Brian King Retires

Pitopito Kōrero


February 4, 2021



While we will miss his keen eye for design, passion for live theatre and soothing demeanour, Brian King will leave our staff after 10 years to enjoy his well-earned retirement this February.

“My connection with the School started in 2003 as a Design student,” says Brian. “I will be ever grateful for the learning opportunities and the relationships made with passionate and creative colleagues and students that have enabled and uplifted me on the way. I have valued Toi Whakaari’s committed investigation into how we deliver a humanising arts-based training, which is of and for this place – Aotearoa. Keep going.”

Highlights of his time at Toi are many, but include studying under and working alongside Penny Fitt (Head of Design 2003- 2016), designing graduation productions for Prof David O’Donnell (Henry VI, 2006) and John Bolton (Peer Gynt, 2006 and Dying for It, 2016); subsequent designs for Peter Zazalli (Love + Information, 2019) and Christian Penny (Caucasian Chalk Circle, 2009); feeding 150+ at annual School marae visits to Manutuke, Tairawhiti. “The real highlight though is being part of the wrestle students have with the learning and the world as they discover and reveal who they are becoming as artists and individuals. It is a constant source of hope for the future.” 

Former Head of Design, Emma Ransley, recognises Brian's vast significance to the school.

“To say Brian's impact on the Design degree programme is immense would be an absolute understatement.  Brian is a poutokomanwa, not only for the Design department but for the Kura.  He has been our heart-post, connecting and holding us up through his pursuit of meaningful academic excellence and a truly reciprocal educational experience for our students – he is central to who we are and how we welcome people to our whare. Brian does all of this and more with utter elegance and pinch of splendid repartee – we are so grateful for his presence and will miss him dearly.”

We sincerely thank Brian for his years of service to our students and wish him and Bobbie-Joe well in a restful retirement. Haere pai e hoa.


IMAGE: Peter Zazalli and Brian King, Love + Information, 2019 photo credit Philip Merry.