Windows over Wānaka

Michel Tuffery was a festival regular in our early years.  Now he returns, as Creative New Zealand’s Senior Pacific Artist, with a student project that will change the face of Helwick Street. Watch during festival week as his teams of local students transform shop windows up and down the street. Michel loves communicating through art […]

A Rain Walk

 We invite you to a rain walk – accompanied by the voices of children from Wānaka and Melbourne. With their guidance, the rainfall will become your own private theatre, a space in which to observe, imagine and play.

Everything you need to experience the show is contained within a little box. Keep it safe until the weather turns. Then, whether in a drizzle or a deluge, alone or with friends or family, we invite you to step outside, feel the rain on your face, and think about your place in a world that is changing so swiftly around you.

One ticket can be used by a single person or a household of up to five people. Each audience member will require a smartphone (or MP3 player or iPod) as well as headphones to listen to the show as you walk. 

A Careful Revolution

“We have not come here to beg world leaders to care. We have come here to let you know that change is coming whether you like it or not.” – Greta Thunberg at COP 24 – the UN Climate Change Conference in 2018.

The climate crisis is upon us and Parliament will shortly receive the first budget from the Climate Commission setting targets for lowering emissions and reducing our carbon footprint. But when impacts don’t fall equally,  how do we have a careful climate revolution?   And can individual lifestyle changes make any difference without change to the systems in the bigger picture?

Tax is Love

Is tax theft or is it love?  A nanny-state or  democratic government in action?

Many of us want to pay as little as possible yet our panel argues that taxes are vital to our society – pooling our resources to give us schools and hospitals and  all the myriad services and infrastructure that make this country work.  

Participating in our democracy

Is it enough just to vote every three years?  Can we debate issues and policies in depth at other times, and build some sort of collective decision-making?  And can we make sure we find common ground and don’t get polarised like the US? Our three speakers all contribute to the quality of national discussions. The first two are directors of two of this country’s major public policy think-tanks and the third is a major writer on these issues.  

Fake News

What’s fake and what is true? Leaders like Trump like to call out any critical journalism as “fake news”, but the bigger issue is the way fake stories spread, often through social media, and so often feed into popular myths. Meanwhile, the New Zealand and global media are in upheaval and journalistic standards under fire. Who can we turn to give us the facts, and to dispel lies?

Breakfast with Papers

The perfect start to your Festival day kicks off at 9am at the Palace. Enjoy coffee and a pastry and a free newspaper as our panel discusses the news of the day.

Join Dominion Post editor Anna Fifield and commentator David Hall in stimulating conversations about the news of the day and the big issues, with copies of the ODT. Whether you’re heading to work or strolling along the lakefront, stop by for a coffee and a stimulating, completely natural brain booster.

Mapping the Ancestral Landscapes of Te Waipounamu

Lakes Wānaka and Hāwea are part of an ancestral landscape of immense cultural significance to Ngāi Tahu; stories of people and events, place names, trails, and mahinga kai (food gathering places) are embedded throughout the area.

In this session, Takerei Norton, Helen Brown and Sir Tipene O’Regan from the Ngāi Tahu Archive team showcase their digital atlas, Kā Huru Manu, and other history and memory projects, to discuss the Ngāi Tahu people, places, and stories of  Wānaka and Hāwea.

In Other Words

Two women writers – Selina Tusitala Marsh and Emily Writes – talk about the barriers and the opportunities for other voices in a writing tradition which has been so mightily patriarchal and European.

Silver Stone Wood Bone

From one note comes two. From two notes come many. Breath sounds, sounds of bone, wood, natural things.

Bridget Douglas is the principal flute player for the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. Alistair Fraser is a player, composer, and researcher of ngā taonga puoro – traditional Māori instruments.  Together they play gorgeous music specially-commissioned by New Zealand’s leading composers. Enjoy the sounds and shapes of so many different instruments, like the pūtōrino, flutes made variously of albatross bone or wood; the bull-roarer that’s swung through the air; and the percussive sounds of river stones. Composer Gareth Farr says, “I love the ways that the flute and  taonga pūoro can imitate each other – and occupy the same sonic space.”