Fund opens for COVID-19 impacted Pasifika festivals

  • Hon Carmel Sepuloni
Arts, Culture and Heritage

Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Hon Carmel Sepuloni has announced an opening date of 21 September for the Pasifika Festivals Initiative that will provide funds for Pasifika festivals across Aotearoa to help recover from the impact of COVID-19.

Speaking at today’s National Pasifika Festivals Zono, Carmel Sepuloni said the fund will help ensure the financial viability of Pasifika festivals in Aotearoa.

“Recent wide-scale cancellations due to COVID-19 has left many festivals facing significant financial hardship. We cannot let iconic cultural events disappear and this initiative allows us to support them and the wider Pasifika festivals ecosystem.

“These festivals are an important way for our Pasifika community to celebrate and share their rich culture and heritage with Aotearoa.

“The Pasifika Festivals Initiative will be implemented in four waves over the next three years, with the first, ‘Tasi Wave’, open for eligible Pasifika festivals on Monday 21 September. This wave of funding will provide financial support to stabilise eligible Pasifika festivals in the short-term through to 31 December 2020.”

Carmel Sepuloni adds that the initiative provides $12 million over the next three years through a phased approach designed to support the festivals to survive, then adapt and finally revitalise over the next three years.

The initiative is part of a suite of new funds under the Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage Arts and Culture COVID Recovery programme announced by the Government in May 2020.

The Pasifika Festivals Initiative is administered by Creative New Zealand, in collaboration with Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage and the Ministry for Pacific Peoples. Pacific Business Trust, as the Pasifika economic development agency, is working with the agencies on the initiative to help support the economic, business and development needs of eligible Pasifika festivals.

More information on the eligibility criteria and application process will be made available by Creative New Zealand by 21 September.