The Trust was established in 2013 to produce the inaugural Light Nelson Event. It was formed by a collection of leading Nelson Artists and business people who shared a common vision to establish a sustainable, unique event in Nelson during the winter months that celebrated the use of light in all its forms.
In 2020, with a shift in creative direction to respond to the event’s ongoing growth in size and popularity, the Trust adopted the new name Te Ramaroa, whose meaning reflects the concept of a beacon that honours the past, celebrates the present, and holds a light to a bright and positive future.

In July 2021, Te Ramaroa Trust will host their fifth event, expanding its footprint with a trail of carefully selected artworks across central Nelson.


More than 40,000 people turned out to enjoy the spectacle of 66 light installations through Queens Gardens, Albion Square and NMIT campus. This year featured an enhanced Light Nelson Hub on Hardy Street, as well as the return of the Lightbulb Men and roving entertainers. Highlights included Flame Daisy’s giant neon Cathy Wheel on the old wooden bridge, aerialist Chloe Loftus high up in a tree in Albion Square, and in an international triumph, Nelson’s own Mr Science claiming a new world record for the world’s longest double helix structure, coming in at 68.5metres.

Ben Clegg, Rainbow in the Dark, Light Nelson 2013


We had an amazing 62 installations, and participation increased to over 55,000 people attending over four nights. Part of Hardy Street was closed off to create a hub with food stalls, children’s activities, entertainment; and the historic Arts & Media building was wondrously illuminated with appropriate moving imagery by Jon Baxter. The economic benefits to the city increased, thanks to the continuing marketing collaboration with the regional tourism organisation.


The Nelson City Council became our core funder, we entered a joint venture with other key arts, education and tourism organisations and attendance grew to 45,000 over three nights, attracted by 38 installations. We made the decision to go biennial, allowing better use of resources and more time for artists to work on their installations.

Fleur Stewart’s 'Glowing Sheep' and Anne Rush’s 'Lucent 11' were stand out installations.

Delainy Kennedy and Sam Hodgson-, United Intergalactic Network, Light Nelson 2014
Anne Rush, Lucent, 2013


The Light Nelson Trust was established to stage the first Light Nelson event in the Queen’s Gardens and Albion Square. The 23 projects were enthusiastically received by the artistic community and the public. Highlights included Sue Haydon’s 'Precipice' created with members of the migrant community and Ben Clegg’s 'Rainbow Bridge' which gave us one of the events most enduring images.


With the help of local artist Anne Rush and photographer John-Paul Pochin, a small group of diverse but like minded people formed the Light Nelson Collective, forming an ‘engine room’ of support and creative opportunities for anybody wishing to get involved in the event.

Light Nelson Collective

The Collective is the birthplace of the Light Nelson event (now Te Ramaroa) and remains its creative engine. The Collective provides a supportive, educational and creative environment that is open to everybody. It's an opportunity to share ideas, skills, collaborate on projects or even just socialise with like-minded people. You can join in person and via the Collective Facebook page , or you may also wish to sign up to the Collective mailing list.

For further information contact [email protected]
Ann Rush, Lucent, Light Nelson Festival 2016
NCC logoRata Foundation logo

Sign up for our newsletter