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Festivals To Showcase Pacific Arts


Media release

To: Arts Reporters/Pacific Affairs Reporters

Date: 22 November 2004

Festivals to showcase Pacific arts with Pacific Arts Committee grants

Pacific artists and their work will be showcased in festivals in Auckland, Palmerston North and Tauranga with the support of grants from the Pacific Arts Committee of Creative New Zealand in its latest project funding round.

A grant of $30,000 to the Pasifika Festival 2005 will provide fees to performers on three of the main stages. To be held at Western Springs in Auckland on 12 March, this is the largest annual Pacific festival in the world showcasing the work of community groups and artists across artforms and cultures to an audience of more than 150,000.

Pacific Arts Committee Chair Marilyn Kohlhase said the Committee has supported the Pasifika Festival for several years. In this funding round, it offered a significantly larger grant than in previous years in recognition of the festival's importance, profile and role in presenting Pacific arts to a huge, diverse audience from Auckland and beyond.

"This is New Zealand's leading festival celebrating Pacific arts, cultures and communities," Ms Kohlhase said. "We're delighted to be working with the Auckland City Council to support our talented artists."

In this funding round, the Pacific Arts Committee received 50 applications requesting close to $596,400. In the end, it offered a total of $162,700 to 22 projects.

Two festivals celebrating Pacific arts and taking place in Palmerston North next year were offered grants from the Pacific Arts Committee. The Pacific Educators Manawatu was offered a $3500 grant towards a one-day cultural festival for secondary school students in the Manawatu and Horowhenua in early 2005. To be held at Massey University, the festival will include a speech competition, talent quest and guest speakers.

And the Pacific Dreams Trust, based in Hastings, was offered an $8000 grant to showcase Pacific arts at Te Matatini National Festival, the biennial national kapa haka competition to be held in Palmerston North in February 2005.

The inaugural Ngà Papaka o Rangataua Festival in Tauranga, to be held in late November, will feature an evening performance by popular Pacific band Nesian Mystik with a $5000 grant to organisers Tahuwhakatiki Marae Trustees. Nesian Mystik will also conduct a music workshop with children at Te Kura Kaupapa o Otepu in Tauranga.

The projects being organised by the Public Dreams Trust and Tahuwhakatiki Marae Trustees were supported under the Pacific Art Committee's Tàngata Whenua Links funding programme. The aim of this programme is to strengthen links between Màori and Pacific cultures.

"These projects can inspire new ways of working and result in innovative work that pushes boundaries," Ms Kohlhase said. "Strong connections were made between Mäori and Pacific artists during the recent 9th Festival of Pacific Arts in Belau and these collaborative projects help maintain the valuable relationships that were formed during the festival."

A feature of this project funding round was the grants supporting Pacific theatre. Lower Hutt playwright and actor Fiona Collins, for instance, was offered a $9000 grant to present her play, My Penina, in Wellington following its successful debut season at the 2004 Fringe Festival. As well as writing the play, she'll be sharing the stage with two other actors.

Two emerging playwrights, supported in the previous funding round to write theatre scripts, have now been offered grants to present these completed works in 2005. Sebastian Hurrell of Palmerston North was offered a $8500 grant to present Palangi Loi, the story of a half-caste boy growing up in Tonga. And The Lijian Ltd of Auckland was offered a $12,000 grant to present Love Handles, a new play by Auckland playwright Annette Arapai.

"It's exciting to see the development of emerging playwrights from the first draft of their play through to the mentoring process, the rewriting and, finally, the staging," Ms Kohlhase said. "The Pacific Arts Committee is pleased to be able to support Pacific playwrights to tell their stories to audiences hungry to hear them."

Applications to the next funding round of Creative New Zealand close on 25 February 2005. Copies of The Funding Guide: Ngä Pütea 2004-2005 are available from Creative New Zealand offices or can be downloaded from the publications page of its website (


The following page provide a brief description of the 22 projects.
Pacific Arts Committee project funding

Pacific Arts Development

$3000 to Huia Publishers of Wellington: towards publishing Dream Fish Floating, a first collection of poems by Karlo Mila

$2200 to Richard Shortland Cooper (Cook Islands) of Manukau: towards the airfares and freight costs of an exhibition in the Cook Islands

$5000 to Gallery Pasifika Ltd of Christchurch: towards workshops for Pacific visual artists

$3700 to Louise Tu'u (Samoan) of Newton, Auckland: towards writing a second play, Der Nüzl

$4800 to Andy Leleisi'uao (Samoan) of Mangere, Auckland: towards creating new work for an exhibition in 2005

$15,000 to Island Divas of Auckland: towards a workshop series to develop work for international touring, including the Venice Dance Biennale 2005

$6000 to Zora Feilo-Makapa (Niuean) of Grey Lynn, Auckland: towards a photography exhibition in January 2005

$12,000 to the University of Canterbury in Christchurch: towards its annual Pacific artist residency programme at the Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies

$3000 to Miria George (Cook Islands) of Wellington: towards writing a full-length play

Pacific Arts Promotion

$4000 to Noel Faifai (Samoan) of Lower Hutt: towards work for a solo exhibition, Polyglifix, to open in January 2005

$8500 to Sebastian Hurrell (Tongan) of Palmerston North: towards presenting a new theatre work, Palangi Loi

$3500 to Pacific Educators Manawatu of Palmerston North: towards a one-day cultural festival for secondary school students in the Manawatu and Horowhenua in early 2005

$10,000 to Victoria University of Wellington: towards the costs of Pacific artists participating in the international Culture Moves! conference, to be held at Te Papa in November 2005

$12,000 to The Lijan Ltd of Auckland: towards presenting Love Handles, written by Annette Arapai, in Auckland in March 2005

$30,000 to Auckland City Council: towards fees for artists performing at the Pasifika Festival 2005 in March

$6000 to Shigeyuki Kihara (Samoan) of Newton, Auckland: towards the costs of participating in a group exhibition at the Chelsea Art Museum in New York

$9000 to Fiona Collins (Samoan) of Lower Hutt: towards presenting her play, My Penina, in Wellington following its successful debut season at the 2004 Fringe Festival

Heritage Arts

$2000 to Lito Vilisoni (Nuiean) of Mt Roskill, Auckland: towards making a short film that documents the Nuie language

$7000 to Esetela Viliamu (Nuiean) of Manukau: towards recording traditional and contemporary Nuie songs and chants

$3000 to Nukunonu Baby (a Tokelauan group) of Porirua: towards recording a CD of 12 original Tokelauan music

Tangata Whenua Links

$5000 to Tahuwhakatiki Marae Trustees of Tauranga: towards a workshop with children and an evening performance by Nesian Mystik at Nga Papaka o Rangataua Festival 2004 in Tauranga

$8000 to Public Dreams Trust of Hastings: towards a Pacific arts component at Te Matatini National Festival 2005, to be held in Palmerston North in February 2005

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