Enrolling Now For 2018 

The Bachelor of Performing Arts (Pacific) 2018 intake, BOOK YOUR PLACE NOW by filling in the Contact Us form above or call FREE on 0800GOPIPA.


The PIPA 2017 Bachelor graduating class presents- Lima, a new dance-theatre work directed by Sima Urale with choreography by Teokotai Patai. Costumes by the award winning Lindah Lepou, sound by the remix master Anonymouz, vocals led by Milly Grant and surreal lighting by Peter Davison. Lima is devised and performed by the first ever Year 3 Bachelor PIPA students. Check out our posts on our LIMA FB page:(Click here)

Tēnā koe! Talofa! Malo e lelei! Bula vinaka! Fakaalofa lahi atu! Fakatalofa atu! Kia orana! Malo ni!

Welcome to the Pacific Institute of Performing Arts (PIPA).

Do you want to be an Actor, Dancer, Performer, Choreographer, and a Creator of new works? Do you want to learn in an environment that encourages learning and growth through creative exploration, and fosters young performers who are passionate about telling the stories of Aotearoa and the Pacific? Then PIPA is the place for you!!

We are a performing arts school with a difference. For ten years we have been in the business of turning out triple threats with a twist! This is an action packed and vibrant performing arts school with a strong Pacific cultural foundation. We have a brand-new, purpose built, campus in the heart of Avondale with 3 main studios, a performance space and class rooms. Our students are taught by permanent and guest tutors, directors and choreographers who are current leading industry professionals.

Anapela Polataivao

“I love that those established in the industry come and see these young people work and take them under their wing…”

What the Industry Says About PIPA

“With the growth in multi-platform media playout in television, there is a constant demand for fresh young talent with professional practice in contemporary performance and on – camera training. PIPA has lead the way in preparing a plethora of young Pacific people to get into the highly competitive world of television production.

TVNZ has sourced a number of presenters and programme talent from the ranks of this excellent training facility. PIPA students have been chosen as presenters on the TV2 Polyfest series and the long running Tagata Pasifika programme has recently employed another PIPAstudent as its main programme anchor.

PIPA has been invaluable in upskilling young Pacific people, whose faces are becoming increasingly popular in mainstream media.” – Lisa Taouma (FRESH TV & Coconet TV Producer)

The Pacific Institute of Performing Arts (PIPA) provides an open learning environment suitable for everyone. A place where imagination has no limits and self-expression is welcomed. Performing Arts has the Pacific at heart – from dancing, to film, drama and musical theatre.

We are privileged to continually have an amazing group of well-known and respected members of the Performing Arts community as permanent and guest tutors, who freely share their knowledge and expertise with students. The industry is hungry for fresh faces and talent and to hear new stories and this is the place for you to prepare. We work in partnership with you to shape and strengthen your abilities as a performer.

Bronwyn Bradley

PIPA Co-Leader

A Graduate of Toi Whakaari, New Zealand Drama school Bronwyn has over 20 years experience as an actor on stage and screen….

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A selection of her work over the last few years includes; Sons, Good Soul of Szechwan and Kings of the Gym for Auckland Theatre Company, Assasins, Top Girls and 8GB for Silo Theatre Company, tours to Australia, Germany and London with Live Live Cinema and series 1-4 of South Pacific Pictures popular TV series Go Girls. Bronwyn has been Head of Acting at PIPA for two years and stepped up to co-leader of school in February this year. Bronwyn holds a Bachelor of Speech and Language Therapy and worked as an SLT from 2005 – 2013 in a range of roles for the ADHB including stroke rehab and acute neurological assessment and care.

Cathy Livermore

Head of Dance

A prolific creator and passionate advocate for all forms of dance Cathy has been Head of Dance at PIPA since 2013….

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In addition to this role she works as creator, choreographer and dancer with a range of dance companies and practitioners including Dancing Earth, New Mexico, Atamira Dance Company and Red Leap Physical Theatre Company. Her recent choreographic and performance includes Wai me? Pacific Skin: International multimedia interactive performance, Taharangi as part of the SCANZ International Art Residency Taranaki, Water Strategy, Toi Tangata Annual Wananga, Dunedin, Seed-Dancing Earth 10 year Anniversary on which she worked in collaboration with 25 international artists in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA and Wai Ahua at the Emergent Ecologies Oceanic Performance Bienniel. Cathy has a wealth of experience as a dance tutor including at Unitec Institute of Technology, NZ Institute of Sport, Oceania Centre of the Arts and four years as the Head of Contemporary Dance Programme at Whitireia Performing Arts.

Dr Bert van Dijk

Lead Researcher and Academic Advisor

Dutch born and New Zealand based Bert van Dijk is a theatre practitioner, social & clinical psychologist, director, scholar and drama educator of international repute….

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Bert is a regular guest tutor at drama schools and universities throughout New Zealand, Australia and South East Asia,and is widely recognized as an expert and innovator in the fields of collaborative theatre, presence, extended voice training, the Michael Chekhov acting technique and intercultural performance. In 2011 Bert was the first to complete a practice-based PhD in Theatre in New Zealand, developing an original intercultural model of performance making that reflects and connects strongly with the geographic, cultural and spiritual dimensions of a location or region. He is a published author, received several awards, including runner up Phillip Parson Prize (2011) and Fulbright Award (2014), conducts world song choirs around the globe, and works part-time as the Academic Advisor at South Seas Film & TV School and as Acting Lecturer at the Intercultural Theatre Institute in Singapore.

Charlene Tedrow

Head of Pacific Studies

Charlene brings a rich experience and passion to her role at PIPA as Head of Pasifika Studies….

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Born in American Samoa she has an advanced level of skill in a range of Pacific Dance forms including Samoan, Tahitian, Cook Island and Hawaiian. She promotes dance as a platform for self-expression, drawing from all genres of dance histories and practices with a strong focus on the Pacific and a firm belief importance of understanding your cultural history and genealogy as a part of the process of creating meaningful work. Charlene has taught in a wide range of forums, recent tutoring jobs include Polynesian Dance Summer School – Polynesian Entertainers Ltd, The Edge Random Acts –Auckland Council and 17th Honolulu Festival of Dance in Hawaii. Founder, Director and Choreographer of Dance company- Ura Tabu Pacific Dance, Charlene has also choreographed and performed works in a number of festivals including the Teuila Festival in Samoa, Splore and Tempo Festival of Dance.

Amo Ieriko


February 2017 sees Amo Ieriko appointed as PIPA Administrator/ Tutor in recognition of his experience in Arts administrative roles….

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Amo previously worked with PIPA as a Guest Tutor for their Pacific dance program and through collaborative community theatre projects at Mangere Arts Centre while he was the Participate Coordinator for Auckland Theatre Company (ATC). Amo left ATC to focus full time as Artistic Director of his own company, Polynesian Entertainers Ltd (PE), an Auckland based professional dance company specialising in authentic Polynesian cultural performances and events. Through his company, Amo has been influential in implementing new events in the community as well as educational programs such as teaching Drum & Dance workshops to local schools and holiday programs. PE has also coordinated various events such as Pasifika Week in Greytown Wairarapa Region, Oranga Festival in Maungakiekie Ward as well as contracting local Pacific dance troupes for community and corporate events such as Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards, My Kitchen Rules New Zealand and X Factor New Zealand. Working alongside Ura Tabu Pacific Dance, Amo, through PE, produced their first ever full length theatre premiere in 2014. Amo’s extensive knowledge and network in the community and Pacific Arts was pivotal for him as an assessor for the Creative Communities Scheme Grant in the Auckland Region from 2013 to 2016. Amo and his wife were part of the founding committee members of Hawaii Village, the 11th village to the annual Pasifika Festival in Auckland, leading the way in promoting authentic performance, craft and food when representing Pacific culture in Aotearoa.

Sophie Williams

Third Year Course Coordinator 

Sophie Williams (Ngapuhi, Te Arawa) is a honours graduate from The University of Auckland, Dance Studies…

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She is also a senior member of Hawaiki TU – Haka Theatre Company and a kaihaka performer for the senior Kapa Haka group Tuhourangi Ngati Wahiao. In addition to these roles Sophie also currently teaches as a graduate assistant teacher at The University of Auckland, Dance Studies Programme, where she teaches papers such as Māori contemporary performance, Dance and culture. Sophie is currently also in the midst of her final year of her PhD research, where she is exploring Indigenous performing artist’s narratives and experiences in relation to their practices and understandings of Kaupapa Māori within contemporary dance and theatre spaces. Sophie brings various rich experiences to her role within PIPA and is deeply passionate, active and interested within in performing arts, education, and research.

Stacey Leilua

Certificate Manager.

Stacey Leilua is a graduate of the UNITEC School of Performing and Screen Arts in Auckland, New Zealand…

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Majoring in Acting, Stacey has also had a range of experiences in writing, directing, presenting and producing over her fourteen year career in the Performing Arts.  Of Samoan and Maori descent, Stacey has always been passionate about the development of Pasifika Theatre – and is excited about using her role at P.I.P.A as an avenue to inspire and educate emerging performing artists.  Stacey was previously one of the Company Directors of Kila Kokonut Krew, New Zealand’s leading Pacific Theatre Company.  She was Co-Writer, Production Assistant, Cast member and Stage Manager throughout the various incarnations of their show, The Factory which toured Australia and to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2014.   As well as her work with Kila Kokonut Krew, Stacey has also acted independently on various Pasifika Theatre and Screen works including Auckland Theatre Company’s The Songmaker’s Chair (directed by Maiava Nathaniel Lees), Uli Vao (performed in Niue) and the short film Tatau (New Zealand International Film Festival).

Lauren Jackson

Head of Acting

Lauren Jackson is an award-winning writer, director and actor for stage and screen. Lauren holds degrees from…

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Toi Whakaari:

: NZ Drama School, and the University of Auckland. Her first short film, I’m Going to Mum’s won several prizes and her second short film Tree has debuted featuring several PIPA grads.

Lauren’s fourth play for Duffy Books In Homes is currently touring NZ primary schools, while Exchange and Polly Hood in Mumuland have been produced several times.  Lauren has recently written for TV show The Kiddets. Lauren’s acting career spans 25 years and her stage and screen credits include feature films Perfect Creature, Alex, and The Tattooist; TV shows Good Hands Lima Lelei, Akina, and A Thousand Apologies;  and several stage productions for SiLO Theatre, BATS and Downstage Theatre. Lauren loves directing both professional and student stage productions and learns as much from her students as she teaches them. Lauren is one of PIPA’s founding staff members and is delighted to return as Head of Acting.

Our Student Testimonials
“The people on the course and tutors are awesome…It feels like we’ve known each other for ages. We’re a family and have this trust and bond which makes you want to come to class. We’re all doing well and we’ll leave here with more than what we  came with…” – Troy Tuua (PIPA Graduate)

Contact Us

0800 467 472 (extn: 7600) or email  Amo.Ieriko@best.ac.nz