Karl Johnstone is from the East Coast tribes of Rongowhakaata, Te Aitanga-a-Mahaki and Ngai Tamanuhiri. Until recently, Karl was the director of the New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute, which – alongside its expansive international programme – operates the national Māori arts schools. He now runs his own consultancy specialising in cultural strategy, and concept and content development.
Karl was formally trained in fine arts and education and has worked in the cultural heritage sector for 20 years, including seven years at New Zealand’s National Museum, Te Papa.
He has developed a dynamic and innovative leadership approach to the culture and heritage projects he leads. His experience, networks and unique ability to apply and facilitate customary concepts, values and thinking in contemporary environments are the secret to the success of his many projects.
Karl has been responsible for developing numerous national and international initiatives, all underpinned by traditional knowledge and Māori tribal perspectives.