Founded in 1977 by our longest standing member and artist Dot Barnes, we ran as the Ohakune Art Awards until 2003 when we re-branded under Waimarino—meaning "Still Waters" in Te Reo Māori and our governance umbrella sponsor became Raetihi Promotions Charitable Trust. In 2018 we went National, targeting regional NZ. This year after the challenges of COVID we are back for 2023. Our mission is to enable artists and photographers of all ages and skill to showcase their creativity , gain experience, and have a chance to compete for prizes awarded by our expert judges. WAA gives locals, visitors and those passionate about creative arts and culture an opportunity to experience, enjoy and even purchase artistic works by our creative talent in New Zealand. Many of our participants are already recognized artists; many more artworks will be valuable assets in the future.