Indigenous brands, Maori business, Kaupapa Growth and innovation, collaborative pilot projects, culture connection and exchange, design enabled economic, culturally enriched.

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Tracey Gardner   MCApSc [with Distinction in Design Studies]

Pae Matua

Arawa / Mataatua Design

Ngāti Tūwharetoa ki Kawerau

Jewellery designer/Marketer/Graphic Designer

Tracey graduated in 2008 with a Masters in Consumer and Applied Sciences [University of Otago, Design Studies department]. Her thesis investigated the area of 'kaupapa Maori visual communication design', looking at practitioners within this field, their practice and the design process they follow.

In 2009 she worked with the Design Studies department at Otago University as a Tutor and Research Assistant helping to develop recommendations and resources for the department on how they could implement Mäori Design theory into their existing curriculum [first year through to honours level]. The results of this work can be viewed here.

Her research and practice interests have led to her involvement in the formalisation of this exciting society - Nga Aho.

Tracey is interested in connecting with like-minded Mäori Designers and her Mäori community. She believes in the encouragement of rangatahi to pursue careers in the many fields of Design and making a difference to the ever-expanding field of Design within Aotearoa, our Indigenous communities and beyond.

Moving to Wellington in 2010, Tracey completed a four month cadetship [May - Aug 2010] at HUIA Publishers. In October 2010 Tracey established her own graphic design business, Traced: Researched Design. The concept of her business drew from her research and graphic design experience.

In March 2012, Tracey left the treacherous runway of Wellington (NZ), landing in Melbourne (AU) to soak up the eclectic and multi-cultural landscape of Naarm. Tracey then worked in Marketing for two large financial services corporations over eight and a half years. In 2019 she launched MISS MAIA selling adornments through her online store ( MISS MAIA adornments tell visual stories that capture the essence of her cultures, push creative boundaries and contribute to wāhine mahi-toi through a contemporary method and medium.

Tracey and her family returned to NZ in 2020 where they currently reside in Whakatane on the beautiful whenua of Ngati Awa.

Tracey launched her service-based business 'Hiwai Creative' in 2020 - a niche service business which specialises in branding strategy, design and marketing consulting for Māori-led initiatives/projects/business.

Tracey's Masters thesis is available for public download here.

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Tracey Gardner

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