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About Toi Ora

The Toi Ora story

Toi Ora Live Art Trust began in a small factory space above a spectacles shop in Mount Eden in 1995. As Toi Ora evolved, the organisation moved to a larger space above a mechanics workshop in Arch Hill. Finally, in 2009, Toi Ora moved to its current location in Grey Lynn, where a long-held dream of having its own gallery became a reality.

Toi Ora has been making a difference and positive impact within the wider community for over 25 years. With more space and funding for resources, Toi Ora has been able to provide an increasingly diverse programme of classes covering the arts spectrum. Each year, new and exciting courses are introduced to inspire and support our artists.

Toi Ora Studio

The Toi Ora Studio is a unique, shared, creative space for people who have experienced/are experiencing mental health issues. Toi Ora provides an array of visual arts, writing, music and recording classes that are tutored by professional practitioners with experience and/or an understanding of mental health issues. Studio space is available for our artists to work on individual or collaborative projects. A range of art materials and resources are available. Our artists are able to explore their creative ideas and potential in a supportive environment. 

What we do

As an award-winning arts organisation, Toi Ora provides innovation and leadership in the field of creativity for mental health recovery. Our aim is to promote social, intellectual, and creative pursuits that enrich people's lives, improve capacity, and de-stigmatise mental health towards broader social change. We provide tutored workshops and classes for people to develop their strengths and potential in the arts in a safe, non-institutional environment.

We wish to bridge the gap for those who come into contact with mental health, addiction, and other support services with the exploration of creativity as a proven means to enhance recovery and maintain wellbeing. Toi Ora opens a pathways to personal recovery, peer support, training and career opportunities.    

Our strategic plan

A strategic plan developed in consultation with stakeholders, including our artists, underpins all of Toi Ora’s work. Our strategic approach focuses on what matters to the mission: the impact on the community we serve and the differences we can make to the lives of vulnerable people.  Our programme echoes the “five ways to well-being" model of mental health: connect, take notice, keep learning, be active, give.


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