The Awhi Incubator Story

AwhiWorld have worked hard over the last five years to support Te Tai Tokerau’s creative technology and cross-disciplinary arts scene.

Both Dr Maggie Buxton and Kim Newall have dedicated a considerable amount of volunteer time and personal resources to raising the profile of this sector.

Many individuals work in some form of creative practice, either remotely for large companies, as freelancers with portfolio lifestyles or as creatives working either full-time or tending a side hustle for extra income.

Recognising this, Maggie (together with Matt Keene from Saas Digital)  founded Creative Technology Northland, a thriving networking organisation to support and showcase this sector and bring more work to our region. In supporting creative innovation, AwhiWorld directly supports the regional economy.


Workshops and Training

Between them, Maggie and Kim have 46 years of combined experience in mentoring, education and facilitation – including creating Master’s level curricula and supporting interarts creatives from diverse backgrounds. Helping people and places develop and thrive is core to both their community based practices.

Since arriving in Northland, they have delivered many learning events, including talks, seminars, panels and meetups.

The Awhi Incubator will hold a number of workshops throughout the project’s life ranging from technology to more practice-oriented topics like funding and marketing.

Innovation Labs

Extensive experience producing creative innovation labs in Northland was one of the core impulses behind the Awhi Incubator.

Seeing the power of people working together creatively from across different realities – and the amazing outcomes that result gave AwhiWorld the motivation to build this work on a larger scale.

The labs have a strong environmental focus, supporting research in science, engineering, art, design and social sciences.

The Awhi Incubator will hold two large labs throughout the project time, the first one in May/June of 2023.


For the love of place

AwhiWorld has extensive experience working in interarts and cross-disciplinary practice. The core organisational focus is on supporting the spirit and spirits of place. It is essentially a community based creative studio.

Dr Maggie Buxton’s PhD was focused on the Spirit of Place and Augmented Reality Mobile, and she has almost 30 years of working in various forms of development.

Kim Newall is a lifelong multi-disciplinary creative who has worked extensively to support other artists as a core part of his practice.

Together they have created numerous installations and capacity-building projects in South Auckland and Northland that support people and the places they love.

The Awhi Incubator aims to generate more place-based practice across the region, with emerging projects that support cultural education, community cohesion, environmental behaviour change and citizen research. All with a cross-disciplinary creative base.

Manatū Taonga – The Funding Journey

Early in 2021, AwhiWorld attended a presentation informing the Northland Art Community about the newly launched Innovation Fund.

After many delays due to COVID we finally submitted an application in June 2022, having worked hard over the year developing the idea of the Awhi Incubator.

We were told we were successful in September and then officially started the programme, 1 February 2023 after a very busy few months tidying up our other work.

AwhiWorld are extremely grateful to be given this opportunity and also feel that all our hard work in this area has been recognised. It is now time to take our mahi to another level!



From co-curating exhibitions to running capacity building workshops, AwhiWorld has worked hard to support other creatives and showcase the amazing talent our region has to offer.

Alternative Reality Gardening

Alternative Reality Gardening You may not realise it, but you are inside a portal to an alternative reality.   A place where scientists, technologists, theorists, poets, crafters, dancers, artists and engineers all garden - in quite different ways.   About   Dr Maggie Buxton conceived this combined publication and symposium and is the curator and…

The Awhi Incubator

The Awhi Incubator Project The Awhi Incubator Project provides free coaching, mentoring and training for selected cross-disciplinary practitioners and creative technologists who live in Northland, NZ. The aim is to raise the profile of the innovative local arts scene and connect to national and international networks.   Dr Maggie Buxton says, "The goal is to support…

BIOS Creative Innovation Lab

BIOS - Creative Innovation Lab May/June 2023 AwhiWorld took over the Mair Gallery at Whangarei Art Museum and turned it into a leading-edge creative innovation lab from May 27th to June 18th.  The gallery transformed into a large-scale immersive, interactive installation with multiple content zones, including: science-art-tech installations, including international collaborations a future fibre zone…

Future Fibres Seminars & Workshops

Future Fibres Seminars and Workshops at BIOS Future fibres will be at the centre of research in AwhiWorld's upcoming BIOS lab in May/June this year. We are excited to partner with Professor Frances Joseph of Intra-Action Initiatives & AUT University's Huri Te Ao/The School of Future Environments to deliver a series of FREE Future Fibres…

IGECC Belgium Three Portals

MetaWorld - Herentals Belgium AwhiWorld have been collaborating with Belgian artist Daniël Vandersmissen / Dan Yapungku on a series of interrelated projects based on the notion of portals. This page documents this ongoing collaboration. Daniël Vandersmissen / Dan Yapungku lives in Belgium-Europe. He creates installations and performances related to social themes and events. As an…

PlantLab 22 | Community Innovation Pop Up

PlantLab is best described as part installation, part creative innovation hub and part post-COVID CBD regeneration project. PlantLab consisted of online content (via this website) as well as a physical experience in a formerly empty retail shop (#30) in the Strand Arcade, Whangarei NZ. Leading-edge science, art and tech collaborations that occurred during the project…

Onerahi Taonga: School-based Augmented Reality Experience

AwhiWorld worked with Onerahi Primary School in 2021 to create an augmented reality experience. The project, funded by Creatives in Schools, was designed to support integrated learning and assist students to feel a greater sense of shared ownership and belonging to their place of learning. The children designed the experience themselves including work on mapping…

Whangarei Night Lights Festival Mini VJ|PM Lab

Whangarei Night Lights Festival Mini VJ|PM Lab This year AwhiWorld used Whangarei Night Lights Festival as a live base for training Awhi Incubator Participants in VJ-ing and Projection Mapping. Fresh from a day-long seminar within BIOS, participants had two weeks to prepare content, with support and coaching from Kim Newall. They then performed their images…

Place Stories Matariki: Augmented Reality Sound Experience

GEO-LOCATIVE AUGMENTED REALITY TOWN-WIDE IMMERSIVE SOUND INSTALLATION: PAPAKURA, NZ Place Stories (Matariki) was a geo-locative app-based sound installation that wove through the spaces of Papakura, South Auckland. To hear about it listen to this Radio NZ Interview. Local artists contributed poems, waiata, sonic soundscapes, and eclectic soundtracks celebrating Matariki and the land and spirit of…

Future Fibres – E-Textile Workshop Rawene

AwhiWorld’s latest event involved playing with light, responsive inks and light-activated threads in an e-textile discovery workshop in Rawene. The workshop was a community partner Awhi Incubator project funded by Ministry of Culture and Heritage. We explored thermo, hydro and photochromic pigments and threads, Arduino sensors, fibre optics and other future fibres in our workshop…

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