Tauranga Arts Festival is farewelling director Ria Hall after only four months as she gets ready for a little bundle of joy.

The award-winning singer-songwriter is expecting her second child in September.

"It wasn't my intention that my tenure should be so short," Hall said.

"But as we've learned recently you never know what's around the corner – and in my case it's turned out to be a lovely surprise."


"It was a difficult decision to step down but it's the best one for my whānau and the festival as it would be almost impossible to fulfil the demands of the job and be a mother to two very young children."

Festival Trust chair Kathryn Lellman said the board admired and applauded Hall's championing of Te Ao Māori in every sphere of her life.

"We were looking forward to seeing her energy and passion translate into our 2021 festival but wish her and her whānau all the best for the busy but joyous time ahead."

Lellman congratulated Hall and her team for its Arts at Home programme during the recent Covid-19 lockdown, delivered through the festival website.

The board is reviewing options for the 2021 festival director role with inyerim support of former director Jo Bond.

Other staff members remain unchanged with Nikki Hansen as general manager and Sandra Simpson as literary programmer and publicist.