About Us

A modern translation of the word Kura is that of precious or prestigious. Kura refers to the red feathers that were worn by Rangitira (Maori Chiefs). These red feathers therefore became revered as being prestigious or precious.

Kura Gallery provides access for locals and international visitors to quality contemporary Maori and New Zealand art + design through well established & highly visible art spaces located in Wellington and Auckland. We value the authenticity of works from our Maori artists and operate as a licensed stockist for ‘Toi Iho’, the mark of authenticity and quality for Maori arts and crafts. Kura is owned and operated by Jude Dods and her son Ben Dods.

Kura Wellington Team

Jude Dods

Arts Director

Jude is a 7th generation New Zealander and affiliated to Papawai Marae, Wairarapa and Ngai Tahu through her mother.  Jude has a background in industrial design and art. She has lived and travelled extensively around the world and has first hand experience in recognising the value and importance of supporting indigenous arts. Jude opened her first gallery in Namibia, Africa, providing a space for local artists to sell their works and enabling opportunities for travellers to access authentic arts and crafts from the area. Jude opened her first Kura Gallery in Taupo 1998 with the same intention, recognising the lack of available gallery spaces for many of our talented and skilled artists to exhibit and promote their work.

Jude co-owned Kura Taupo with business partner Carol until 2000 when an opportunity to open another gallery in Wellington presented itself. Kura Taupo and Wellington kept the same name but the businesses was separated. Kura Auckland opened in December,  2002. Jude is a visionary and like the rest of the Kura team, very passionate about supporting the growth of Maori art and increasing the exposure of Maori and New Zealand art + design to locals and the international community.

Ben Dods

Business Director

Bachelor of Business – IT Major, Wellington. Associate Diploma in Mechanical Engineering. Ben joined Jude and the Kura fold in Wellington 2001.
He is the Business Manager for Kura Wellington and Auckland and is Kura’s number one problem solver and resourceful do-it-your-self master. He keeps the Kura whanau on target.

Sanne White – Nga Puhi

Gallery Supervisor

Sanne does it all – from maintaining relationships with our artists and customers, to wrapping up your precious taonga, whether it be as a gift or travelling overseas. She plays a vital role in our team here at Kura, and her smile and giggles are contagious.

Francesca Gould – Waitaha, Kati Mamoe, Kaai Tahu

Gallery Assistant/Social Media Content Creator

Studying a Bachelor of Design at Massey University – majoring in Visual Communication Design, Francesca has always had a passion for art and the creative world. Francesca originates from the Aoraki rohe – home to 412 Maori Rock art sites, the original art galleries of Aotearoa!
She is responsible for all of Wellington Kura Gallery’s social media platforms, and you’ll see her in store on weekends and occasionally throughout the week.

Finn Mora Hill – Ngai Tahu

Gallery Assistant/ Social Media Content Creator

Finn is currently doing a Bachelor of Design, majoring in Fashion and enjoys being creative. At Kura, Finn works in both commerce and retail and in his free time, you may see him skating around the streets of Wellington.

Kura Auckland Team

Sera Clifton

Gallery Manager

Having relocated from Te Tairawhiti, where she spent 16 years raising her family and studying in various wananga, Sera joins the Kura Whanau to lead the team as Kaitiaki Taonga/Manager. Sera is a practicing multi media artist with a degree in contemporary Maori Visual Art (Toihoukura), has a background in retail gallery spaces and is a strong advocate for emerging toi Maori artists.