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New Name, New Look For Heritage Festival

Nelson City Council’s yearly Heritage Festival has been renamed to better reflect Nelson’s rich and varied cultural past.

From next year, the festival will be called Tuku 21 Whakatū Heritage Month, with the year in the name changing annually to reflect the event’s place in history. The new name follows discussions with iwi, who gifted the name “Tuku”, meaning “to share” or “exchange” in Te Reo Māori. The name is an expression of our diverse and unique stories, histories and heritage, and reflects the value of bi-culturalism within the context of Aotearoa New Zealand.

Tuku 21 Whakatū Heritage Month has evolved from a week of activities, organised mainly by Council, to become community-focused, with multiple organisations and community groups running their own events throughout April with Council support.

There is a rich wealth of stories from our people and our city to explore, and Council has been working with the eight iwi of Te Tau Ihu to encourage greater participation in the month of events.

A new logo has also been adopted, featuring raranga, or a traditional woven design. The purple and green strands of the weave represent the partnership of Māori and New Zealand European settlers and the blue and orange represent other significant and diverse cultural groups who have settled in our region. All contribute to our collective stories and unique history.

Community and Recreation Committee Chair Councillor Tim Skinner said the rebranded event better represented Nelson's diversity.

“We recognise there are many different strands to Nelson’s past, and ensuring we welcome and invite the telling of all of those diverse stories is important to growing the understanding of our city and our community.”

Grants of up to $2000 are available now for creative individuals and organisations with ideas to host events or activities for inclusion in Tuku 21 Whakatū.

The grants work in partnership with Council, and as such, applicants will also need to contribute time or money to the project. Applications are open until the end of January 2021.

Events must have a focus on heritage through stories of people and place, and be open to the public. Events in previous years have included tours of Nelson’s heritage homes, classes for traditional crafts such as flax weaving, and talks from the staff of the Nelson Provincial Museum.

For more event criteria, or to apply for a grant visit

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