We weave good wairua, Te Ao Māori and top level communications expertise together to form a dynamic agency ready to work with like-minded businesses and organisations to further our culture within the commercial world.
We weave good wairua, Te Ao Māori and top level communications expertise together to form a dynamic agency ready to work with like-minded businesses and organisations to further the game of our culture within the commercial world.
Our founder Bridgette Tapsell has been in the PR industry assisting Māori organisations and businesses for more than 20 years.
A pioneer Māori PR agency owner, she also owns the well-known agency Village PR with clients including New Zealand Avocado, Destination Rotorua, Tatua Dairy Co-op, Live+, Golden Homes and 5+ A Day.
Bridgette wanted to create a sister brand to Village, that would service clients who wanted to access a specialised skillset of iwi communications and to tap into our collective networks.
Cast a stone across waters to create many ripples.
Whare PR is a hub for communication specialists to hui and hone their talents and be amongst people who are like-minded.
We are advocates for Māori culture, have a commitment to te reo and strive for excellence in our māhi.
We can provide te reo copy for your marketing communications including presentations, speeches, annual reports, newsletters and social media platforms.
Our videographer is fluent in te reo and a highly experienced film maker.
Our design is fresh, relevant and has a proven commercial track record for hitting the mark. From social media platforms, online marketing to brochures and the creation of new brands, Kim always delivers designs that connect with, and inspire your audiences.
We are experts at successfully aligning your values and goals to create a communications plan - and then executing it seamlessly.
We create engaging posts, manage responses and keep your brand top of mind with your consumers.
For more than 20 years we have been providing these services. They include news release creation, distribution and follow up as well as media management for news stories.
Through tapping into our sister company Village PR, we are able to advise on suitable influencers for your projects and deliver original concepts, with flawless execution to the influencer community.
Iwi politics are complex. We understand them and are adept at working with legal teams and advising on the most effective communications strategy for your individual situation.
I always remember a script writing tutor telling me that a brilliant pitch for a movie was this; “It’s called Twins. One actor is Danny De Vito, the other is Arnold Schwarzenegger.” Bada-bing bada-boom – of course nuts, but draws you in. To sum me up using this format in relation to my whakapapa. “I am the eldest child, of the youngest child of 22 Māori kids.”
I was fortunate to have a father who was very traditional. We regularly ate a Māori diet of fried bread, paua, pipi, muttonbirds and boil up. He worked at Te Māori Exhibition and at 14 I worked there too as a guide.
After University, I was lucky enough to be offered a job at North & South Magazine and a PR job. I chose the latter and embarked on a bit of a rough ride initially with a stint in a Devil’s Wear Prada agency, graduating to two wonderful agencies before launching Village PR 15 years ago.
Whare PR is now a full circle for me, a chance for me to connect my culture with my mahi.
Tenā koutou katoa
Te Ao Māori has always been a big part of my life. I am a graduate of Kohanga Reo and Kura and it was in these environments that my te reo was nurtured. After completing Year 13 at Mount Maunganui College I was lucky to secure a kaiawhina job at my former school Te Kura o Matapihi (a full immersion kura), during that year I also worked part time with Village PR learning the ins and outs of agency life. In 2018 I completed my Diploma in Marketing and Communications and continued working with Village PR. I am excited to be part of the launch of our new branch, Whare PR.
Ko Ngāti Ranginui (Ngāti Hangarau), Ngāi Te Rangi (Tauwhao Te Ngare) me Ngāti Whakaue (Ngāti Tunohopu) ōku hononga whakapapa.
I have always been a prolific consumer of popular culture, the written word and multi-media from a young age, so a career in the communications industry was the natural path for me.
One day is never the same as the next for me. From working with influencers to promote my clients’ products and services to writing and disseminating press releases, managing social media accounts across multiple channels, website content writing and CMS management, strategising and implementing large annual campaigns and more - I work across the full breadth of marketing and communications activities.
In 2018 I studied part-time at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa and completed a level 2 certificate in Te Ara Reo Māori.
I cut my teeth in communications as a part-time marketing executive in 1990 working for Gallagher Power Fence Systems in Hamilton while I was studying full time for a Bachelor of International Management Studies degree at the University of Waikato. It was during my four year degree and time working for Gallagher's that I fell in love with marketing and communications, and my career has continued on this path from there.
I've held a number of challenging and fun positions throughout my career from international marketing roles involving working with distributors around the world, to management roles in advertising agencies through to the more specific online communications we participate in today.
Throughout my career my passion for language and other cultures has remained strong. I completed my degree with a major in French and also achieved Bursary level Spanish before doing a one month immersion course in Puebla, Mexico. This year, I am undertaking my second year of Te Reo Māori and am really enjoying the people, environment and culture I am discovering already on this exciting new journey.
I was lucky enough to complete a management degree at the University of Waikato and work at the same time. I was hired as Kaitakawaenga Māori and tasked to promote and lead a team to attract Māori students to study at the University of Waikato. Many of the rangatahi we spoke to thought a University education was out of their reach. It was extremely rewarding talking to these rangatahi and supporting them to further their educational journey.
Immediately after finishing my degree, I travelled for a bit before starting my communications journey at Hearst Communications London, writing for their CosmoGirl! magazine.
Upon returning to New Zealand in 2005, I worked for various financial, IT and food corporations in national and international marketing/sales/strategy roles. This has given me a huge appreciation for the bigger picture in business and assists with clearly articulating key communications tasks and strategies.
Recently I have had the absolute pleasure of working with some innovative Māori and Not for Profit organisations to support their communications objectives. I gain motivation through adding value and helping these customers reach their business goals.
I am extremely excited about Whare PR and being part of this whānau.
I studied graphic design at the Whanganui School of Design and graduated with Honours (high distinction) in 2004. After a stint in Wellington, I was employed at a prominent Bay of Plenty creative agency and also resided at their satellite Auckland studio for a few years. I have worked on an extensive range of graphic design projects – from high-profile corporate collateral such as annual reports to start-up enterprises’ brand identities – Whare PR included, of course!
In 2018, I attended the Design Assembly workshop 'Applying Design Thinking to creating Māori Graphic Design’ to ensure my work has the right consideration for our clients. My passion is to create visual communications that express the individuality of each client’s product or service with as much success as possible.
Village PR provided all communications support to the Te Arawa 2018 Royal Visit Committee who were asked by NZ Government Internal Affairs Visits Office to provide a marae welcome, showcasing the best of Te Arawa to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Megan Markle. This took place on 31st October 2018 at Te Papaiouru Marae, Ohinemutu.
This included all liaison with the large national and international media contingent, the preparation of media kits and ensuring that all cultural messaging and enquiries were prepared, delivered and managed.
Media accounts of what took place, had experienced royal tour media professionals recounting that it was the most culturally profound and professional experience they had witnessed or been part of.
Monty Morrison JP
Co-Chair, Te Arawa 2018 Royal Visit Committee:
Members: Dr Sir Toby Curtis, Mr Pita Anaru ED, MNZM, Whaea Norma Sturley, Trevor Maxwell, MNZM (Co-Chair)
When I first engaged Bridgette’s team to help us better communicate what we do, she told me that "in a year's time, you will not recognize your organisation." She was spot on! Our Trust has seen a major transformation from a relatively unknown entity to a dynamic and successful tribal Trust with a local and national profile.
Their focus on social media has seen a dramatic lift in community engagement. Locals often tell me they "love what we are doing." Her team helped us produce our best ever professionally published annual report. They have also put us on the map in regional and national media outlets in creative and cost-efficient ways. But their real talent shines when it comes to communicating the "tough issues" faced by complex iwi businesses.
Katie Paul - Chair, Ngāti Whakaue Assets Trust
The team engaged Māori fusion chefs at Pūhā & Pākehā to create a traditional recipe with a contemporary twist. We then sent a hamper of traditionally-used produce and a recipe card for the Pūhā & Pākēhā recipe to 15 media and influencers. Included in the package was a poster in Te Reo Māori, created by Village PR/Whare PR.
Paula Dudley - 5+ A Day Charitable Trust, General Manager
Bridgette has a deep understanding of how difficult it is to promote Māori issues in a positive light. In addition, she is a pleasure to work with.
Māori Women’s Development held the inaugural Māori Women’s Business Awards in Aotearoa. At the time, there was little to no public awareness of Māori women in business, let alone their successes.
Village PR was engaged to promote the endeavours and positive role models of Māori Women in business and to celebrate the Māori Women Business awards as a pillar of Māori success.
Bridgette set out a media plan with local and national media, which enabled those women to share their stories and promote the upcoming Awards. This put MWDI “on the radar" with media organisations in a cost-effective manner.
The Awards and the media coverage was extensive, ranging from newspaper and magazine articles to mainstream and Māori TV coverage on the night.
E ngā rangatira ma tenei te mihi atu ki a koutou katoa.
Over the last 18 months Te Runanga o Ngāti Manawa Trust (TRONM) have worked very closely with Bridgette and her team on a number of key projects within the rohe of Ngāti Manawa.
In that time the guidance and direction Bridgette has shown towards communications both internally and externally for the iwi has truly been amazing. Her leadership, honesty and knowledge in this field has opened new doors and allowed new pathways to be explored for Ngāti Manawa and we thank her tremendously for this.
Kani Edwards - Chairman, Te Runanga o Ngāti Manawa.