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23 Aug 2023

Waikato Pasifika Fono coming to Kirikiriroa

Waikato Pasifika Fono coming to Kirikiriroa

Written by Barbara Bilcich
K’aute Pasifika Communications & Engagement Lead

K’aute Pasifika in collaboration with Creative Waikato is proud to host the first Waikato Pasifika Arts Fono for over 15 years, at the K’aute Pasifika Village fale on 30th September, in Kirikiriroa. 

Moana Pasifika weavers, carvers, crafters, orators, musicians, ngatu makers, and dancers, are invited to showcase their creativity, connect and talanoa with like-minded artists with the vision to strengthen the arts in Pasifika communities around the Waikato region and promote succession planning of heritage arts and arts as a vital part of Moana Pasifika wellbeing.  

The fono allows Moana Pasifika artists to come together to connect, create, and inspire one another. It’s a space where they can build meaningful relationships that go beyond their respective arts practice and foster a sense of belonging within the community. Every artist has a unique story to tell, and at the fono, they have the opportunity to share their art with others. With guidance from professionals, they can learn strategies to generate opportunities at low cost that align with their skill level and take their art to new heights.

Moana Pasifika arts practitioners will be offered an opportunity to share what they do and how this enhances their cultural experience away from their home of origin. Rather than workshopping, discussions will open a forum for in-depth connection and discovery about the existing Pasifika arts ecology in relation to the mana whenua of Tainui rohe.
Noted Waikato professional artists Teuila Fatupaito, painter Ah Sin Ah Sin (Ushy), poet/publisher Faith Wilson and the renowned Kiribati heritage artists, Louisa Humphry and Kaetaeta Watson, will be in attendance to join in the sharing aspect of the fono.

Kindness and care will be woven into the fabric of the day, with the fono co-facilitated by Creative Waikato’s Leafa Wilson and Maluseu Monise, a local personality who works in the Pacific Strategy Team with the portfolio of Capabilities and Success at Wintec Te Pukenga.
Maluseu Monise, who practices Hanugology and Hanisi (in his Rotuman language means ‘kindness’) as a form of conscious social good, and in Oceanic Pasifika terms, this kind of practice, like the art of oratory, differentiates these practices as art forms. In many Oceanic cultures, the notion of wellbeing through the performance of banter and jest is considered intrinsic to ancient arts that were practised before technology transmitted easy access to entertainment. 

Leaupepe Rachel Karalus, CEO of K’aute Pasifika says that it is a privilege to host Pasifika artists from across the Waikato.

“Arts is a fundamental way for Pasifika people to express the values, perspectives and attitudes that make our communities unique.

The fono embraces the concept of ‘va’ creating meaningful spaces between people, places, cultures, time and dimensions, tangible and intangible. Within this space includes accepting talanoa that may challenge how things are done, to enable new ways and new thinking to emerge, and to innovate for the benefit of Pasifika peoples and wider communities.” 

We’re delighted to support the Waikato Pasifika Arts fono in the heart of Kirikiriroa, in our K’aute Pasifika Village, fale.” 

Creative Waikato is pleased to have worked with K’aute Pasifika to help bring this fono to our community. Dr. Jeremy Mayall says it is great for communities to have space to connect through creativity. 

“This seed of discussion and connection will resonate into our communities with a celebration of the potential that exists, as well as pathways for further creative collaboration. This space of thinking and talking can lead to a further blossoming of Pasifika creativity in the Waikato. A space where the next generations of our community can be immersed in arts, creativity and expressions of the rich and nuanced Pasifika culture that exists in our region.”

There are limited spaces for the fono so please register by email: RSVP@kautepasifika.co.nz by 18 September 2023.

Thank you to Creative New Zealand for their support in funding the Waikato Pasifika Arts Fono.