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HOT OFF THE PRESS

We asked our community what they wanted to know from the Tauranga City Council Election Candidates for 2024

How you see, experience and value arts, culture and creativity in our city?
When did you last attend a creative art or cultural event such as an exhibition, film, concert, festival?
What was it?
How will you ensure
our local community and creative sector thrive?

How do our candidates rate?

Tenby Powell

Mahé Drysdale

How you see/ experience and value arts, culture and creativity in our city?

Arts, culture, and creativity play a vital role and enhance our city in many ways. The presence of theatres, museums, galleries, and music venues adds to our vibrancy and diversity, making Tauranga a more attractive place to live and visit. By showcasing local talent and celebrating our unique heritage, we create a sense of identity and place. Additionally, creative industries provide opportunities for employment and stimulate innovation, making a city more dynamic and appealing to residents and businesses alike. Importantly, art and culture attract tourists, boosts the local economy, and can add to a sense of community pride.
 

When did you last attend a creative art or cultural event such as an exhibition, film, concert, festival? What was it?
I have been working in Ukraine for the past two years -providing humanitarian and medical aid to front line towns and villages - so I haven’t any event for sometime in Tauranga. I’m looking forward to re-engaging in all the events I once attended.

 

How will you ensure our local community and creative sector thrive?

When I was mayor, I actively advocated for arts funding on various levels, including financial support for the Village. If elected as a councillor, this advocacy will continue. As aforementioned in question one, I believe it is important for Tauranga.

How you see/ experience and value arts, culture and creativity in our city?

I was Steiner educated until I was 11 years old. Therefore I learnt the value of being well rounded and in touch with my creative side. I can knit, sew, crochet, cross stitch. I did a lot of painting and drawing in my school days while I was never particularly good at it, I did enjoy being creative. Its important we have diversity of views and thought in our community. Art, culture and creativity have a role to play in helping with that and giving Tauranga vibrancy, beauty and soul. I have seen in my travels around the World the value art, culture and creativity can play in bringing cities alive.
 

When did you last attend a creative art or cultural event such as an exhibition, film, concert, festival? What was it?

Two weeks ago our kids took part in book week at school where they all dressed up and did a parade for the town. We encourage creativity with our kids including crafting, Kapa Haka and learning musical instruments which have provided other recent concerts and festivals I've attended.
 

How will you ensure our local community and creative sector thrive?

As a community we need to have access to a wide range of facilities, activities and events so everyone has the opportunity to enjoy and partake in various pursuits. This is essential to build a well rounded community, with diverse views and thought that adds to the vibrancy of Tauranga. As a Council we will need to help enable this to happen.

Hautapu Baker

How you see/ experience and value arts, culture and creativity in our city?

Arts, culture and creativity play an integral role in shaping, informing and enhancing the identity of our city. More importantly, they are relationship builders, wayfinders, and bridges that connect people from all walks of life, cultures and backgrounds. Tauranga means 'safe anchorage' and I believe the arts play a pivotal role in ensuring that all people can anchor safely in our city and feel a sense of belonging.

When did you last attend a creative art or cultural event such as an exhibition, film, concert, festival? What was it?

I recently attended the opening of the Kuao Collective arts and creative space on Grey Street.

How will you ensure our local community and creative sector thrive?

By enabling more arts, culture and creativity to happen in 'place' - more community based activations, allowing communities who shape the identity of their wards to have an active part in the work that occurs in 'place'.

Kevin Schuler

Heidi Hughes

Rod Taylor

How you see/ experience and value arts, culture and creativity in our city?

I have always enjoyed art - particularly drawing (and did ok at School C Art way back in the day...). We have a grand piano at home and all our children have learned to play to some degree - our youngest often plays to relax between sport and study and it is so nice to hear his music.

 

My adult life has been in sport and business, and I played and coached rugby in Japan for a decade. Among other things, I used the Samurai Bushido code as part of my coaching philosophy - it was essentially about mastery. Through this learned that the Samurai often practiced the arts - tea ceremony, calligraphy, poetry, and ink painting as a way to mind control, calmness, and for muscle control & dexterity. Things that appeared to be far removed from fighting were actually a key part of their existence - like the balance between yin & yan. 

 

Creativity is an integral part of most aspects of life - innovation and putting a vision inside the heads of your players or staff are parts of motivation and leadership in coaching and in business. So, while I'm no expert in the Arts, I definitely appreciate creativity. Also, art & culture are associated with fun, celebration, and positivity - and we need this - now and in our future communities. So, it should be a natural extension of a progressive, growing city like Tauranga that arts and culture flourish as well.

When did you last attend a creative art or cultural event such as an exhibition, film, concert, festival? What was it?

Love films & movies - go when I can. Did the walk around downtown Tauranga looking at street art this time last year - part of the Creative Tauranga Winter Lights Festival. A big chunk of my spare time has been spent coaching and managing sports teams in recent years, so don't get to see as much as I'd like.

How will you ensure our local community and creative sector thrive?

Basic standpoint at the Council table should be that Arts & Culture are an important part of the growth and progress of Tauranga as a whole. If we want to become a fully-fledged city, then we need to be able to deliver amenities and opportunities right across the board - sport & recreation, and arts & culture included. The earlier these important aspects of community life are in the planning conversations, the more likely they are to be given priority and have money allocated.

 

At this stage, there is no way to comment on investment in any specific capital projects (other than what has already been committed to). To me it makes sense that sometime in the not-too-distant future downtown Tauranga is home to a large, modern, awesome theatre that is part of the beat of a thriving and vibrant city centre. Until then Baycourt needs to act as the centre for the various arts & cultural organisations that exist across the city - a communal hub. So it would be good to know from the community what would be needed to achieve that. And as always, simple things like ways to better promote and champion what is already on in the Arts & Culture space will help the profile of community arts overall.

How you see/ experience and value arts, culture and creativity in our city?

Personally my main interaction is with music, with two musos in the family we get along to a lot of live performances. We are so lucky to have the Jam Factory and Totora Street, the fringe, Arts Fest, jazz fest. All give an import platform. I love all of the street art, sculptures and community generated crafts and pop ups too.

When did you last attend a creative art or cultural event such as an exhibition, film, concert, festival? What was it?

Jam factory two weeks ago. Matt Jo Gow and Kerryn Fields. So good.

How will you ensure our local community and creative sector thrive?

Funding support and ensuring community rates for venues remain low. Enabling festivals and areas of the downtown city which are able to continue have live music.

How you see/ experience and value arts, culture and creativity in our city?

Art and culture are a big part of the community and unfortunately seem to be the easiest to leave behind in tough times, often just when people need the distraction from 'real life' that the arts provide us all. As owner of Luxe Cinemas in the Tauranga CBD and Luxe Cinemas Papamoa I have a direct investment in Tauranga arts scene and if elected I will certainly be a strong advocate for arts on council.

When did you last attend a creative art or cultural event such as an exhibition, film, concert, festival? What was it?

Last Sunday I viewed the Robertson Gift exhibition at Toi O Tamaki in Auckland. An outstanding legacy donated to the people of New Zealand by Robertson Family. Included we works by Picasso, Dali and Monet among others.

How will you ensure our local community and creative sector thrive?

If elected I will become an unashamedly biased advocate for the creative sector. I see arts and culture as integral the the CBD revitalisation that will come about during the next 4-8 years.

Harris Williams

Tanya Bamford-King

Rick Curach

Jacqueline Pointon

How you see/ experience and value arts, culture and creativity in our city?

I see arts and culture as expressions of the human experience and tools that bring people closer through the expression of commonly shared emotions. I am campaigning for Arataki with a promise of community and togetherness. I see the council's role as providing access and ease to places and spaces that create community and togetherness for our citizens. For me, rugby and my community club have taught me that, for you, it's an expression of art and coming together creatively. Both achieve the same goal so I hold them in equal measure.

When did you last attend a creative art or cultural event such as an exhibition, film, concert, festival? What was it?

I attended an international dance and party festival in the same Historic Village last year. I think I was the only Kiwi there! It was a fantastic experience.

How will you ensure our local community and creative sector thrive?

A mistake of councillors is thinking they know everything better than the people they represent. My strengths lie in business strategy, communication, people management and decision-making. My hope is for you to share your strength with me, the arts and what creatives need, and we can form a collective plan that compliments our knowledge and passions.

How you see/ experience and value arts, culture and creativity in our city?

Art, culture and creativity form the backbone of how a community thinks and feels. It tells our stories, makes us think outside the box and gives us space to simply be and enjoy. It also provides very real opportunity to create value - cultural and commercial - for our City. To attract and grow visitor and tourist numbers, provide job opportunities, encourage and develop educational opportunities.

When did you last attend a creative art or cultural event such as an exhibition, film, concert, festival? What was it?

Dawn French - Civic Theatre, Auckland Last local performance Salon Risque - Curses O Plenty (I was performing - does that count) Prior to that Detour Theater performance, Fringe Festival....

How will you ensure our local community and creative sector thrive?

I will ensure the Culture, History and Arts Action Investment Plan stays front and centre in the councils minds. I would like to find out more about current local body support and interactions with the many individual Arts groups around the community and what can be done by the council to create stronger, more cohesive support structure to grow our local creative Arts communities.

How you see/ experience and value arts, culture and creativity in our city?

I'm not an overly 'arty' person as such (spare me the stuffy Art Galleries, darling) but do enjoy/support/value a variety of offerings.

When did you last attend a creative art or cultural event such as an exhibition, film, concert, festival? What was it?

2 March - Matchbox Twenty with Goo Goo Dolls - concert in New Plymouth.

How will you ensure our local community and creative sector thrive?

By not creating obstacles, including imposing unreasonble costs on providers.

Garth Mathieson

How you see/ experience and value arts, culture and creativity in our city?

I believe arts, culture, and creativity are the heart of our city, enriching our lives, preserving our heritage, and fostering a sense of community pride and identity. As a governance member of the Auckland Museum, I have seen firsthand the transformative power of culture and the arts in connecting people and preserving our collective heritage. If elected, I will work tirelessly to ensure these values are at the forefront of Mauao | Mount Maunganui and our city’s development, enhancing the quality of life for all residents.

When did you last attend a creative art or cultural event such as an exhibition, film, concert, festival? What was it?

On May 23, I attended the Auckland Museum’s repatriation of the remains of two ancestors to the US to their tribes - the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, Confederated Tribes and Bands of Yakama Nation, and the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation. I had also visited the Auckland Museum's most famous galleries to (re-)immerse myself in the Māori culture, achievements of Polynesian navigators, and the historical landscape of Aotearoa New Zealand. This experience reinforced my commitment to preserving our cultural heritage and further promoting the arts as a space for cultural preservation.

How will you ensure our local community and creative sector thrive?

To ensure our local community and creative sector thrive, I will work to create opportunities for artists and cultural institutions to flourish. This includes providing support for local artists, fostering partnerships between the creative sector and local businesses, and ensuring that Tauranga city's cultural spaces are accessible and vibrant. By championing the arts and culture, we can build a more vibrant, inclusive, and thriving city for all.

David Webb

How you see/ experience and value arts, culture and creativity in our city? When did you last attend a creative art or cultural event such as an exhibition, film, concert, festival? What was it?

In recent years I have attended an art exhibition and concerts with Annette Kitzhoefer.  She introduced me to your world, and I enjoyed all the events we attended.  As a result of these experiences and my long-term commitment to community organisations (Athletics Tauranga and the Tauranga Millennium Track Trust) I support the arts community.

How will you ensure our local community and creative sector thrive?

I will oppose the ridiculous user fees proposed by the Council and postponed until next year.  I recognise that community organisations are the glue that binds the community together.

Bram van Berkel

How you see/ experience and value arts, culture and creativity in our city?

I am very interested in the arts - I was fortunate enough to have the arts, music and drama as core parts of my upbringing. My mum was a lecturer at teachers college / university in music education. She is on a lot of advocacy groups lobbying for arts to be more accessible particularly in primary schools and also for lower socio-economic kids who are less likely to get extra curricular lessons or go to private schools where they can be exposed to or participate in a wider range of art, drama or music.

 

When did you last attend a creative art or cultural event such as an exhibition, film, concert, festival? What was it? The most recent thing I attended was last month at the Tauranga Musical Theatre: I attended RENT! The musical. There are some very talented and passionate people in Tauranga! My wife and I have been to several of their productions and love the excellent quality of performers. We took our preschoolers to the junior production of Frozen and last year to Matilda (for which I thought the staging in particular was as good as New York and better than London).

How will you ensure our local community and creative sector thrive?

From a local government perspective, accessibility to the arts are an important social good particularly for kids and for community involvement throughout one's life.

 

Personally I've been involved in arts, drama, and especially music. I've got my performance letters in cello, grade 7 piano, and received NCEA Scholarship in music composition. I toured Argentina and Brazil with the NZ Secondary Students choir and Canada and US with NZ Youth Choir (under 25s). Some of us from NZYC also got paid to be the choir singing "You can't always get what you want" with the Rolling Stones in their Auckland show!

 

I wish for my three kids and all of the community to have access to a range of arts and creative expression as participants and as audiences to become inspired. It's important that as councillors we listen to the feedback from the community as to the spaces, facilities and funding available for the arts and continue to update what is provided over time. This can include promoting partnerships between council, schools and special community groups for advocacy for the arts, event spaces, funding.

 

This includes community spaces for amateur groups at reasonable costs. Why should it be any different to sports facilities and clubs, for example (note I'm also a hockey player/coach and enjoy the great hockey facilities at Blake Park).

 

This listening to the community approach fits into my governance approach more broadly: listen to the community, listen to the evidence and build consensus in council as to the approach. Then communicate back to the city why we are doing what we're doing - show our working/reasoning.

 

In that vein, I'm interested to keep a high level of dialogue with the arts community and the community's needs as I see this as a really important investment in our people.

Greg Brownless

How you see/ experience and value arts, culture and creativity in our city? When did you last attend a creative art or cultural event such as an exhibition, film, concert, festival? What was it? How will you ensure our local community and creative sector thrive?

When we held the Franchise to the Quest on Durham, we sponsored accommodation for visiting guests and contributed to the sponsorship programme.  We attended some of the exhibition openings held at the Art Gallery in the CBD.  We are aware that there so many different forms of Art(s) and Culture(s) and it is pleasing that people are exposed to these.  

Teresea Killian

How you see/ experience and value arts, culture and creativity in our city?

I'm a participant and supporter of a number of local arts and cultural groups. When I first came to live in Tauranga nearly forty years ago, I didn't know anyone . Participating in many plays and musicals was a great way to both challenge myself and join in the things that make a city special.The Trust I established, likewise sponsors the arts in a variety of forms.

When did you last attend a creative art or cultural event such as an exhibition, film, concert, festival? What was it?

4 June 2024. Freud's Last Session, a festival movie about an imagined meeting between Sigmund Freud and C. S. Lewis.

How will you ensure our local community and creative sector thrive?

When the Tauranga City Commission attempted to increase user fees to a ludicrous extent I joined those protesting the proposal to the extent it was reported both locally and nationally, and eventually defeated.Spaces are in short supply in Tauranga - I believe helping to find spaces is an important step in helping arts and culture thrive.

Ashley Hillis

How you see/ experience and value arts, culture and creativity in our city?

I think the Incubator and the Village is an excellent, creative hub. Baycourt as well. I do believe there is room for more cultural events and spaces - especially during high tourist season. I often see tourists wandering the CBD "looking for something" culturally to connect to. 

When did you last attend a creative art or cultural event such as an exhibition, film, concert, festival? What was it?

I am a regular film attendee - but unfortunately as I work full time tend to miss the Film Festival ones due to primarily daytime timing. I have booked tickets to the Ria Hall concert this Sunday and very much looking forward to that with my sisters. I do love a live concert when the budget allows. 

How will you ensure our local community and creative sector thrive?

I personally would like to ensure that the spaces are maintained at a cost effective level and other support the Council can give at a practical level is provided.  Most importantly though to me is a Community Voice and ensuring open minds and "ears" when presented with ideas and concerns.  Getting out and about and meeting with the Community.  

Glen Crowther

How you see/ experience and value arts, culture and creativity in our city?

Art and culture are pivotal to our identity here in Tauranga, we have an immense amount of creative talent in our rohe. Music in particular is a huge part of my life, I am a multi-instrumentalist myself and music has truly saved me from myself. I look forward to meeting all the beautiful, creative people.

When did you last attend a creative art or cultural event such as an exhibition, film, concert, festival? What was it?

That's a great question, I would say some of the last things I've attended have been electronic music festivals and also live music at voodoo listening to my friends.

How will you ensure our local community and creative sector thrive?

It is one of my absolute top priorities that the historic village receives the adequate care and support it deserves, as an epicentre for creativity and inclusivity in our city it is of the upmost importance that the facilities and it's occupants are supported and retained, I reiterate the necessity of having such a space and it's contribution to the mental health of the city.

Kim Renshaw

How you see/ experience and value arts, culture and creativity in our city?

I see a diverse and passionate group of artists in Tauranga and the Western Bay, and a great arts and music scene - including The Incubator and Jam Factory. I have also noticed the strong turnouts to TCC submission processes in recent years. There are always going to be tradeoff decisions between council spending on essential infrastructure, big CBD projects, local community facilities, and the various sectors (arts, culture, heritage, sports, recreation, environment, social, etc.). I don't support bigger chunks of funding to the arts community per se, but it is important to provide affordable community facilities and other assistance to innovative and cost-effective arts and culture initiatives, such as The Incubator, to allow them to flourish. Hence I was pleased that the Commissioners pulled back on the proposed big fee increases to Village tenants and other community users.

When did you last attend a creative art or cultural event such as an exhibition, film, concert, festival? What was it?

I attended a film "Outgrow The System" last week, and before that a Tauranga Civic Choir concert and the Jazz Festival were the most recent music events that I recall.

How will you ensure our local community and creative sector thrive?

Pushing for affordable fees for community spaces such as the Village, council promoting local arts and creative events, and looking at cost-effective ways to partner with local artists and other community initiatives.

Tim Maltby

How you see/ experience and value arts, culture and creativity in our city?

The arts are the punctuation to the rest of life, giving it colour and shape. They provide for our mental health, our connectivity to each other, to the art itself and can be a conduit to connection to the environment. The arts can also provide a way of looking at the complexities of life, the differences in culture and humour, they give the creator a license to explore things perhaps not acceptable in other parts of society. The arts can be a mirror, so we can see ourselves in performances, hear our hopes and dreams in lyrics or feel the stroke of a paintbrush through experiencing a piece of art. Our city is rich with grass roots performances and art, and we have a beautiful cultural history to celebrate. I experience our arts through attending music and theatre, poetry and art exhibitions. Albeit not as often as I would like to at this season of my life, with young children.

When did you last attend a creative art or cultural event such as an exhibition, film, concert, festival? What was it?

The last concert I attended was Louis Baker at Baycourt for the Jazz Festival and then the outdoor concert at the Mount on the "Jazz" Monday. I can't remember if the fringe was before or after that. But about 10 days ago I attended an exhibition in Sydney featuring an artist who had dozens of miniature collages - I can't remember her name just now but it was fascinating.

How will you ensure our local community and creative sector thrive?

Our creatives must be supported in this city, but especially in the current climate with the pressures facing our society - the arts (all of them) are the kind of therapy society needs. I will advocate for the arts if I am elected and bring my unique perspective to the table. (I produced my first play in a vacant warehouse when I was 19 - we could work with the untenanted buildings in the CBD to bring pop-up art, theatre and music into the city.) We need to create the enabling conditions for the creative sector to thrive, and for that we must listen to our creatives and ensure their voice is at the table. In short, the next council must listen to its people, and genuinely engage so they will participate in the decisions that need to be made = democracy. We also need a culture of more transparency so we can rebuild trust with the many parts of our community.

Sarah-Jane Bourne

How you see/ experience and value arts, culture and creativity in our city?

I think creativity is important for all cultures. Creativity is part of our human experience, part of our humanity, part of how we create meaning in our lives. To me creativity is many things beyond just art and music. Cooking can be creative. Gardening can be creative. Knitting can be creative. Sewing can be creative. Anyone who has seen quaker furniture understands that making things with your hands can be creative. William Morris of the British arts and crafts movement combined art with textiles. The iphone is an iconic example of creativity in consumer products. Making or designing anything can be as creative as we want it to be. Anything where you take raw materials and turn them into something else can be creative. We all appreciate creativity when we see it.

When did you last attend a creative art or cultural event such as an exhibition, film, concert, festival? What was it?

I was at this years multicultural festival. Unfortunately it was very wet. My most recent creative experience was visiting the mens shed. Crafting with wood is very creative, and it is becoming a lost art.

How will you ensure our local community and creative sector thrive?

I think that the best initiatives come from the community. Community led activities which are there because enough people in the community care about it to make it happen. As an example, my grandmother Undine Clarke was a leading light in ballet and dance in Tauranga for many years. But

that happened because of the work and energy that she and many others put in over decades. Her pupils have gone on to also teach ballet and dance. And in turn their pupils will go on to teach the next

generation... That is something that comes from the community. There are many other examples. Community groups just quietly getting on with what they are passionate about. Council should support those community initiatives. It is very difficult for Council to create those initiatives from the top down.

Suzie Edmonds

How you see/ experience and value arts, culture and creativity in our city?

Art is one of the most important tools to bring our communities together and the perfect way to reflect our unique culture and heritage. As a creative person myself, I know first-hand the positive benefits that various forms of creativity have on mental well-being, social cohesion and an overall sense of self and belonging. 

When did you last attend a creative art or cultural event such as an exhibition, film, concert, festival? What was it?

Last weekend I attended the performance of Matthias Balzat with the Opus Orchestra at Baycourt. Absolutely amazing.

How will you ensure our local community and creative sector thrive?

We are incredibly lucky to have so many talented and passionate creative individuals and groups in our city. Reading through all of the LTP submissions in support of the Incubator Creative Hub shows just how passionate our community is about the creative sector, so I will wholeheartedly advocate for council to continue supporting this organisation and others like it. 

Andrew Caie

Ria Hall

John Robson

Felicity Jane Auva'a

How you see/ experience and value arts, culture and creativity in our city?

I'm very supportive of the arts in Tauranga and its clear that Tauranga residents support exhibitions etc.

When did you last attend a creative art or cultural event such as an exhibition, film, concert, festival? What was it?

I've attended a number of events. The most inspiring to me was the book lunch of Alia Bojilova - the 'Resilience Tool Kit' Alia had been taken  hostage in Syria. I met Alia at the event and have since become friends with her and it is her inspiration that has led me to stand for the Council. Its wonderful to enjoy such a positive outcome from such an event.

How will you ensure our local community and creative sector thrive?

Firstly I would like to engage with the creative sector and hear what the sectors wants represented.   Councilors can not deliver their own opinions in such area they don't have the  full picture.  Councilors represent they don't dictate,  Councilors become the voice of the community, including the various entities.

How you see/ experience and value arts, culture and creativity in our city?

I experience these things through all aspects of my life. Whether its walking along the waterfront and checking out the murals beautifying the experience. Or going to town for a show or karaoke with friends. Or sitting at home listing to local talent on Spotify. Our people producing art, music and culture is what brings life and character to our city.

When did you last attend a creative art or cultural event such as an exhibition, film, concert, festival? What was it?

This last year I've been on a roll! I live not far from the Historic Village and decided to make an effort to get out more, then my partner moved over and they are very artsy. During the Art festival we did the graffiti art walk around the city. We also attended the Fringe culture and Asian Fusion festivals. Lastly I recently watched my first film in the beautiful theatre at the village - The David Lynch Documentary - and it was an wonderful experience.

How will you ensure our local community and creative sector thrive?

My campaign is about growing Tauranga into a city that can afford itself. Because presently, it simply cannot afford its sprawl of suburbs. We need intensification, preferably in the CBD! These "apartment folk" who live in high density dwellings in the middle of a city, desire different amenities than people in the suburbs want. These amenities - museums, theatres, galleries, zoos / aquariums, conference centers, stadiums, and more - strongly enrich the cultural aspect of their city in ways that suburb amenities don't. Tauranga is desperately lacking in these amenities and we require them as we intensify certain parts of our city and become a city that can afford itself! The Historic Village is one of the few cultural amenities that we have, and it needs to be protected and celebrated while we build more!

How you see/ experience and value arts, culture and creativity in our city?

The arts are fundamental to the wellbeing of our city and its people, and are a lifeline in so many ways. Having a creative outlet as a form of expression is such a lifeline for people - particularly in the current political, social and economic conditions we are living in here in Aotearoa and across the world. My hope is that the arts continue to grow across Tauranga, through good support and resource.

When did you last attend a creative art or cultural event such as an exhibition, film, concert, festival? What was it?

I was just at the Jam Factory yesterday in a music panel discussion!!

How will you ensure our local community and creative sector thrive?

By ensuring the arts are championed and resourced so our people across Tauranga Moana can participate, engage, create and enjoy!

How you see/ experience and value arts, culture and creativity in our city?

I experience arts, culture and creativity the same way everybody does... through the lens created by our 'three lucks'... our nature, our nurture and the stuff that has happened to us along the way.Which is why I believe that we all experience these things a little (or a lot) differently.The real value for me is in people being able to share experiences in a way that develops an understanding of how others see our shared world... and in doing so, hopefully we will 'other' others less, and instead recognise our shared humanity.

When did you last attend a creative art or cultural event such as an exhibition, film, concert, festival? What was it?

Last night. I attended the opening of the 'three exhibitions celebrating Matariki' at the Historic Village - and particularly enjoyed the acrylics of Pip Lewis.

How will you ensure our local community and creative sector thrive?

I can't ensure the sector survives, but I can work to ensure that it has a fair opportunity to survive. That said, I wouldn't ‘advocate for creativity’ any more than I would ‘advocate for manufacturing’… not least because the sector has some brilliant advocates already. But I would ensure that the sector's voice is heard and listened to respectfully at the Council table.

How you see/ experience and value arts, culture and creativity in our city?

Being a primary school teacher specializing in music, arts and culture I know the value of having opportunities for creatives to thrive. Studies have shown that music and the arts enhance cognitive development, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills. Arts, music and culture play a big part in shaping and enriching the lives of those here in Tauranga Moana, promoting cultural understanding and providing opportunities for self-expression and personal growth. I see arts and music bringing people together and enhancing our city of Tauranga to be healthy and vibrant. I am also a festival conductor and have taught many choirs over the years. Seeing the joy singing brings to participants is heart-warming and it's a must that the arts are supported through council mechanisms and an important component of councils budget.

When did you last attend a creative art or cultural event such as an exhibition, film, concert, festival? What was it?

I was at the opening of the Samoan language week, where students sang and performed in their own Language. I also attended the premier of the documentary made by soul sessions on 'White Sunday' . I always look forward to the civic choir performing at St Peters in the City. Their next concert is Flax Fingers Weave the Moonlight music for Matariki on July 6th.

How will you ensure our local community and creative sector thrive?

Supporting the Arts Culture and Heritage plan. Looking at the priorities and seeing where the investment needs to lie. Tauranga has a huge cultural heritage which needs to be protected. Whether it is theater, dance, choir, art in all its mediums. or hobbies, such as pottery, sustainable art or fashion, I value the importance of: Our Vision - Tauranga is a city where Art, Culture and Heritage are valued, supported and promoted.

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