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Government Helps Pasifika Festivals To Ride The COVID Wave

Hon Carmel Sepuloni

Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage

Te Minita Manatū Taonga

As we transition into a new way of managing COVID and take steps towards giving vaccinated New Zealanders more freedoms to enjoy Aotearoa’s arts and culture, 19 Pasifika festivals across the motu are receiving funding through the Pasifika Festivals Initiative, Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni said.

These successful recipients are part of the Tolu Wave – third funding round. The Pasifika Festivals Initiative announced in 2020 provides $12 million over three years through a phased, ‘four waves’ funding approach.

“Pasifika Festivals are the heart and soul of many communities across Aotearoa, traditionally bringing thousands of people together to appreciate and celebrate the wealth and vibrancy of our Pacific cultures,” Carmel Sepuloni said.

“This funding will help to future-proof these festivals and support them to ride the COVID wave and withstand the immediate and sustained impacts of the pandemic.

“Recognising the ongoing impact of COVID, the Government introduced the three-year Pasifika Festivals Initiative through Budget 2020 to preserve the economic, social and cultural fibres and benefits of these festivals.

“Earlier this year, I attended ASB Polyfest and Auckland’s Pasifika Festival, both which were recipients of funding through Tasi Wave, the first round of funding. It was incredibly heartening to see people and their families enjoying the performances, supporting food stalls and thriving on stage,”

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‘Tolu Wave’ will provide $6.7 million, up to two years’ funding for the successful recipients to hold Pasifika Festivals across Aotearoa in 2022 and 2023. Funding also includes support for capability building to strengthen festival organisations.

“Congratulations to all of the successful festivals, who have been recognised for the huge contribution they make to their community in keeping alive the whakapapa and whanaungatanga between Aotearoa and Moana Nui a Kiva.

“There’s never been a time when it’s been so important for us to connect with each other. Along with Auckland opening up to the rest of Aotearoa on December 15, there will be huge opportunities for us to get back to doing the things we love over the summer break and in 2022,” Carmel Sepuloni said.

Click here for the full list of successful recipients for the Tolu Wave


Media contact: Kieran Meredith, 021-817-570

Editors Notes:

· This third phase of funding follows the successful roll out of the first two waves of funding: Tasi and Lua Waves. The Tolu Wave fund will be followed by Fa Wave, the fourth and final initiative, which will focus on developing and strengthening the national ecosystem for Pasifika festivals. The initiative aligns with Creative New Zealand’s Pacific Arts Strategy 2018 – 2023.

· The Pasifika Festivals Initiative provides $12 million over three years through a phased, ‘four waves’ funding approach. It is part of a suite of new programmes under Manatū Taonga’s Arts and Culture COVID Recovery programme announced by the Government in May 2020 to support the cultural sector’s recovery from COVID-19.

· The Pasifika Festivals Initiative is administered by Creative New Zealand, in collaboration with Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage and the Ministry for Pacific Peoples. Pacific Business Trust, as the Pasifika economic development agency, is working with the agencies on the initiative to help support the economic, business and development needs of eligible Pasifika festivals.

· The joint agency approach is based on Kaupapa Pasifika and Teu Le Va cultural concepts to acknowledge the mana and contributions Pasifika festivals provide to Aotearoa’s cultural landscape and communities, to be enjoyed by all New Zealanders.

· Economic and Regional Development Minister Stuart Nash also recently announced an Events Transition Support Scheme designed to give festival organisers greater confidence to plan and incur costs, in the face of public health risks from COVID-19.

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