2 Jun 2024

Arts news: budget news, the loss of a jazz legend & women country songwriters ride high

From Culture 101, 2:00 pm on 2 June 2024

Te Matatini has received another boost in this year’s Budget.

From 2025 it will get $48.7million over three years. That’s alongside the $34m over two years for the national kapa haka festival, from the 2023 Budget.

But it’s not such good news for some other major institutions. 

The government has announced it will spend $5.55million less over four years on the New Zealand Film Commission, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, and Nga Taonga Sound and Vision.

Jazz legend Rodger Fox has died at the age of 71.

Best known as the founder of the Rodger Fox Big Band in Wellington in 1973, the musician, promotor, teacher, mentor and entrepreneur toured extensively across New Zealand and overseas.

He leaves behind a giant legacy - with almost 40 albums released over the past 50 years.

Fox established the first jazz courses at Wellington Polytechnic in the 80s which became the New Zealand School of Music. He was a senior tutor at Massey University for a decade. 

Veteran music journalist Graham Reid says his passing leaves a chasm while fellow jazz artist Nick Tipping refers to Fox as an “unstoppable force of nature”.

Pip Robertson, from Te Whanganui-A-Tara, New Zealand, has won the 2024 Commonwealth Short Story Prize (Pacific). She will go through to the final round of judging and the overall winner will be announced on 26 June.

Emma Hughes has been announced as the 2024 Landfall Young Writers’ Essay Competition winner for her moving essay, ‘Fourteen Robyns’.

 ‘Fourteen Robyns’ is a narrative essay about visiting a Sexual Wellbeing Aotearoa clinic (formerly known as Family Planning) and witnessing the different lives that intersect in the emotionally charged space of the waiting room. 

South Island folk songwriter Holly Arrowsmith has become a two-time winner of the Best Country Music Song Award for Desert Dove at the Country Music Awards in Gore this week.

Mel Parsons has won the MLT Songwriting Award for love song Hardest Thing after being a finalist for Best Country Song last year.