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12:30 Painting Architecture in Landscape

Auckland painter Martin Law has made an ambitious three decade long commitment to painting New Zealand's architecture in its landscape.

The expat Brit is about to exhibit his latest in the series, scenes of Rangitoto and Motutapu in the Hauraki Gulf.

But he's also painted more than 100 finely detailed paintings of buildings around the country, from villas and woodsheds to commercial buildings. He reckons he'll have painted well over a thousand paintings by the time he finishes his quest.

Lynn Freeman caught up with him. Movement Through Landscape: Architecture of Rangitoto and Motutapu opens on Saturday at the Depot Artspace in Devonport.

Here's a video of Martin's Rangitoto series 


12:40 Creative Writing Courses Under Threat

Image from NZSA

Image from NZSA Photo: Provided

Creative writing courses at some tertiary institutions are under threat, and that's got writers, students and the wider literary community worried.

While online courses seem popular with management, teachers and students argue that bringing them together in person, and collaborating with students involved in other tertiary courses, is a much better option for writers who're starting out.

Mandy Hager is a former student at Whitireia Polytechnic in Wellington and has gone on to teach creative writing there for the past 10 years. She's recently written about cost cutting in several humanities departments including her own, and her concerns for the next generation of creative writing students.

Whitireia have confirmed with  RNZ that the creative writing department is to be dropped. Hager believes that, despite the many books and awards gathered by alumni over the years, and - she believes - student numbers staying relatively steady that "our institution is failing — and those at the top have pulled up the ladders, allowing tutors and students to flail while they protect their high-paying jobs." She points out the significant money spent on a significant new building in Wellington with Weltec, Te Auaha at a time when student numbers have been falling.

"At a time when creative thinking and problem solving is going to be required to help pull us out of our global mess," she writes, "it seems very short-sighted (and foolish) to be backing away from the very courses that will help us move forwards and bind people together through the communication of ideas and thoughts." 

We invited Whitirea to comment on Mandy's concerns. Chief Executive Chris Gosling: "Creative writing has been part of the portfolio of programmes offered by Whitireia Community Polytechnic for many years and we've been proud to be associated with some great writers (teachers and students) and writing during that time.

"The Creative Writing major within our Creative degree is one of over 30 programmes currently offered at Te Auaha, the school of creativity and hospitality, jointly run by Whitireia and WelTec. 

"Recently we made a decision to not offer the Creative Writing major in the Creative Degree for new enrolments in 2020. Due to consistently low student enrolments, the Creative Writing major is currently not financially viable. Consistent with the national trend, since 2013, Whitireia and WelTec domestic enrolments have fallen by more than 1000. 

"Given this challenging situation of falling enrolments, and the financial issues that creates, our focus has been on ensuring we're offering a strong and viable mix of quality programmes for our students  - including introducing three new creative programmes, all subject to NZQA approval. Students and their families can be confident that they continue to have access to a broad range of programmes across a range of disciplines including creative programmes." 

But its not just Whitireia in the firing line. Poet Michael Steven is a proud graduate of Manukau Institute of Technology, where there has also been talk of cutbacks to its courses. Currently when you try and access creative writing online at the MIT website it comes back 'page not found'. He believes its vital the way creative writing courses break writers out of their isolation and sees them able to also meet and collaborate with other artists across disciplines.  

We brought Michael and Mandy together with Siobhan Harvey, a lecturer in Creative Writing at AUT.

1:10 At The Movies

This week Simon Morris looks at some of the highlights of the upcoming New Zealand International Film Festival with programmer Sandra Reid.


1:33 Whangarei's new Hihiaua cultural centre​

It's taken decades of work, patience, fundraising and planning to build the centre in the town basin. Stage one of the Cultural Centre has been open for just over a week now. It houses space for workshops, a gallery for exhibitions and shops. The paint's hardly dry and already there are plans to expand.

Lynn Freeman spoke to two of the driving forces behind Hihiaua: Janet and Te Warihi Hetaraka.

1:50 Inheriting Inequality

No caption

Photo: Provided

Despite the government's talk of a well-being budget, the makers of a new play exploring Aotearoa's inequality gap remain unconvinced that life will improve for those who're struggling financially. Inheritance is a Maori-Pakeha collaboration from Forest Kapo and Jess Holly Bates. The play premieres at Auckland's Basement Studio on the 9th of July. 

They're promising an unflinching and controversial show that will ask hard questions about inequality and injustice. Jess and Forest are using their own very different life stories for the multimedia production about what they see as a national crisis:


2:06 The Laugh Track - Snap


Snap Photo: supplied

Snap is the comedy entrepeneur behind Christchurch's now annual comedy festival the Comedy Carnival. The programme is out now but with the crowdfunding kick that the carnival needs to sell a minimum number of tickets for the acts by July 1 to confirm their position. Snap introduces some of the programme: Georgie Sivier, Rusty Smith, Li'i Alaimoana and Advait Kirtikar.


2:25 Dance Like Chocolate

Bread, wine, milk and now chocolate. The Java Dance company made its name here and overseas dancing in the back of buses, followed by a menu of food themed dance works.

As always the team have done a lot of research into their chosen artisan food... including working with chocolatiers, learning how to temper chocolate and to wrap chocolate boxes.

Lynn Freeman went along to rehearsals to meet Java's founder choreographer Sasha Copland - who is the current Creative NZ 2019-21 Choreographic Fellow - and musician Charlie Devonport.

First Lynn got a taste of what's in store for Chocolate audiences... and it involved dancers pouring liquid chocolate into each other's mouths using very long spoons. And yes, it got messy.

Chocolate opens on the 9th of July at Te Auaha in Wellington.


2:35 Mining Darkness at MONA with Simon Denny

The Museum of Old and New or MONA for short in Hobart Tasmania is the largest privately funded museum in the Southern hemisphere, and some would say both its greatest and strangest.

It's also hosting until April 2020 the biggest ever exhibition by New Zealand artist Simon Denny. It's entitled Mine and - suitably for a museum you descend down many stairs underground to - its about  mining, and the very current issue that has concerned Simon before of data mining. 

Auckland art commentator and co-director of the Chartwell Trust Sue Gardiner is just back from MONA and caught up with Mark Amery. She was also there for the extraordinary Dark Mofo winter festival, and fills Mark in on why it wouldn't happen here.


2.45 National Youth Orchestra and the New Zealand Youth Choir celebrations

Isabella Gregory

Isabella Gregory Photo: Provided

Between them, the NZSO National Youth Orchestra and the New Zealand Youth Choir have clocked up 100 years of making music and training future professional musicians and singers. So they're heading out on tour together to celebrate. The concert includes a new work by by NYO Composer-in-Residence Glen Downie, and works by Sibelius and Elgar. 

For the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Wellington, NZ.  Photo credit: Stephen A’Court.  COPYRIGHT ©Stephen A’Court

Photo: ©Stephen A'Court Photography for the NZSO

NZSO Concertmaster Donald Armstrong  played violin with the National Youth Orchestra in the mid 1970s, and Isabella Gregory is the Youth Orchestra's current Principal Flautist. They join Lynn Freeman. The NYO Celebrates concert starts in Wellington on the 5th of July before heading to Auckland. 


3:06 Drama at 3 - Plato's Cave by Terry Swanson

Artist: Crowded House

Song: Chocolate Cake

Composer: Neil Finn and Tim Finn

Album: Woodface

Label: Capitol

Played at: 12.30pm


Artist: Guided by Voices

Song: Chocolate Boy

Composer: Robert Pollard

Album: Let's Go Eat The Factory

Label: Guided by Voices

Played at: 1.09pm


Artist: The Beatles

Song: Savoy Truffle

Composer: G Harrison

Album: The Beatles

Label: Apple

Played at: 1.43pm


Artist: Issac Hayes

Song: Chocolate Chip

Composer: Issac Hayes

Album: Chocolate Chip

Label: HBS

Played at: 1.57pm


Artist: Hot Chocolate

Song: You Sexy Thing

Composer: Brown and Wilson

Album: Hot Chocolate

Label: RAK

Played at: 2.04pm


Artist: Dinah Lee

Song: Chocolate ice

Composer: Mike Leander

Album: The Mod World of Dinah Lee

Label: Viking

Played at: 2.30pm


Artist: The Cranberries

Song: Chocolate Brown

Composer: Dolores O’Riordan

Album: Wake Up And Smell The Coffee

Label: MCA

Played at: 2.58pm


Artist: Elvis Costello

Song: Uncomplicated

Composer: Elvis Costello

Album: Blood and Chocolate

Label: Imp Records

Played at: 3.04pm


Artist: Rufus Wainwright

Song: Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk

Composer: Rufus Wainwright

Album: Poses

Label: Dreamworks

Played at: 3.055pm