20 Feb 2013

Creative NZ critricised for pulling Pasifika Festival support

7:07 am on 20 February 2013

Creative New Zealand is being criticised for withdrawing its sponsorship of the country's biggest Pacific arts event, the annual Pasifika Festival in Auckland.

The arts agency has part-sponsored the last three Pasifika Festivals, but refused a request for 65 thousand dollars for this year's event next month.

Creative New Zealand says it funds Pacific artists whose projects wouldn't otherwise go ahead - not the case for the Pasifika Festival which is getting 450 thousand dollars from the Auckland Council.

But the chair of the council's Pacific advisory panel, Uesifili Unasa, says the decision should be reconsidered.

"Creative New Zealand need to be asked the questions of, not just a lack of support for this year's festival, but its position going forward, given that the festival is getting bigger, and it is starting to bring in different aspects of Pacific art and culture."