7 May 2021

Lua Wave’ to future-proof Pasifika Festivals in Aotearoa

12:44 pm on 7 May 2021

Pasifika festival organisers in New Zealand are to receive additional government support to adapt to the Covid-19 environment.

The Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, Carmel Sepuloni, has announced the newly launched 'Lua Wave' component of the Pasifika Festivals Initiative.

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

"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.

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Photo: RNZ / Mabel Muller

"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."

Ms Sepuloni said the first Tasi Wave in 2020 delivered almost NZ$500,000 in funding to festival organisations, helping them remain viable from the cancellations due to last year's nationwide Covid-19 lockdown.

"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 NZ$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.