Wawata Creative is a full service communications agency
based in Rotorua and Wellington, established out of deep love and respect for our Māori culture.

Ko wai Mātou


At WAWATA CREATIVE we foster dreamers who cultivate thought-provoking narratives and content. The unique team we pull together for each project is made up of experienced, happy, positive people who produce exceptional pieces of advertising artistry and generally make the world a better place. We’re passionate about our culture, love what we do and work hard to get it right.

With over 20 years’ experience in advertising, engagement and comms, we work alongside agencies and clients in Aotearoa and overseas to share our indigenous stories and content in an empowering and authentic way.

Inia Maxwell  
Creative Director
Ngāti Rangiwewehi, Ngāti Whakaue

Born and raised in Rotorua, Inia’s parents instilled the idea that his culture should always be shared.  Decades of travel around the world as a culturalperformer and ambassador for Rotorua and Aotearoa has shaped his creative thinking. His advertising career began in 1998 at Saatchi & Saatchi and his first and most memorable campaign was the 1999 Adidas Rugby World Cup where he introduced powerful Māori creative to the world.

Inia has worked with agencies nationally and abroad on numerous campaigns providing creative and cultural content with an approach that is integrity-driven, honest and inclusive.  He navigates the ever changing creative landscape with ease, infusing cultural narratives and content into advertising that works for Māori and non-Māori audiences.

Inia is a renowned kapa haka leader, trained actor, qualified camera operator, avid fisherman, super dad and a genuine down to earth, nice guy.

Rongopai Maxwell
Managing Director, Head of Engagement and Insights
Te Whānau-a-Apanui, Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Kauwhata, Ngāi Tahu

Rongopai is a creatively-wired strategic thinker with extensive experience in the education and public sectors as well as national and international project and event management.

The core of her career has been culturally driven and people focused which has made engagement and insight gathering a space in which she thrives with a natural approach that is values based and mana enhancing.

Rongopai also works creatively on campaigns drawing from her lived experience and insights to develop authentic and meaningful content.

When she’s not working, you’ll find her in Raukokore making memories with her parents and four phenomenal tamariki.