‘Lua Wave’ to future-proof Pasifika Festivals in Aotearoa

  • Hon Carmel Sepuloni

Pasifika festival organisers will receive additional support to adapt to the COVID-19 environment thanks to the Government’s newly launched ‘Lua Wave’ component of the Pasifika Festivals Initiative, Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni announced today.

“This initiative has not only been to support festival organisers to recover from the immediate and sustained impacts of COVID-19, but to support a sustainable Pasifika festival ecosystem that can thrive.

“Lua Wave is the first phase of capability support for festival organisations, as they continue to build their sustainability and resilience. It demonstrates the Government’s commitment to the survival of our important and iconic celebrations of Pacific cultures.

“It provides festivals with the opportunity to address immediate capability needs in the key areas of governance, leadership, digital capacity and festival teams.

“These festivals are an important platform for our Pacific communities to celebrate and to share their rich culture and heritage with Aotearoa. This funding will help ensure that festival organisers have the appropriate technical ability and management capability to operate now and in a post-COVID-19 environment.

“We’ve already seen the benefits of this initiative with the first Tasi Wave in 2020 delivering almost $500,000 in funding to festival organisations, helping them remain viable from the cancellations due to the 2020 nationwide COVID-19 lockdown.

“This initiative has also provided $2 million through the second Tasi Wave ‘Tasi 21’, which closes on 31 May, supporting festival organisers around the country run their events in 2021.

“Government support in this area has been critical in delivering events such as ASB Polyfest and the Pasifika Festival 2021, both of which were impacted by the reintroduction of Alert Levels. These festivals were able to continue and last month put on vibrant and successful events after consecutive cancellations in recent years,” says Carmel Sepuloni.

Pasifika Festivals Initiative provides $12 million over three years through a phased approach of four waves of funding. Lua Wave opens for applications on Friday 7 May 2021 and closes on Friday 9 July 2021.

The Pasifika Festivals Initiative is administered by Creative New Zealand, in collaboration with Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage, the Ministry for Pacific Peoples and the Pacific Business Trust. It is part of 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.

More information on the eligibility criteria and application process is available on the Creative New Zealand website on Friday 7 May 2021 when applications open.

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