An arts veteran has been appointed the new Kāpiti Performing Arts Centre theatre manager.

Sonia Hardie started her new role yesterday after a long stint at Capital E's National Theatre for Children where she worked as production manager and then associate producer in more recent years.

"I am extremely proud of the work that I helped make over my eight years, which has been seen by, and inspired, thousands of children and young people around Aotearoa."

Sonia is also an original member of contemporary Māori showband The Māori Sidesteps where she manages and produces the live show, helping to put them on the New Zealand and world stage.


And she produces for Tikapa Productions, an independent theatre company creating Māori theatre works of varying genres including the critically acclaimed Not In Our Neighbourhood, The Biggest and The Moa Show.

"I am more than excited for the privilege of managing the new Kāpiti Performing Arts Centre through its debut and beyond.

"I'm looking forward to connecting with and working alongside the passionate people of the thriving Kāpiti arts community, as well as the staff and students of Kāpiti College and the wider New Zealand arts sector, to bring this state of the art facility into centre stage of the New Zealand arts and culture scene."

Kāpiti College board of trustees chairwoman Cas Carter said Sonia, bringing 16 years' experience in performance, production, stage, technical, tour management and design, will be a welcome addition to the venue.

"This is a big moment for us.

"After thousands of voluntary hours to get to this point, appointing an experienced operator such as Sonia demonstrates how serious we are about operating as a professional centre to attract local, national and international performing artists.

"Sonia's experience in all aspects of production will be an asset for the centre and the wider arts community, as we bring this multi-purpose, contemporary venue to life.

"This district has been desperate for this venue for so long with hundreds of individuals and organisations donating to make this happen."


Sonia, who received a handover from event expert Grant Stevenson QSM who has been managing the centre's operations in the interim, will be based out of Kāpiti College until the $12 million centre opens early next year.

The centre features two theatres, a spacious foyer, recording and dance studios and multiple teaching and rehearsal rooms.