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Variety Of Speakers At Parihaka Peace Festival

Variety Of Speakers At Parihaka International Peace Festival

SPEAKERS at this year’s Parihaka International Peace Festival range from activists and gang members to poets and politicians. The festival, which starts on Thursday evening, features an array of activities, including speakers’ forums, films, children’s programmes, teenage workshops, traditional healing, arts & crafts, as well as three performance stages.

THE Speakers Forum will feature over a dozen guests, covering topics as varied as global warming, Auckland’s Super City, Burmese human rights, the struggle in West Papua, and the 150th anniversary of the Taranaki Land Wars. A delegation representing the Samoan Tsunami Appeal will formally thank the Parihaka Management Trust for its support; last year the trust donated 100 festival tickets to the appeal.

SPEAKERS include Maori Party M.P. Hone Harawira, film-makers Mike Smith and Hinekaa Mako, performance poet Apirana Taylor, and Black Power member and anti-P crusader Denis O’Reilly, who will talk about Maori gangs’ growing resistance to the use of methamphetamines.

MR O’REILLY said, “Parihaka is the perfect place to deliver a korero about the growing resistance among Maori gangs to the methamphetamine epidemic – the end of ‘Maori gangism’ and the rise of whanau ora.

“GANG members of the 1970s are now grandparents and we are asking ourselves, ‘where did this come from, this self-abuse? It didn’t come from here, it didn’t come from Aotearoa. There has to be a better way for this generation. We have to burn these destructive bridges.”

MEANWHILE, preparations are well underway for this weekend’s festival at Parihaka Paa. Over a dozen volunteers are now on-site, working alongside paa residents and South Taranaki contractors.

AMONG the forty-odd performers are Fat Freddy’s Drop, Herbs, Smashproof, SJD and Tiki Taane. Gates open at 5pm Thursday and, for the first time, there will be entertainment that evening (showcasing Taranaki talent) although the official powhiri will still take place at noon on Friday.

TICKETS are available until midnight 6th January at, priced at $195. Gate sales are $220.


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