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Support for Mäori arts organisations

Support for Mäori arts organisations

Just two weeks into rehearsals in July this year Taki Rua Productions' new te reo Mäori play Awhina had sold out. When its tour of the North Island finishes later this month, the cast will have performed the play nearly 70 times in front of about 10,000 people.

The success of Taki Rua's annual Te Reo Mäori tour has helped secure the company an increase in its annual Creative New Zealand funding through Te Waka Toi and the Arts Board to $315,000.

"It means we'll be able to extend Te Reo Mäori tour next year - possibly even to the South Island for the first time," Taki Rua Tumuaki-Executive Director Sarah Griffiths said.

"Each year we commission a new play in te reo Mäori and next year it will be by Kahu Hotere, who has been honing her writing skills through Taki Rua's Writers Block development course. We're also planning to tour Hone Kouka's new play, The Prophet, to several North Island towns."

Te Waka Toi Chair Elizabeth Ellis said: "Taki Rua's strong support of te reo and tikanga as part of its artistic vision has meant its contribution to the development of New Zealand theatre has been enormous.

"It makes a unique contribution to the development of a New Zealand voice."

Creative New Zealand through the funding decisions of its two boards - the Arts Board and Te Waka Toi - offered a total of $12.6 million, supporting the annual programmes of activity of its 38 recurrently funded organisations for the 2004 calendar year. This includes the nine organisations it funds on a three-year basis.

Among the 38 organisations supported by Creative New Zealand on a recurrent basis are several Mäori arts organisations including Toi Mäori Aotearoa, Te Whare Tu Taua o Aotearoa, Te Whanau Paneke and Kahurangi New Zealand Mäori Dance Trust.

"Giving regular support to these organisations was helped by the Government's Cultural Recovery Package funding three years ago. It provides them with stability and the means to develop their artforms and their leadership capabilities at both a regional and national level.

"Through this system both Te Waka Toi and the Arts Board are able to fund a range of diverse, exciting activities and services that advance Mäori arts," Ms Ellis said.

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