Welcome to
Visual Intelligence

Originally established in Dunedin in 2004, Visual Intelligence is a boutique-style tattoo studio, formerly of Mount Maunganui, now based in beautiful Pāpāmoa. We have four tattoo artists with the combined experience of 50 years.  We specialise in all styles of tattooing and offer a friendly, professional and personalised service, together with high quality artwork, in a comfortable and relaxed environment. Hygiene and sterility are of the utmost importance to us and we pride ourselves in our studio’s excellent health and safety practices.


If you require high quality, custom tattoo art, please contact our studio to arrange a consultation or call in to see us.  You can also find us on Instagram and our Facebook page.

  • Instagram
  • Facebook



Macaela is the studio manager who also manages all four artists' diaries/schedules and ensures the shop runs smoothly, efficiently and professionally for both the artists and their clients.  She is your first port-of-call for all general enquiries for tattoo requests and artwork commissions, and she will also make sure you are booked in with the most suitable artist for your particular piece of art.  A self-taught artist,  and with an eye for colour, Macaela loves painting in oils and especially loves to paint large scale pieces. She is drawn towards painting big, bold and beautiful florals, or textured abstract paintings, and is happy to take on commissioned pieces.  Contact Macaela at the studio for all enquiries.



Emily started tattooing in West London in 2003, and has since tattooed in London, Perth and Sydney, and then joined the Visual Intelligence team in 2018.  Her portfolio consists of many tattoo styles, however she particularly loves illustrative and neo traditional but is happy to do anything and everything.  She is your go-to for gorgeous fineline floral tattoos and creates beautiful pieces of art for her clients.  She's also an amazing painter, painting in oils, acrylics and watercolours.



Aaron started tattooing in 1997 and is self-taught.  He does any style of tattooing, including Ta Moko and Polynesian, and in particular large, custom work in black & grey or colour.  He especially loves doing large bold work and blackout/blackwork tattoos but is also happy doing smaller, fun pieces in any style.  He and his wife, Macaela, opened Visual Intelligence in Dunedin in 2004, relocating the studio to Mount Maunganui in 2015, and then to beautiful Pāpāmoa in 2021.  Aaron enjoys creating other forms of art and does amazing paintings using both acrylics and oils on canvas, and creates outdoor paintings using aerosol paint. He also carves beautiful custom Maori/Polynesian designs on skatedecks. He welcomes all commissions.


Ben started his tattoo career in 2016 when he moved from Dunedin and joined Visual Intelligence in Mount Maunganui as Aaron's apprentice.  He is skilled in all styles of tattooing, but particularly loves large colour and oriental designs but is happy taking on any style. Ben also enjoys  many other forms of art and does amazing paintings.  He's also a skilled airbrush artist and has airbrushed cars as well as producing many awesome airbrush portraits on both canvas and board.



Kyah is 18yrs old, the newest member of the V.I. crew, and has grown up around the studio his whole life. In his final year of Pāpāmoa College in 2020, he received the “Mana Toi Tāne Award” which is awarded to “the male student who represents their culture through the visual arts, with perseverance, commitment and pride”. Kyah has also just completed Level 4 Art & Design at Toi Ohomai, and has a passion for Māori and Japanese art. Kyah started his tattoo journey in July 2021 and is apprenticing under, and mentored by, Aaron.




  • Instagram


  • Instagram


  • Instagram


  • Instagram


Hand-carved by Aaron Manuel

Each hand-carved deck is a unique, one-off custom design, and comes ready to hang.  A great gift for that person who has everything, or an awesome alternative to a 21st key.  Most decks pictured were commissioned pieces and have been sold.  All decks are inspired by Aaron's love for art, culture, skating and tattooing.  More commissions welcome. (Double click to enlarge pic)



Maori Skull2.jpg


It is important that you follow these after-care instructions, as it will give you the best results for your tattoo:


  1. If possible, try to get to a shower within two hours of being tattooed and remove plastic wrap. 

  2. Gently wash the tattooed area with either a tattoo wash or mild soap, then rinse.

  3. Slowly turn the heat up on your tattoo until it’s slightly hotter.  It will sting but get use to this heat then turn it up a little more.  This process will clean your tattoo and get rid of any blood or excess ink that has dried on the skin.

  4. Pat dry with a clean, dry towel and carefully apply a thin layer of aftercare recommended by your tattoo artist, gently patting away any excess with a clean paper towel and also wiping away aftercare from the skin surrounding your tattoo.  DO NOT smother your tattoo in aftercare, apply a thin layer only! 

  5. Before bed repeat cleaning instructions 2, 3 and 4, then again in the morning.  You may find that pj’s or sheets may have stuck to your tattoo during the night – be careful when pulling off!

  6. If you need to cover your tattoo for any reason, i.e. work, unhygienic environment etc, wrap tattoo with plastic wrap and tape the ends with medical tape.  This wrap needs to be changed every 3-5hrs, washing tattoo between changes.  If in a clean environment, keep unwrapped to let it breathe.


~ Keep applying the aftercare until your tattoo is fully healed (generally 10-14 days).  You only need to apply the cream when your tattoo is looking dry, approx 3-4 times a day.  Always wash hands before and after applying aftercare product. 

~ A thin scab will form and will start to peel 4-6 days afterwards.  DO NOT pick or peel this off!  Removing the scab may pull ink out while it's trying to heal.

~ You may find that your tattoo can get quite itchy while it’s healing, DO NOT scratch your tattoo! 

~ DO NOT swim at the beach, swimming pool or soak in a bath or spa while it's trying to heal.  You may go swimming once it has fully healed (generally 10-14 days)

~ AVOID the sun on your fresh tattoo and ALWAYS use sunblock once your tattoo has healed.  The sun is the number one cause of tattoos fading!

 ~ And lastly, personal hygiene is a must!!!  Clean clothing next to your tattoo and showering every day is essential to the healing of your fresh tattoo.

We stock two brands of aftercare in our studio, Z Balm and After Art.  Ask your artist which aftercare is best for you.

After Art.jpg




Shop 6

80 Parton Road

Pāpāmoa 3118

Tel: 07 575 9682






Monday - Friday: 9am - 5:30pm
​​Saturdays by appt: 9am - 4:30pm
​Sunday: Closed