Dim the lights, turn down the music, get rid of the catwalk. Rotorua's popular fashion event Tiki Āhua has been postponed.

Although it was expected to run from July 5-6 this year, the annual fashion, design, music and dance exhibition held at Te Puia has been postponed until July 2020.

Promising it is only postponed and not cancelled is Te Puia general manager of sales and marketing, Kiri Atkinson-Crean, who said other opportunities got in the way.

"Earlier this year we were given the incredible, but unexpected, opportunity to present our significant offshore exhibition, Tuku Iho Living Legacy, in China in November."

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A model wearing adornments from Te Takapu stone carving school plays up to the crowd in a previous show. Photo / File
A model wearing adornments from Te Takapu stone carving school plays up to the crowd in a previous show. Photo / File

She said while the opportunity was an honour, it meant she needed to review the activities planned for 2019.

"We had already committed to exhibiting Tuku Iho in Japan in May and August, and the mahi and people required to participate in these three exhibitions is significant, as is the work involved in presenting Tiki Āhua."

Launched in 2016, Tiki Āhua brings designers and entertainment from Rotorua and beyond to the runway.

The five-year vision for the event to grow from a one-night spectacle to a week-long festival was one step closer this year as it prepared to showcase across two nights.

The event showcased both emerging and established designers across Aotearoa. Photo / File
The event showcased both emerging and established designers across Aotearoa. Photo / File

"It was a tough decision to postpone Tiki Āhua, and we know there will be people
disappointed it isn't taking place this year, us included," Atkinson-Crean said.

"However, Tuku Iho gives us the opportunity to raise awareness of Māori culture and tikanga on a global stage."

She hoped by moving the event to July 2020, she could give Tiki Āhua the dedication it needed to honour designers, artists, the public of Aotearoa and the prestige of the event.

Atkinson-Crean said the Tiki Āhua team was working with designers and artists to finalise details of the postponed event and she would update people as soon as she could.

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