Current EVANZ Executive


I have been in the Event Industry for over 20 years and very proud of being able to say I started in the industry as a chair stacker making my way up to my current position.
I worked in Rotorua leaving there as the Stadium Manager then onto Waikato Stadium and Seddon Park in Hamilton leaving there as the Venue Manager and now at Eden Park in Auckland as the Operations Manager. I also spent some time in Christchurch working with the V Base team assisting with the opening of their temp stadium. I have previously served a three year term on the EVANZ Executive; I am a current VMA member and a PVMS Graduate.
My passion is assisting and improving our venue delivery to our clients and work daily with other venues and their staff assisting and helping where I can with advice or at least being able to point them in the right direction. 
I have had 2 terms on the EVANZ Executive.  In addition to this I have set up the annual Eden Park Event Scholarship, work experience programmes and organised ops forums for EVANZ member venues’ staff.

JOELENE ELLIOTT EVENTS VENUES ROTORUA: Vice President (2016 - present)

Born and raised in a small eastern bay town, Joelene moved to Rotorua after finishing high school to study Tourism at Waiariki Polytechnic, which led to employment with Tourism Rotorua Marketing as a Marketing Assistant. 

An opportunity arose to work at the Rotorua Convention Centre where she completed a Diploma in Tourism Industry Management, graduated from Public Venue Managers School and was promoted to Operations Manager for the Rotorua Convention Centre, Civic Theatre, Soundshell and Tea House.

With her background and experience (spanning over 15 years so far) she continues to work in the industry managing Rotorua’s  premier facility, the Energy Events Centre.  Also in 2013 she completed the Accredited Venue Manager (AVM) programme designed to recognise extensive venue management experience, contribution and qualifications for middle to senior managers.

Joelene has served 3 years on the Executive (one year as a co-opted member)


After an earlier career in Europe working in Hospo and Hotels I moved to New Zealand in 2007. Since then I have held a number of senior roles across the events and venues industry. I have worked in ticketing in Wellington and Auckland, I was the Operations Manager at Vbase prior to the earthquakes, Operations Manager at Vector Arena (now Spark Arena) and most recently I was the Head of Operations at Venues Wellington. I am now in Matamata as the Chief Operating Officer at Hobbiton Movie Set, one of New Zealand’s busiest tourist attractions.

New Zealand is fortunate to have some highly experienced and knowledgeable venue operators. I am a firm believer in information and knowledge sharing amongst peers, and I look forward to furthering EVANZ work in this area, through the Operations Forums we have established, their online support networks, advocacy and networking.


Helaina has over 25 years’ experience across the performing arts industry in New Zealand and is currently Project Manager for Creative Industries Development at Auckland Live.   Located in the Aotea Arts Quarter in Auckland’s CBD, Auckland Live is New Zealand’s largest performing arts centre responsible for programming and managing a range of iconic venues across the city.  The Creative Industries portfolio is focused on the strategic development of the future of New Zealand’s professional performing arts industry locally, nationally and internationally and this includes a strong focus on the upskilling and ongoing training of industry professionals.

Prior to joining Auckland Live, Helaina was General Manager and Executive Producer of the award-winning devised physical theatre company Red Leap Theatre and Artist and Logistics Manager with the Auckland Arts Festival.  She was with Creative New Zealand for six years covering a range of art form portfolios with a particular focus on the performing arts that included the role of Senior Advisor for Theatre and Dance.
Helaina’s career in New Zealand’s performing arts industry has been informed and influenced by her early years as an independent professional dancer working and touring for 16 years with many of New Zealand’s leading dancemakers.
Helaina has strong and enduring networks and relationships across government and the performing arts industry both nationally and internationally. 


In 2007 I became the Technical & Operations Coordinator at the Hawke’s Bay Opera House after completing my Masters in Theatre Arts Directing at Toi Whakaari NZ Drama School and Victoria University in Wellington.  After 3 years at the HB Opera House I was promoted to the Arts Programming Manager and worked there for another two years.  In 2009, while at HB Opera House, I was appointed to the board of PANNZ and in 2012 became the Chair of the organisation. During this time I moved from the Hawke’s Bay Opera House to become the Director of the Oamaru Opera House after a $10million refurbishment. I stayed in Oamaru for 2 ½ years working to build a hub for performing arts and at the end of 2014 the role of Manager of Baycourt became available and I moved to Tauranga.   In 2014, while Chair, PANNZ won the RFP for the National Touring Agency funding of $1.9million from CNZ.

I am very passionate about the venue and performing arts industry and believe I can contribute to ensuring that EVANZ members are well represented on the board.  I am a hard worker who is committed to growth, development and innovation and have never been known to avoid a challenge.  I try very hard to be forthright and open and will always work towards a fair and equitable outcome for all.   I am very excited about the next two year term as EVANZ board member and the PANNZ board representative and believe I can be a positive and progressive team member.


I have worked in various areas of Entertainment all my life, starting with band management in the early 1980’s I progressed to tour and production management via a few years as an agent working with bands like The Smiths and Primal Scream. My production management career took me all over the world with Take That, The Chemical Brothers, New Order and many others. When I came to New Zealand 15 years ago I worked on the Big Day Out for ten years as well as many other freelance projects both here and overseas.
In 2011 I was asked to manage U2 at Mt Smart on contract for what was the ARC in those days and then moved into a permanent role with Regional Facilities Auckland as the Head of Stadium Events, a role that developed over time with the addition of both Western Springs and North Harbour Stadiums.
In 2016 I took up the role of CEO at The Trusts Arena. I am passionate about increasing the breadth of live entertainment in the venue and improving the perception of what our venue can achieve in the future. I am very aware that I have received a lot from both the business and the people involved and now feel it’s the right time to be giving something back.