ECT partners with Tairawhiti Arts Festival in $1m

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EASTLAND Community Trust will be the major supporter of the inaugural Te Tairawhiti Arts Festival in a partnership valued at $1 million.

ECT chief executive Gavin Murphy says events are often used by community bodies as economic development tools.

But when ECT looked to support an event, it considered the positive impact of that event across several platforms, “including economic and overall wellbeing for the region”.

Te Tairawhiti Arts Festival is promising to deliver more than 70 live performance events from more than 400 national and international performers from October 4 to 20.

Although the festival coincides with Te Ha commemorations of first meetings between Maori and Europeans 250 years ago, the festival is independent of the sestercentennial.

“Te Ha supports the establishment of an independent arts festival Tairawhiti can call its own,” say organisers.

The festival is expected to be a legacy event that continues to contribute to the region culturally, socially and economically for years to come, says festival director Tama Waipara.

“In early stages, it’s usual to expect arts events like this to attract 1000 to 2500 visitors.

“That equates to around 2000 to 7500 visitor nights and $1m to $5m in economic benefit. That kind of benefit year in, year out can make a sustained difference.”

Mr Waipara, who has spent the past eight years in senior positions with Auckland Arts Festival, the Rugby World Cup and World Masters Games, says this is achievable.

“We’re small right now but by 2021 we hope to have established an iconic event that showcases this region and celebrates the very best of all that we are as New Zealanders.

“We anticipate each festival will bring more than 600 performers and present a programme with more than 100 scheduled performances.”

Because the festival runs for three weeks it is placed to attract a new audience and has the capacity to position Tairawhiti as a spring destination, says Activate Tairawhiti tourism general manager Adam Hughes.

“So while this event will begin on a more regional scale, there is potential for it to become an event of national significance.”

ECT trustee Te Rau Kupenga says opportunities to invite manuhiri (visitors) into civic spaces such as the War Memorial Theatre and Lawson Field Theatre are limited.

“So we’re excited about the festival’s ability to showcase the incredible venues we have right around the Coast.”

The ECT partnership entails naming rights for the Eastland Community Trust Manu Aute Kite Day — a whanau-centred, free event at the Outdoor Theatre.

Timed to open Te Tairawhiti Arts Festival, the whanau day promises a line-up of local kapa haka champions, international musical acts and homegrown talent.

The day also celebrates the presence of waka hourua (twin-hulled canoes) and the international voyaging community, and will acknowledge the region’s connections across the Pacific.

These vessels are part of the Tuia – Encounters 250 national commemoration.

The flotilla includes two waka hourua, a va’a moana from Tahiti, the Endeavour replica, the gaff-rigged topsail schooner R.Tucker Thompson and the Spirit of New Zealand.

Also announced is the world premiere of actor/playwright Nancy Brunning Witi’s Wahine. Based on excerpts from Witi Ihimaera’s stories the play’s focus is the female characters in the writer’s stories.

The full programme of events in Te Tairawhiti Arts Festival will be announced mid-June.

EASTLAND Community Trust will be the major supporter of the inaugural Te Tairawhiti Arts Festival in a partnership valued at $1 million.

ECT chief executive Gavin Murphy says events are often used by community bodies as economic development tools.

But when ECT looked to support an event, it considered the positive impact of that event across several platforms, “including economic and overall wellbeing for the region”.

Te Tairawhiti Arts Festival is promising to deliver more than 70 live performance events from more than 400 national and international performers from October 4 to 20.

Although the festival coincides with Te Ha commemorations of first meetings between Maori and Europeans 250 years ago, the festival is independent of the sestercentennial.

“Te Ha supports the establishment of an independent arts festival Tairawhiti can call its own,” say organisers.

The festival is expected to be a legacy event that continues to contribute to the region culturally, socially and economically for years to come, says festival director Tama Waipara.

“In early stages, it’s usual to expect arts events like this to attract 1000 to 2500 visitors.

“That equates to around 2000 to 7500 visitor nights and $1m to $5m in economic benefit. That kind of benefit year in, year out can make a sustained difference.”

Mr Waipara, who has spent the past eight years in senior positions with Auckland Arts Festival, the Rugby World Cup and World Masters Games, says this is achievable.

“We’re small right now but by 2021 we hope to have established an iconic event that showcases this region and celebrates the very best of all that we are as New Zealanders.

“We anticipate each festival will bring more than 600 performers and present a programme with more than 100 scheduled performances.”

Because the festival runs for three weeks it is placed to attract a new audience and has the capacity to position Tairawhiti as a spring destination, says Activate Tairawhiti tourism general manager Adam Hughes.

“So while this event will begin on a more regional scale, there is potential for it to become an event of national significance.”

ECT trustee Te Rau Kupenga says opportunities to invite manuhiri (visitors) into civic spaces such as the War Memorial Theatre and Lawson Field Theatre are limited.

“So we’re excited about the festival’s ability to showcase the incredible venues we have right around the Coast.”

The ECT partnership entails naming rights for the Eastland Community Trust Manu Aute Kite Day — a whanau-centred, free event at the Outdoor Theatre.

Timed to open Te Tairawhiti Arts Festival, the whanau day promises a line-up of local kapa haka champions, international musical acts and homegrown talent.

The day also celebrates the presence of waka hourua (twin-hulled canoes) and the international voyaging community, and will acknowledge the region’s connections across the Pacific.

These vessels are part of the Tuia – Encounters 250 national commemoration.

The flotilla includes two waka hourua, a va’a moana from Tahiti, the Endeavour replica, the gaff-rigged topsail schooner R.Tucker Thompson and the Spirit of New Zealand.

Also announced is the world premiere of actor/playwright Nancy Brunning Witi’s Wahine. Based on excerpts from Witi Ihimaera’s stories the play’s focus is the female characters in the writer’s stories.

The full programme of events in Te Tairawhiti Arts Festival will be announced mid-June.



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