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Source: MIL-OSI Submissions
Source: Creative New Zealand

Pasifika artists and creatives in Aotearoa New Zealand and the Pacific Islands will be supported to collaborate, and share skills and knowledge to build stronger resilience, in a new Digital Moana Nui a Kiva initiative between the two agencies.  

The partnership has been negotiated and developed under Creative New Zealand’s Pacific Arts Strategy 2018–2023 and aligns with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s (MFAT) new Pacific Resilience focus promoting a peaceful, prosperous and resilient Pacific.  

It is the first formal agreement between Creative New Zealand and MFAT, with both agencies contributing equally to the $500,000 budget.

“We’re thrilled that MFAT sees the value arts and culture can play in building stronger relationships and knowledge-sharing between Aotearoa New Zealand-based Pasifika artists and creatives in Oceania through these digital initiatives which have been specifically designed to be delivered in the context of COVID-19,” said Stephen Wainwright, Creative New Zealand Chief Executive.  

“We’re passionate about the arts and creativity as a powerful force to shape prosperity, meaningful relationships, opportunities and wellbeing for communities everywhere. And we hope our new partnership will enable better collaboration across government for shared resources, and new opportunities, for Aotearoa New Zealand creatives,” says Caren Rangi, Arts Council Chair (Creative New Zealand’s governing body).

“We are pleased to collaborate with Creative New Zealand on this initiative, and reaffirm the role culture, creativity and the arts has in connecting Aotearoa New Zealand to, and with, the Pacific as people and place,” said Andrew Needs, Deputy Secretary, Pacific and Development Group, MFAT.  

The digital initiatives focus on several themes: Global Moana Storytellers and Digital Collaborations, with an early concept for a Digital Moana Festival in development by Creative New Zealand.  

Projects include publishing collaborations focused on the arts and cultures of two smaller island nations and communities, Tuvalu and Rotuma, that will support the maintenance and transmission of cultural knowledge and become valuable resources for younger generations and can be shared with the world.  

Visual storytelling and photography are also a focus with a photo-journalism masterclass for five creatives from the Pacific Islands and five from Aotearoa to develop industry and technical skills that will help them to share the visual stories of their communities with the world.  

Other projects include individual independent artists from Aotearoa and the Pacific Islands working on a creative project, in a buddy-to-buddy approach, for support, knowledge sharing and creative innovation. 

Supported by the new partnership: Screenshot from a video captured in Tonga, March 2022, on the making of the Teunga Fakalaa (a special ornamental tau’olunga performance costume), filmed and edited by Nonga Pulu and Joshua Savieti, in Tongatapu (Facebook: Tutu on the Beach), and produced by Tikilounge Productions NZ.

One of the digital projects includes filming ten video profiles of artists in Aotearoa and the Pacific Islands, to be shared online for global audiences. Creative New Zealand has contracted Tikilounge Productions who own the Coconet website, one of the most globally popular sites for Pacific arts and culture with a large social media following.  

The filming in Tonga has been completed, with paid work for the local film crew and creative talent that supports the local creative economy and resilience. The videos will be hosted on Coconet and other sites, and shared via social media to reach Aotearoa New Zealand, the Pacific Islands, and global audiences.  

Creative New Zealand is working with artists, partners and communities in Aotearoa New Zealand and the Pacific Islands to deliver the digital initiatives by December 2022, with ongoing support from MFAT.