RECAP: The PumpHouse Picnic

The theatre is currently buzzing after an exciting weekend! Our PumpHouse Picnic on Sunday 12th November was a vibrant day of fun with people coming from all over the city (and some from out of town, too!) to support and celebrate our wee arts hub on the Shore.


We were blessed with a sun-kissed day where many special memories were created. The community was able to tour every inch of our theatre, and it was an absolute treat to see little ones dancing on our stage, heritage buffs exploring the building, and people of all ages basking in the beauty of Killarney Park and Lake Pupuke.

We had a beautiful array of market stalls in the park, courtyard, amphitheatre and foyer. The food trucks took over our car park and provided some delicious nourishment throughout the day. We were thrilled to host some local entertainers in our Genevieve Becroft Auditorium so that people could get a sneak peek of what it’s like to experience a show at The PumpHouse!

We send our heartfelt thanks to the PumpHouse board and staff, our volunteers, raffle donors, and the entire community who contributed to a day filled to the brim with aroha. These shared moments with our community are a very important part of our kaupapa, and we look forward to providing space for more of this in the future!

The PumpHouse Picnic Fundraising Raffle!

We’re thrilled to announce The PumpHouse Picnic Fundraising Raffle!

Support The PumpHouse Theatre and win some amazing prizes generously donated by local Takapuna businesses. Your $10 ticket gives you the chance to win:

A Takapuna Mini-Break – including your own Volkswagen all-electric ID.5 to drive for the weekend thanks to Tristram European, a luxurious stay on Takapuna Beach at the Emerald Inn, restaurant vouchers to spend in Takapuna, and double passes to both Shakespeare in the Park 2024 and Tadpole Production’s show in May 2024
An Unforgettable PumpHouse Night Out – $100 to spend on a scrumptious pre-show meal and French Rendez-vous Café and tickets to both Shakespeare in the Park 2024 and Tadpole Production’s show in May 2024
A Summer Indulgence Pack – a hamper of sweet treats, cheeses and drinks, shopping and book vouchers and a double pass to Shakespeare in the Park 2024

Tickets are available in person from The PumpHouse Box Office from 6th November and at the PumpHouse Picnic until 7pm on 12th November.
The winners will be drawn on 14th November and notified by phone.


Terms and Conditions

• Raffle tickets are only available for purchase at The PumpHouse Theatre between Monday 6th November and Sunday 12th November 2023.
• Tickets cost $10.00 each.
• The winners will be drawn on Tuesday 14th November at 10:30am at The PumpHouse Theatre by a member of the North Shore Theatre and Arts Trust Board.
• A total of three draws will be held, one for each prize. Every entry has the opportunity to win each of the three prizes, however winning entries are not reentered into subsequent draws.
• Winners will be contacted by phone and announced on The PumpHouse Theatre’s social media channels.
• Winners may be asked to have their photo and first name used in promotional social media posts by The PumpHouse Theatre.
• Prizes are not transferable for cash and are valid only for the times and/or before the expiry dates listed on the relevant vouchers.
• If the winner is unable to be contacted within 7 days of the prize draw, a new winner will be drawn.
• Total value of all prizes is $1,500.

Booking fee increase from 1 October 2023

If you’ve purchased tickets from The PumpHouse recently you may have noticed that our booking fee has increased from $5.00 to $6.00 per booking.
This is a change we’d made reluctantly but was necessary to offset increased supplier costs which happened alongside reductions in funding from Auckland Council and our other core funders. It’s the first time we’ve increased booking fees since 2015.

Many people don’t realise we’re a not-for-profit charity and rely on fees, donations, and grant applications to cover our annual operating costs. Specifically, the booking fee covers many of the costs associated with selling a ticket which include paying our staff a fair wage, and paying them when they attend meetings and training, payment processing costs, web hosting and ongoing support from our various partners such as Windcave, Patronbase, Eftpos Now and Worldline.

We think the fees we charge are fair and offer much better value for money that other ticketing agents. It’s the same cost if you book online or prefer to give us a call, and we offer free transfers (subject to availability and other conditions) if you need to swap the date of the show you are attending.

Nevertheless, there are two ways of avoiding booking fees. You can purchase your tickets at the box office one hour before each performance. You may not get your first choice of seats or miss out on tickets, but you won’t pay a fee.

You can also join Friends of The PumpHouse. Along with ticket discounts and invitations to special events, Friends of The PumpHouse don’t pay any booking fees for 12 months from the date of joining. You can join online at

Volunteering at The PumpHouse

Written by Mags Delaney-Moffatt

The PumpHouse Theatre came into being because of the dedication and hard work of volunteers who came from the local community. The PumpHouse Theatre still needs its volunteers who help the small staff team to look after and run the venue.

Could you be one of those volunteers?

Why volunteer?

People choose to volunteer for a number of reasons. For some people it offers them the chance to give something back to the community or to make a difference to the people around them. Others may see volunteering as an opportunity to develop new skills or build on existing experience and knowledge. There are variety of volunteering activities you can get involved in e.g., helping distribute flyers and posters as a community networker, offering your handyperson or gardening skills, ushering, helping with Creative Talks, events like our open days, updating databases amongst others. Some opportunities are a one off and others are a few hours a month – there is something for everyone.

By volunteering at The PumpHouse Theatre we hope to provide opportunities to:
• use the skills you already have purposefully
• learn new skills
• gain experience
• meet new people
• develop a sense of community
• boost self confidence
• develop your CV (if applicable)
• gain a reference to take to employers or college/ university (if applicable)

🤝🏼 Volunteers come from all walks of life and offer time and energy freely and by choice.
🤝🏼 When you volunteer, it is up to you how much or how little you can offer.
🤝🏼 Every bit counts and you are never too old or too young to get involved.
🤝🏼 Volunteering can be a lot of fun and help you meet new people and make new friends. It can give you the opportunity to learn new skills, be a way of getting involved in your community and give you the satisfaction of contributing towards it. Volunteering can also help you to gain experience which might be useful if you are looking for paid employment.
🤝🏼 Volunteers are not a substitute for paid workers, although to many organisations like us with a small team volunteers are essential to deliver their services and add extra value to their work.

Here are 3 reasons why you should consider volunteering
1. Volunteering establishes strong relationships,
2. Volunteers are healthier and live longer,
3. Volunteering is good for our community and society in general.

If you are interested in volunteering at The PumpHouse contact Mags –


Celebrating Te Wiki o te Reo Māori

Nā Mark Wilson i tuhi | Written by Mark Wilson

Tena koutou, tena koutou, kia ora koutou katoa

Ko Pīhanga te maunga

Ko Taupō-nui-a tia te roto, Ko Whanganui te awa

Ko Te Arawa te waka

Ngāti Tūwharetoa ahau

No Taupō tōku whanau

No Whanganui ahau

Ko Wilson tōku whanau

Ko Paula tōku māmā

Ko Mark tōku ingoa

Greetings and good health to everyone reading this blog! It is Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori and I thought I would start this off by letting you know a little bit about myself. Written above is my Pepeha. Your Pepeha is a formal introduction that I find more often than not helps to build quick bonds at Māori-led gatherings and failing that grounds you in who you are. I see it as a Tangata Whenua 6 degrees of separation. Someone is bound to know you, or your family, or your tribe, where you come from, or the mountains and rivers that sustain you and yours.

When I was taught how to write my Pepeha I was instructed to follow the path of a river to where it reaches me so here goes:

Ko Pīhanga te maunga

Pīhanga is my mountain: In myth, the beauty of Pīhanga is said to have caused a fight between Tongariro and Taranaki. The mountains came to blows. Tongariro was the victor and forced Taranaki to flee. The grand exodus of Taranaki is said to have formed the Whanganui River, which I also have ties to.

Ko Taupō-nui-a tia te roto

Taupō is my lake: The initial eruption of SUPERVOLCANO Taupō happened 1800 years ago and had one of the largest explosions in our planet’s history!

Ko Whanganui te awa

Whanganui is my river: Did I say I had ties to this river?

Ko Te Arawa te waka

Te Arawa is my canoe: When my ancestors sailed to Aotearoa they came on one of seven great canoes, Aotea, Kurahaupō, Mataatua, Tainui, Tokomaru, Te Arawa, and Tākitimu. My whānau has ties to Te Arawa.

Ngāti Tūwharetoa ahau

My tribe is Tūwharetoa: The translation of Tūwharetoa is ‘House that stands strong’

No Taupō tōku whanau

My family is from Taupō: ALL of my ancestry hails from Taupō which is why it pops up in my Pepeha a lot. However, I haven’t spent a lot of my history in Taupō…

No Whanganui ahau

I am from Whanganui: It is important to me that my hometown is included in my Pepeha. While it is important to know where your ancestry comes from, you also have to remember where YOU come from.

Ko Wilson tōku whanau

My family name is Wilson: Not everything in my Pepeha is Māori, my family name comes from my grandmother, Hine or Sue, who married my pākehā grandfather, Eugene. The name was very important to my grandmother and it was her wish that I carried on the family name. A huge honour and burden as I am the last Wilson.

Ko Paula tōku māmā

My mother is Paula: Parents are very important to who you are. So it goes without saying I include the most important woman in my life! Love you, mum.

Ko Mark tōku ingoa

My name is Mark: This one is pretty self-explanatory 😀



Every Pepeha is different and unique and in my opinion one of the most personal ways to introduce yourself. There are a tonne of templates and resources online to help you create your Pepeha like THIS link here. Consider giving it a go for Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori. Who YOU are is important.

Here are a few of The PumpHouse staff’s favourite things…


Favourite Word: Manaakitanga – something we try and show everyone who visits The PumpHouse
Favourite Custom: The Haka, especially as a sign of respect or celebration.
Favourite Colour: Whero


My favourite word is aroha
My favourite colour is whero.
And I liked this whakatauki I found during mindfulness month:
Manawa ki waho
Tae atu ki te rangi ka manawa ano
Breathe in breathe out Reach to the sky and breathe again

My fav colour is kōwhai, even though I wear a lot of māwhero!
All of Te Reo Māori is sooo beautiful to my ear. Tīkiti is a word I use a lot! But I looove ngangahau (spirited, zealous, vibrant, vivacious, lively, animated) – as I feel this describes me very well!
What do I love about Māori culture? The rich traditions, deep connection to nature, and strong sense of community – it is unmatched.

My fave colour is pango – I am basic.
My fave word: Ngenge, which is tired, cause I am tired all the time


Kōwhai is my favourite colour because of the tree in our garden and the Tūī that love it too. Kia ora is my favourite word as it was something I heard from my youth in the UK, and never realised it was Māori and that I’d be living here all these years later.

Wildlife at The PumpHouse Theatre

Written by Meg Andrews & Mark Wilson

Nestled next to the serene Lake Pupuke and in the heart of Takapuna’s Killarney Park, The PumpHouse Theatre is well-known for its dazzling performances and rich history. But if you take a walk outside the theatre, you’ll find a treasure of wildlife in the roto, and pottering around the lush greenery of the park.

As you stroll through Killarney Park, you’ll likely encounter a vibrant display of birdlife – especially this time of the year with lots of new, extremely cute babies and their overprotective parents! The Kakīānau or Black Swan is a regular sight, sometimes causing chaos with visitors by chasing them through the park!

You’ll likely spot an array of different ducks – from gentle mallards to this guy:

You may also be lucky to hear or see Tūī who feed on the nectar of some of the park’s plants and trees. If you bring kai along to the park then watch out – you’ll have a flock of pigeons and seagulls ready to hound you for a bite – especially if you have fries! However, if you want to feed the birds it is best to trade chips or bread for salad greens and corn kernels, read more about how to safely feed birds here.

And of course, there are the cheeky geese & pūkeko, the tiny sparrows & pīwakawaka, and the legendary shag who is a common sight on the jetty in the mornings, spreading his wings for tourists to capture the perfect photo!

But it’s not just birds! As you’d expect, we have bugs a plenty, butterflies, koi and other lake life, possums who love to make an appearance during performances on our Amphitheatre stage, and countless dogs who bring their humans on walks through the park.


So, next time you’re visiting us at the theatre, be sure to take a moment to breathe in the nature that we are lucky to be surrounded by. Until then, enjoy these gorgeous photos taken by our Venue Operations Coordinator, Mark, along with the Haiku that they wrote for our upcoming poetry event: Love, Peace, and Protest.




Surprise Honour at The PumpHouse AGM

Written by James Bell

PumpHouse Board Chair Peter Burn was surprised with an award of Life Membership of Friends of The PumpHouse at the theatre’s AGM on Wednesday night.

Arranged in secret by fellow Board members, Peter’s certificate was presented by Deputy Chair, Fiona McMillan.

Peter Burn and Fiona McMillan, with Peter’s new Life Membership

Fiona highlighted Peter’s years of service to The PumpHouse, joining the Board in 2011, and becoming chairperson in 2015. He has guided the theatre through two major construction projects and the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Earlier in the evening Peter celebrated the theatre’s first full year back in operation without Covid restrictions and the efforts of the 25 staff who work in various roles at the theatre. He also highlighted the funding challenges the theatre faces this year with reductions in operational support from Auckland Council, Foundation North, COGs, and Pub Charity.

Peter Burn talking at the AGM

Jeff Philp and Teresa Sokolich were both seconded to the Board for a 12-month period at the meeting. Both have hands-on experience in theatre at a grassroots level and add additional support as The PumpHouse embarks on an ambitious auditorium refurbishment project.

New PumpHouse Board members Teresa Sokolich (L) and Jeff Philp (R) with Board Chair, Peter Burn (middle)

The evening concluded with a presentation by The PumpHouse’s Community Engagement Coordinator Mags Delaney-Moffatt who spoke about her background and her role at The PumpHouse encouraging the community to explore the performing arts beyond simply attending a performance as an audience member.

AGM attendees

Marketing Your Show: Why Is It So Important?

Ahh, marketing! Promotion! Being seen, noticed, and loved enough that people want to invest in whatever you are offering! How good is that?!

In the theatre world, the spotlight often shines brightest on the performances themselves. However, behind the scenes lies an equally crucial aspect that is often underestimated: marketing. Just as a captivating performance requires meticulous preparation, a successful theatre show requires marketing strategies to ensure that the curtains open to a full house. In this blog post, I’ll delve into my own reasons why marketing your theatre show is of paramount importance, and how you can ensure a deliciously successful show at The PumpHouse Theatre.

The first step is to create… ANTICIPATION… Make sure you have some top-notch promo material made – make teasers, trailers, posters, and incredible blurbs & taglines to pique the curiosity of potential attendees and create a buzz. For your artwork, I’d suggest commissioning an artist, photographer or graphic designer to help you create something authentic to your show. If that isn’t in your budget, then Photoshop, Canva, and Unsplash are your besties!

HANDY TIP: If you create the artwork yourself, make 3 – 5 very different versions. Send them to friends who have an eye for design and aesthetic, and be open to feedback. Sending to others is also a great way to make sure you don’t have any spelling errors, etc!

When creating your initial promo material, constantly be thinking about:

  • Your target audience
  • WHAT is the show about?
  • WHY should people see your show?

Every bit of material you create should be able to inform an audience of what it is and why they should see it.

Authenticity really is key too – be inspired by other theatre companies, but don’t copy. You need a strong brand identity to help your show stand out in a sea of entertainment options, making it memorable and instantly recognisable.

Give people a glimpse into the emotions they’ll experience when watching the performance. Whether it’s a heartwarming comedy, a thought-provoking drama, edgy performance art, or an awe-inspiring musical, marketing can convey the emotional resonance that encourages people to attend.

Next up – SOCIAL MEDIA! Everyone knows how powerful social media can be. When used correctly, it opens doors to new demographics and ensures a diverse and engaged audience. It is absolutely worth putting money into sponsored & boosted posts, but bear in mind you don’t need to be spending much! $10 – $20 is more than enough if you spend the time targeting audiences correctly. There are many websites to help you with this – a quick google search away!

And again, make sure your social media content is authentic to your show. It helps to have a plan of what you are going to share and when you’re going to share it, instead of doing it randomly, or (god forbid!) leaving all social media posting until the last minute!

Other ideas that are very effective include:

  • Allowing at least 3 months to start promotion and to get tickets live
  • Creating a marketing calendar to set a timeline of what you need to do & when you need to do it
  • Hiring a PR team to help you
  • Email – if you have a strong database, email is a very effective tool
  • Putting up billboards, posters and doing local flyer drops to places like libraries, cafes, community notice board
  • Writing a great press release to send to media
  • Interviews on radio, we love Kickarts & 95bFM (shout out)!
  • Interviews on TV
  • Putting ads in local or national papers and magazines (Channel Mag, Devonport Flagstaff & The Herald are winners for The PumpHouse)
  • Event discovery: listing your show on websites such as Eventfinda, The Big Idea, and Our Auckland
  • Reviewers are great for boosting ticket sales during longer show seasons, or building a respectable identity

At The PumpHouse, we assist you in promoting your show as much as possible. But our marketing alone is never enough to sell out your show. If you are putting on a show with us, book in a marketing meeting with me (Meg!) I will be able to set you on the right track and give you ideas unique to your show.

EMBRACE the power of good marketing, don’t allow it to be an after-thought, and you’ll ensure the success of your current production, while also contributing to the legacy of your theatre company!

The History of ‘The Green Shed’

Written by Mags-Delaney Moffatt

We all know it as The French Rendezvous Café/Restaurant where you can get coffee and crêpes, and dinner before shows (if you book!), but the building it sits in, whilst not as old as The PumpHouse Theatre building has had a long and varied career of its own.

This no-nonsense rectangle made of corrugated iron with a lofty roof and round windows at each end was built to house the electric engine which replaced the coal fired boilers somewhere around 1927.

For some reason lost in the mists of time it was painted dark green – and was christened The Green Shed – a name it was known by before it became a café (and still is by some of our older patrons).

It was planned to use the building as a multifunctional open space for activities associated with the art and a theatre workshop. Which, in the early days when the main building also housed an art gallery, it did.

Lunch time concerts and plays (accompanied by soup and a roll provided by volunteers) were very popular.

The ‘shed’ was utilised as a dressing room for the men for the first production on stage ‘Electra’ in 1977. Much of the engineering machinery was still in place so the actors were under strict instructions from the wardrobe mistress to be extra careful where they hung their costumes so they wouldn’t get oil or grease on them!

As when The PumpHouse building was bought by the council (but still leased and run by the North Shore Theatre and Arts Trust) it was decided to lease the building out as a café – because as it ever has been we need money to keep the arts alive at The PumpHouse!

Community Theatre defies odds with milestone anniversary

This blog post is written by Te Waha Nui AUT Student Journalist, Sophie Watson. Sophie is a good friend of the PumpHouse Theatre. Enjoy!

Shoreside Theatre is celebrating ten years of its local favourite ‘mid-winter mystery’, despite years of setbacks.

Agatha Christie’s Witness For The Prosecution marks a big anniversary for the community theatre company, says director Mags Delaney-Moffatt.

“Agatha Christie is a sure fire winner. To have been able to have done ten of them is something I don’t think many other theatre groups have achieved.”

Delaney-Moffatt says Shoreside’s legacy of Agatha Christie’s and their audiences’ long-time loyalty is key to keeping community theatre alive.

“Especially in this day and age with all the funding cuts… having a successful genre, like Christie, like Shakespeare, that helps keep Shoreside alive. Without that, we’d be stuck.”

“Because it’s something people are familiar with, (Christie’s plays) offer a bit of comfort, especially coming out of Covid… the fact that you could go and see a bit of Agatha Christie down at your local theatre.”

Plunged into a lockdown with the rest of Aotearoa in 2020, Shoreside Theatre was forced to cancel the seventh season of the mid-winter mysteries.

The company then discovered $60,000 had been stolen from their accounts.

The Shoreside committee, made up of volunteers, found their treasurer had been making fraudulent banking transfers, going so far as to use his own child’s bank account to hide the money.

Despite the blow, Shoreside pushed through with the help of their community, keeping the mid-winter spirit alive with 2021’s The Mousetrap and their annual Shakespeare In The Park.

“That was amazing… we had a real sellout season and that was fantastic because it showed that people were wanting to come out again. That sort of told us that this is the kind of theatre people want to come out to.”

Delaney-Moffatt says a lot is owed to the longevity of Agatha Christie’s stories, with their appeal to both young and old, but it’s Shoreside quality productions that keep audiences coming back.

“There are some people who come every single year and there are people who come for the first time and go, ‘oh, is there another one next year? I’ll come to that.’”

Witness For The Prosecution, adapted from Agatha Christie’s 1925 short story, is one of her most famed plays, opening in London in 1953. Since then, it has been performed hundreds of times worldwide and adapted to both TV and the big screen.

“It’s a courtroom drama, and you don’t often see that in (her) plays… Witness For The Prosecution is definitely Christie through and through.”

Delaney-Moffatt says there is something for everyone in the show.

“Be prepared to gasp out loud.”

Shoreside’s iteration is being performed at The Pumphouse Theatre in Takapuna until the 30th of July.


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