Tama Waipara is the Chief Executive/ Artistic Director of Te Tairāwhiti Arts Festival in Gisborne, New Zealand. Of New Zealand Maori descent (Ruapani, Rongowhakaata, Ngāti Porou), he is an award composer and musician and currently Creative Associate at Auckland Arts Festival. Tama is a board member of SOUNZ – Centre for NZ Music, Puatatangi Māori Music Committee, Ambassador for the Waiata Māori Music Awards and member of Te Kupenga Toi o Tāmaki Māori Theatre collective. He received a Masters degree from the Manhattan School of Music in New York. Returning to New Zealand in 2006, Tama has become a leading practitioner in the arts and highly respected performer and cultural advocate.