Julie Paama-Pengelly, chairperson of Te Tuhi Māreikura Trust, is a tā moko practitioner, cultural artist, writer and painter with a Masters in Māori Visual Arts and Masters in Development Studies. In the past she has taught art at various tertiary institutions, and headed the Māori Visual Arts School for Awanuiarangi. Julie wrote Māori Art and Design which won a Māori Book Award in 2010. She serves as a consultant on building Art Collections, Māori Arts Education and Development for MOE and the tertiary sector, while operating her own business Art + Body Creative Studio in Mount Maunganui.
Julie describes her core practice and values as "deriving from my passion to create a space for Māori to recover a positive identity and future development through our visual art traditions".
The creation of Tā Ātea, a festival gathering of indigenous body marking practitioners from all over the world to strategise, educate and share a breadth of art traditions is the primary activity of Te Tuhi Māreikura Trust. The goal is to provide opportunities for Maori artists to develop skills, international networks and build audiences.