Special Events

Wednesday, 5th June, 2024: Join us for our Mauri of the Maunga Gala Dinner and Art Auction with presenting partner, BiteLAB.

Mauri of the Maunga Gala Dinner and Art Auction

Presented by Sanctuary Mountain® Maungatautari and BiteLAB.

Join us for a decadent evening of conservation and art!

Set at a stunning location, by the edge of lake Karāpiro, with beautiful Maungatautari as our backdrop, we invite you to join us for an evening of exquisite cuisine, stimulating entertainment and stories about trailblazing kākāpō and the many other unique species that live in the protected forest and wetland habitats of Maungatautari, told first-hand by our guest speakers. Not only will your sesnses be awakened by our carefully crafted three-course meal, but your eyes will feast on the incredible pieces of art that will be available for purchase during our exclusive live auction. All in support of the largest fenced sanctuary of Aotearoa, the sanctuary where 2,500 North Island brown kiwi call home and the safe haven that is trialing the relocation of kākāpō on the mainland.

Where: Sir Don Rowlands Centre, Mighty River Domain, Lake Karapiro, Cambridge

When: Wednesday 5th June, 2024, 6:00pm - 11:00pm

Dress: Cocktail


General sale: Individual ticket $220. Table of 10 $2100


What is included in your ticket:

  • A delicious 3-course meal from BiteLAB
  • An evening hosted by world-class comedian Te Radar
  • A night of storytelling by those who are involved in the work taking place on the maunga
  • An opportunity to bid on stunning artworks from local and world-renowned artists - Art Auction curated by Kate Darrow.


Our story so far…
Mid 2022, Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari hosted an inaugural Gala Dinner to assist in funding a modification to the Xcluder pest-proof fence, to be barrier to the climbing abilities of flightless kākāpō. Completion of this enabled the arrival of kākāpō to Maungatautari in July 2023 in partnership with Ngāi Tahu and the Department of Conservation Kākāpō Recovery team. This marked the first time kākāpō had lived on mainland New Zealand in close to 40 years. 
The next chapter… 
Every day we are learning from them! To keep highly intelligent and curious kākāpō safe inside the sanctuary takes a dedicated team, exceptional monitoring, innovative thinking, exploration of new technologies and strong partnerships.This year's gala is focussing on funding some of the bigger challenges we have, such as boundary vegetation trimming, draily monitoring and being forever vigilant of the integrity of the fence. The work has only just begun!
You can make an impact! 

Your ticket purchase and art auction proceeds will go towards the ongoing conservation mahi on the maunga.


Kākāpō Art Auction 2024

Curator Kate Darrow has extensive experience in the visual arts in Aotearoa, working with a wide network of artists and galleries. She has previously worked in the Public Gallery sector including the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki and City Gallery, Wellington. Kate was the founding curator for MESH Sculpture Hamilton and has worked on projects for several Secondary Schools in the Waikato, commissioning artworks and acting in an advisory role. She has a BA in Art History from the University of Canterbury, an MA in Art Education from the City University, London, and a Diploma in Business from the University of Auckland. 

Currently working as Curator and Collection Manager for Waikato Hospital, where she is developing an art collection and education programme designed to enhance the well-being of patients, staff, whanau and visitors. Kate also works as an independent art consultant. 

Kate is a great champion of the kākāpō project and Maungatautari, and for the 2024 event she has brought together a group of distinguished artists from across Aotearoa who support this great manu and the mahi to protect them. 


Curatorial statement 

The group of artists who have contributed work for this auction are drawn together because of their immense talent, their standing in the art world and the collectability of their work. However, most importantly because of the kaupapa of their art practice. Each speaking in unique ways to our environment, our forests and birds and the great need for protection and understanding. The art works brought together celebrate the splendour of the natural world yet caution the need for its protection and understanding the threats that loom over it. 


We are honoured in 2024 to present the works of the following artists who support the tremendous mahi required to protect the kākāpō, our rare and precious taonga. 

Gretchen Albrecht, Elliot Collins, Shane Cotton (Ngā Puhi, Ngāti Rangi, Ngāti Hine and Te Uri Taniwha) Mike Crawford, Crystal Chain Gang, Brett Graham (Ngāti Koroki Kahukura, Tainui) Jaime Jenkins, Maioha Kara (Ngati Korokii Kahukura, Ngati Tipa, Te Ātihaunui-A-Papārangi, Tūhourangi, Te Whānau a Hinetapora, Kuki Airani), James Ormsby (Ngāti Maniapoto, Waikato, Te Arawa and Katimana), Dr. Fiona Pardington (Kai Tahu, Kati Mamoe, Ngati Kahungunu), Elizabeth Thomson, John Walsh (Te Aitanga a Hauiti), Layla Walters 


Tickets are on sale now! Individual ticket price: $220.00 Table of 10: $2100.00 Ticket prices are inclusive of GST. Booking fee applies.