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Waitangi Day Elements Festival Best Yet!

6 February 2006
Te Rauparaha Park

January 23, 2006– Preview Wrap

Waitangi Day Elements Festival Best Yet!

More than one thousand entertainers and artists from New Zealand and overseas will gather for the Waitangi Day Festival of the Elements in Porirua next week (Monday, February 6).

The one day Festival, now in its 14th year, is ready to go with an exhilarating mix of art, craft, song and dance from all corners of the world.

Festival chairman Bob Cater says the Elements Festival is now one of the best Festivals of its kind in New Zealand, and one of the country‘s biggest Waitangi Day events.

“Continuing help from our generous sponsors means that admission to the festival remains free. It goes ahead rain, hail or shine. I have to say that this 2006 Festival is a real beauty, our best yet,“ says Mr Cater.

The programme kicks off at 10 am on Waitangi Day, with entertainment throughout the day, and an evening concert finishing with the Festival Fireworks Spectacular at 9.45pm.

“It’s a great opportunity to pack a chair and a picnic, and see some truly excellent talent,“ says Mr Cater.

The wide ranging Festival programme reflects New Zealand’s cultural diversity, made possible by the Treaty of Waitangi.

Special attractions and headliners include:

- THE TAUMATA WHITIREA DANCE COMPANY - A stunning taste of the Pacific in an evening concert featuring music and dance from Maori, Samoan and Cook Island cultures.

- AUCKLAND JAZZ DIVA EDWINA THORN – This Auckland based musician, trained in New Zealand and the USA, is renown for her energy and passion for the trumpet and her sizzling jazz talents.

- HOBNAIL BOOTS – A Wellington based band, with two world tours and several albums of original songs to their credit. A blend of “soaring song, furious fiddling, berserk banjo, fabulous folk, beautiful ballads and some twisted versions of pop classics”.

- BODYFX – a spectacular new evening show created for the Festival, supported by fire dancers.

- GARY MCCORMICK - Former NZ entertainer of the Year, McCormick makes a welcome return as the principal Festival MC.

- TE PAPA’S NEW TREATY 2 U - This touring exhibition on the Treaty of Waitangi is a collaboration between Te Papa, the National Library, and the Archives of New Zealand. The exhibition, with the latest in interactive technology, is housed in a specially converted semi trailer that opens out to two to three times its size. A coup for the Festival on Waitangi Day!

- DANIEL REEVE - A special presentation by this movie cartographer and calligrapher. One of the creative talents behind the new King Kong movie, the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, and the Lord of the Rings films. Reeve will outline his work at a special Festival presentation.

- CELEBRATED NZ POET, ALISTAIR TE ARIKI CAMPBELL - A treat for all lovers of poetry. Special readings by the winner of the 2005 Prime Minister's Award for poetry, and recipient of an ONZM for services to Literature in the 2005 NZ New Years Honours list. Readings also by his wife, Meg, another NZ poet of note.

- OWEN MAPP - Perhaps New Zealand's pre-eminent bone carver. Mapp’s work is collected world-wide. His netsuke (originally bone toggles to fasten kimono) are keenly sought in Japan.

- INTERNATIONAL ORIGAMI MASTER, JONATHAN BAXTER – Rotorua based Baxter brings his craft and exceptional talents to the Festival in a special presentation at the Pataka Museum and Art Gallery. Baxter shows that origami is not just a children's craft.

- BONSAI CONNOISSEUR - Hamilton's Noel Plowman is internationally recognised for his Bonsai expertise, and has been honoured in Japan. He demonstrates what bonsai is like at its best in many different styles.

- WIIKAANE INKA – Flying in from the USA, Wiikaane Inka presents the unique sounds of the Native American and Andean instruments.

- BEHNAWA - PRECIOUS THREADS -Two parades featuring traditional and contemporary regional attire and adornment from exotic India."

- FESTIVAL SKATE JAM - A major prize of $1500 is on offer for skateboarders at the Festival Skate Jam. The big prize purse is expected to attract some of New Zealand’s leading skateboarders to the competition, being held for the first time at the Festival.

- FESTIVAL SCULPTURE COMPETITION – A return of this popular contest with sculptors from throughout Wellington competing. The competition uses recycled materials to express Waitangi Day themes.

- THE KAPI-MANA 'ART ACTION!' - with Circus Oz’s DEBORAH POPE. The Festival’s new special children’s programme – A Festival within a Festival just for children. Deborah Pope, one of the premier international circus/theatre talents to come from New Zealand, is fresh from a tour in the U.K. with Circus Oz. She’ll run workshops in trapeze, acrobatics, juggling and rope skills for 5-12 year olds. Pope leads a long list of other talented guests taking workshops for children. Players from the CAPITAL SHAKERS netball team, and NZ players from Touch and Rugby will also be at ART ACTION! to assist throughout the day.

And then there are the support acts with music, dance, art and craft from Europe, Asia, Mexico, the Pacific Islands – and our own home-grown talent! They include:

- Klezmer Rebs – Yiddish & eastern European band

- Random Actz - Grass roots reggae. Most music played is their own. A great opportunity to see an excellent band on its way up.

- Nina Swift – Celtic harp

- The Wellington Choir of World Song Singers

- MDG Sri Lankan Dancing Group

- Greenink – Traditional / Contemporary Irish music

- Atuhau Makaka Niue

- Carlos Navarette - (Mexican)

- The Thomas Kennedy Mukume Taiko (Japanese) Drummers

- Deborah Hale Musical Theatre

- Born to Siva Hip Hop Dance Group

- The Wellington International Filipino Society

- Showkids

- The Kiribati Cultural Group

- Maria Ortiz

- The Lublin (Polish) Dance group

- Kerry School of Dance

- Kauhiva Tokelau Group, Porirua

- The Kapi Mana Rock and Roll Club

- Fijian cultural group

- The Ceroc Stars

- The Outerline Line Dancers

- Fujansu – a threesome hip hop group with a Polynesian flavour

- Junior Smokefree Band winners

- Lynley Goodisson – Acoustic Guitar and Vocals

- Bacapella

- Strike Four (Highly acclaimed Girls Barbershop Quartet from Aotea College)

Food and craft stalls will be available at the Festival.

The Festival of the Elements began in Porirua as a small community event to New Zealand’s cultural diversity, made possible by the Treaty of Waitangi.

It is a non-profit event, organised by the Porirua Community Arts Council.

Most of the Festival centres at Te Rauparaha Park in central Porirua and in the Pataka Museum of Arts & Culture. The new children’s programme, the Kapi Mana Art Action! will be held in the Porirua Recreation Centre.

If it rains the open-air events will move under the Porirua canopies. Members of the public who want to double check wet weather arrangements can ring the Porirua i-SITE for a recorded message after 9.00am on 237 8088 on Waitangi Day.

The full Festival programme is now on the Festival website at


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