To apply for the Costume Construction course students must be at least 18 years of age by the first day of term (for example, Monday 19 February 2018). There is no upper age limit.

**** Applications for entry in 2018 have now closed ****

Applications are invited from candidates of all backgrounds with or without prior technical experience in theatre or fashion, although a basic level of sewing proficiency is required. Entry to the course is by portfolio and interview. Applicants may be short-listed.

Outline of the application process:

  • Submit an initial online Application Form
  • Submit an online Applicant’s Supplementary Information Form
  • Nominate two referees and ask them to complete and submit the online Reference Form

Each time you submit an online form you should receive an email confirmation from us. If you don’t, this means the form hasn’t submitted correctly, or it might be in your junkmail folder. Please contact us if you have any problems

In the Personal Statement section of the Applicant’s Supplementary Form please address the following (200 words each max):

  • Your most significant achievements to date
  • What qualities you would bring to Toi Whakaari
  • What you expect to gain from your time at Toi Whakaari

You are particularly encouraged to share some personal insights and influences that shaped you.

In the Portfolio section of the Applicant’s Supplementary Form you can either: enter a link to your website/Tumblr/Dropbox or other online portal, or you can insert the portfolio images into a ‘ZIP’ file and email them to before the application deadline of Friday 29th of September 2017.

  • Provide colour photos of two costume or clothing projects (e.g. a costume for the school play, a garment you have made for yourself, etc). Photos should include a complete front view of the garment, a complete back view, and close ups of any interesting detail. If you are selected for an interview you will be asked to bring this work with you. DO NOT SEND IN THE GARMENTS.

Selected applicants will be invited to attend Applicants’ Weekend at Toi Whakaari in Wellington in early November,this is an opportunity to meet current students and staff. Interviews will follow over the weekend. Applicants Weekend will be on Friday 3rd and Saturday 5th of November in 2017.

During the interview the applicant’s sense of vocation and vision in relation to a career in the industry is assessed. If applicants are unable to travel to Wellington for this weekend alternative arrangements may be possible. Once these interviews are completed, successful applicants are offered a place or may be recalled for an additional interview in Wellington. All applicants will be notified of the interview panel’s decision by mail. On acceptance, successful applicants must provide a confidential medical report.


Anyone is welcome to come into the school to observe a class or to experience the ambiance of Te Whaea. Please call at least a fortnight in advance to make a time.


Fees for 2017 are $7,287 (incl GST). Fees for 2018 will be set later in the year.  There is also a Student Services Levy of approximately $300 – $450 per year (subject to confirmation). Students need to buy around $300 worth of equipment before the course starts. It is also recommended that students allocate an additional $1000 to $1500 per annum for associated course costs. Students should contact  StudyLink as soon as possible prior to the beginning of the school year to start the application process.

International Students

Toi Whakaari welcomes applications from international students.  International students are not eligible for any government support while studying at the school and have to pay international student fees. International applicants can be interviewed on-line via Skype or video conference. For more information about international applications, visit the International Students’ section of our website or email

Australian students

Australian students pay Domestic Students fees but must meet New Zealand government residency requirements in regard to eligibility for Student Loans. More information is available here.

Receive Information on the Course

If you would like to receive more information on the Costume Construction course please email