Ms Hall says, “but as we’ve learned recently you never know what’s around the corner – and in my case, it’s turned out to be a lovely surprise.”

“It was a difficult decision to step down but it’s the best one for my whānau and the festival as it would be almost impossible to fulfill the demands of the job and be a mother to two very young children.”

Festival Trust chair Kathryn Lellman said the board admired and applauded Ms Hall’s championing of Te Ao Māori in every sphere of her life. “We were looking forward to seeing her energy and passion translate into our 2021 festival but wish her and her whānau all the best for the busy but joyous time ahead.”

The board is reviewing options for the 2021 festival director role. Other staff members remain unchanged with Nikki Hansen as general manager and Sandra Simpson as a literary programmer and publicist. 

Whakatau Ria!