9 Jul 2021

Review needs to go further than NZ Opera - Witi Ihimaera

From Checkpoint, 5:29 pm on 9 July 2021

A who's who of New Zealand opera and the arts has written to the government asking for an independent review of the sector.

In May, Witi Ihimaera, Murray Shaw and Rachael Walkinton resigned from the board of NZ Opera citing concern over the artistic direction the company.

They described as a "lack of thought and responsibility toward those who love opera". Earlier this month the three ex-board members, along with a host of others, wrote to the Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni asking for her help.

Ihimaera says a review needs to go wider than just the New Zealand Opera company. He says this could mean the end of the New Zealand Opera company as we know it.

An NZ Opera spokesperson says their company has been in touch with the Minister regarding the letter but did not confirm if it would support a review of the sector as a whole.