Erena Koopu is a painter and Maori performing artist committed to sustaining Māori culture through art by guiding and helping people to explore and discover their own creative core. Erena is a Kohanga Reo, Kura Kaupapa and Wharekura graduate who prides herself in all things Māori. She was one of the first students to graduate with a degree from EIT Tairāwhiti’s Toihoukura – School of Māori Visual Arts. Since that achievement, she has come full circle and now uses her position as senior lecturer to broadening knowledge of toi Māori through teaching and engagement. Her role allows her to investigate art in a framework that encompasses all aspects of Te Ao Māori for students who may have little to no experience of a Māori worldview of art and its related protocols.