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PM And Peters Strike Same Note for Whale Conservation

PM And Peters Strike Same Note for Whale Conservation

Prime Minister John Key and NZ First Party Leader Winston Peters are regular sparring partners in the stormy waters of New Zealand politics.

But the duo clearly share common ground over the conservation and protection of Humpback Whales. They, along with Labour Party parliamentary colleague Jacinda Ardern and internationally renowned artist John Pule, are among a group of well-known Kiwis and Niueans who have contributed a decorated – signed and/or painted - ukulele to a charity auction in support of the Humpback population in the Pacific. Pule’s ukulele in particular is expected to reach a premium price.

The ukuleles are up for grabs to the highest bidder on Trade Me today (subs: Thursday 6 October) in an auction organised by Niue Tourism. All proceeds will go towards efforts to conserve and protect Humpback Whales. Niue Tourism CEO Felicity Bollen says getting Key’s and Peters’ signatures on ukuleles was a real coup for the organisers. “These will almost certainly be unique items; we’re hoping they attract some premium bids. But the artistry on the painted ukuleles is also very special and we’re very grateful for the efforts of all the contributors.”

The auction is also a lead-in to the forthcoming inaugural ukulele festival, NiueKulele, which runs from 21 to 24 October on Niue, one of a small number of sites in the world where migrating Humpbacks gather from June to October to feed breed and cavort in the surrounding ocean.

Along with Pule, Key, Peters, and Ardern, whose father Ross is the current NZ High Commissioner on the island, the uke’ decorating group includes kiwi musician Hollie Smith, local artists, Susannah Sionetuato and Le’Grand Hekau, tapa cloth designer Kenneth Green and master canoe carver Taumafai Fuhiniu.

NiueKulele will feature some of the Pacific’s best ukulele players and teachers, like Kiwi Paul Jonson and Hawaiian stars Honoka and Azita, presenting workshops, concerts and instructional sessions.


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