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New Zealand’s love of design goes on show as the country’s inaugural Festival of Architecture opens the doors to buildings, houses, galleries and studios in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and regional centres for ten days, from 7th September.

Including studio open days, design competitions, city walking tours and social housing debates, there are more than 50 events on offer and most of them are free. Smart and sassy, L.A’.s Catherine Johnson and Rebecca Rudolph, known as Design, Bitches, headline the Festival, with a series of public talks encouraging us to expand the definition of architecture, go bold and take more risks.

New Zealand Institute of Architects CEO, Teena Hale Pennington, says she is thrilled to launch this country’s first Festival celebrating the profession.

“Architecture reflects who are as a nation; it can make the difference between living in an okay city or a great city. Good design makes us feel invigorated and can help us to create, work and live in more inspiring ways.”

The Festival or Architecture programme is online at http://www.nzia.co.nz/festival-of-architecture/overview

Auckland event highlights include a Green Building Walking Tour of the CBD (Saturday 9 September), a Tamaki Makaurau Hikoi with Pita Turei (Saturday 16 September), and an exhibition at Silo 6, Wynyard Quarter titled Imagining a New Future: How Biotechnology and Smart Technologies could change the way we live (9-17 September). Spokespeople from vying political parties debate the answer to this country’s social housing woes on Wednesday 6 September with Rod Oram keeping them in line and on the 9th and 16th  of September, the city’s architects open their studios to the public.

Wellingtonians can go on a tour of the recently refurbished Public Trust building on Thursday 7th September and that evening, there’s a debate about our housing crisis at Victoria University’s School of Architecture. An exhibition at Resene Thorndon curated by the National Association of Women in Construction looks at ‘non-heroic’ architecture and the role gender plays in shaping our built work (7-14 September) and architects all over the city open their studios to the public on 15 September.


A tour of Christchurch’s new central city buildings is a regional highlight (9th and 16th September). Throughout the Festival, Canterbury’s architects will hold public open days and there’s a dance party celebrating the offkilter, the haphazard and the fun that can be found in architecture at The Arts Centre Gym on 16 September.

You can explore the future of iwi-led developments in Tauranga at Jasmax on Thursday 14 September and on 9 September you can go on the DHT Architour of Tauranga houses built in the period 1847 to 1990, with coffee and muffins served en route.

There’s plenty for aspiring architects, too. On Sunday 17 September, student groups from the University of Auckland’s civil engineering and architecture schools have six hours to create a medium density social housing project to the theme of diversity. Architecture students from around New Zealand are invited to compete in the fun-filled, fast-paced SANNZ design competition held on the 15th and 16th September in Wellington.

The University of Auckland’s School of Architecture celebrates its 100th year with a series of events for current, alumni and future students including a sparkling invite only gala dinner at the Pullman Hotel on Saturday 9 September.

“This Festival is celebrates the past, present and future of Aotearoa-New Zealand’s architecture and design.  Architecture is for us all. I warmly encourage everyone to check out the programme and to head along and see what has and is shaping the future design of our country,” says Ms Hale Pennington.

The New Zealand Institute of Architects is grateful to the support of principal sponsor dormakaba, international speaker sponsor, GIB and major sponsors Rider Levett Bucknall, The Warren Trust and Warren and Mahoney.


For images, interview enquiries or further information please contact Penny Hartill, hPR, 021 721 424, penny@hartillpr.co.nz



News release – for immediate release

The City of Sails placed itself at the heart of the written world this week as the Auckland Writers Festival broke its own record, with 63,000 seats filled.

People young and old flocked to the festival, which is celebrating its 16th year, to see more than 150 novelists, playwrights, song writers, scientists, historians, children’s writers, critics, editors, illustrators and poets from New Zealand and around the world .

Akld Writers FestivalAuckland Writers Festival director Anne O’Brien says the enormous enthusiasm and increasing attendance is testament to people’s hunger for more substantive conversations and deeper engagement with the world and each other.

“We know that literate citizens live better lives and build better worlds and we’re delighted to have played our part in cultivating literacy in the country over the last six days.

“This has been the most astonishing six days. The laughter, energy, ideas, conversations, tears and joy from audience and writers alike has been remarkable.

“People travelled from around the country and across the world, and left inspired with stories of change, hope and a deeper understanding of the role they, as individuals, can play in the world.”

Steinem jacketHeadline star and iconic feminist, Gloria Steinem, sent her sold out audience home with messages of empowerment and wisdom. John Boyne, Hanya Yanagihara, Jeanette Winterson, Susie Orbach and Michel Faber moved their audiences to tears. Omar Musa and King Kapisi brought the house down and The Emergency Poet ran out of poemcetocol.

We learned from Scott Hamilton that refugees from Auckland fled down Great South Road during the New Zealand Wars in a manner not dissimilar to today’s Syrian citizens, Steve Braunias regaled his packed audience with true stories of blood and gore in Godzone and Helene
humane and intelligent Michael King Memorial Lecture received a sustained standing ovation.

More than 5,000 students poured into the Town Hall for inspiring sessions with writers from Britain, US, Australia and New Zealand.

“Fostering a love of reading and books, and a belief in all young people that they, too can write their stories is hugely important to us,” says Ms O’Brien.

The schools’ programme increased from two to three days this year, enabling two dedicated sessions for Years 5 and 6 students, as well as a full additional day for Years 9-13 students. All students left the programme with a free book of stories published by the festival. In addition, the transport subsidy funded by the festival has increased this year, assisting more low decile and regional school students to attend and the Festival, with the support of patrons, sponsored three lower decile schools to attend with selected students also taking part in a mentoring programme.

The cream of this country’s writers received honours at the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards – New Zealand’s premier literary awards – which were hosted by the festival for the first time this year. Stephen Daisley was presented with the inaugural $50,000 Acorn Foundation Literary Prize.

AWF Aotea signageVincent O’Sullivan was honoured for his life’s work in writing with a pounamu paper knife created by Coromandel artist Chris Charteris as the festival’s 2015 Honoured New Zealand Writer and this year’s Sarah Broom Poetry Prize went to Elizabeth Smither.

Auckland Writers Festival Board Chair Pip Muir says it remains for her to sincerely thank the many people who made this year’s extraordinary outcome possible.

“I am enormously grateful to the authors for their wisdom and discourse, to the audience for their warmth and engagement, to the sponsors and patrons for their generosity and loyal support and especially to the festival team and volunteers who have worked tirelessly to make this festival such a success,” says Ms Muir.

The Auckland Writers Festival warmly thanks its Gold Partners: The University of Auckland, Freemasons Foundation, Ockham, SPARK, New Zealand Listener, Foundation North, Creative New Zealand and ATEED; and all our Silver, Bronze and Supporting Partners.


For further information, interview opportunities, author and book images please contact: Penny Hartill, director, hPR, 09 445 7525, 021 721 424, http://www.hartillpr.co.nz

www.writersfestival.co.nz                  www.facebook.com/akwrfest

Editor’s Notes

The Auckland Writers Festival is the largest literary event in New Zealand and the largest presenter of New Zealand literature in the world. Now in its 15th year, it hosts more than 170 participants from New Zealand and abroad over six days. Festival attendance increased 17 percent in 2015, to more than 62,000, following a 55 percent increase in 2014.

Stephen Daisley has won New Zealand’s richest writing prize, the inaugural $50,000 Acorn Foundation Literary Award, for his novel Coming Rain, announced at the 2016 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards ceremony last night.

Daisley (60), who was born and raised in the Raetihi Hotel, which his parents owned, is a former soldier in the NZ Army. He was 56 years old when his first book, Traitor, was published to wide literary acclaim in Australia, winning a Prime Minister’s Award for Literature. Daisley now lives in Western Australia, where he is a farmer and shearer.

The 2016 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards Fiction category convenor of judges, Jill Rawnsley, says Stephen Daisley’s novel shone from the outset.

OckhamComing Rain is a universal story of love and aspiration, betrayal and disappointment. The prose is masterful, simple and moving. The characters are utterly believable and complex in their ordinariness. It was a book that all three judges came across joyfully and read with the ease of those who know they’re in the hands of a confident writer.”

Daisley is one of eight Ockham New Zealand Book Awards winners announced at the Auckland Town Hall ceremony.

Dunedin writer and critic David Eggleton has won the Poetry category for his collection The Conch Trumpet (Otago University Press), a win described by the category’s convenor of judges, Elizabeth Caffin, as a tribute to Eggelton’s extraordinary fluency and energy.

“Always vigorous and fluent, David Eggleton evokes in song and incantation the ancient, the deep, the unspoken forces of myth and memory in Aotearoa. In huge sentences and tumbling metaphors he catches up his audience and makes his world public. He has an acute sense of the physical landscape as alive and present — but also of its history, in word and action,” says Ms Caffin.

Aroha Harris (Auckland), Atholl Anderson (Marlborough) and the late Judith Binney took the Illustrated Non-fiction category award for their epic work Tangata Whenua: An Illustrated History (Bridget Williams Books).

“Far from succumbing to triumphalist history, Tangata Whenua meets Māori history on its own terms and rejects some of the comfortable assumptions of a flawless pre-colonial society. The book’s lasting legacy will be how it expands the scope of Māori history, weaving together knowledge from archaeology, anthropology, linguistics, law, political science and, of course, oral history … Tangata Whenua is scholarship at its finest,” says the category’s convenor of judges Jane Connor.

Well-known novelist, Witi Ihimaera, won the General Non-Fiction category for his memoir, Māori Boy: A Memoir of Childhood (Penguin Random House).

This year’s category judges’ convenor, Simon Wilson says: “With Māori Boy, Witi Ihimaera has woven his whakapapa into a great cloak whose feathers wink and flash as you hold it to the light: there are personal and family secrets, revealed with courage and grace; yarns spun with a gleeful skill; polemics that slip through the weave and demand to be considered, too. A delight to read alone, it’s also for reading aloud, and it’s not hard to imagine, with Māori and Pākehā audiences alike, just how delightful — and also explosive — that experience might be.”

The awards return this year following a 12-month hiatus with new sponsorship and, in a partnership with the Auckland Writers Festival, a winners’ ceremony that’s part of the Festival programme and open to the public for the first time.

New Zealand Book Awards Trust chair, Nicola Legat, says the winners’ works stood out in a stellar list of finalists.

“This year’s winning books are testament to the sheer hard work and passion of their authors and a determination for excellence on the part of their publishers. These awards are vital to the health and progression of our literature. The Trust salutes this year’s winners, and sincerely thanks our sponsors and our outstanding judges,” says Ms Legat.

Auckland Writers Festival director, Anne O’Brien, says she cannot think of a better way to launch the six-day festival.

“Tonight we honour New Zealand’s best writers of the last eighteen months and their extraordinary works. As the largest presenter of New Zealand literature in the world, we are proud to present the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards and to showcase this country’s literary heroes alongside their international peers,” says Ms O’Brien.

The Poetry, Illustrated Non-Fiction and General Non-Fiction category winners each took home a $10,000 prize.

This year’s four open category awards winners will appear at a free event at the Auckland Writers Festival: The Winners’ Podium, Friday 13 May 5.30pm in the Upper NZI Room, Aotea Centre.

Four Best First Book Awards were also given at the event. One is a new prize – The Judith Binney Best First Book Award for Illustrated Non-Fiction — awarded to Richard Nunns for Te Ara Puoro: A Journey into the World of Māori Music by (Potton and Burton). Due to ill health, Richard Nunns was unable to attend; his daughters, Molly and Lucy Nunns, received the award on his behalf.

The other three Best First Book Awards were The Jessie Mackay Award for Poetry, presented to Chris Tse for How to Be Dead in the Year of Snakes (Auckland University Press); The Hubert Church Award for Fiction, presented to David Coventry for his debut novel The Invisible Mile (Victoria University Press), and The E H McCormick Award for General Non-Fiction, presented to Melissa Matutina Williams for Panguru and the City: Kāinga Tahi, Kāinga Rua (Bridget Williams Books).

Each Best First Book Award winner receives $2500.

The Ockham New Zealand Book Awards are supported by the Ockham Foundation, the Acorn Foundation, Creative New Zealand and Book Tokens Ltd.


• Winners are available for interview
• Judges are available for interview
• Winning books are available for review
• Author images and book jacket images are available

To register your interest in attending the ceremony, please contact: Penny Hartill, director, hPR 09 445 7525, 021 721 424, penny@hartillpr.co.nz
www.nzbookawards.nz     https://www.facebook.com/NewZealandBookAwards/
@theockhams #theockhams

Editor’s Notes:

The New Zealand Book Awards are the country’s premier literary honours for works written by New Zealanders. First established in 1968 as the Wattie Book Awards (later the Goodman Fielder Wattie Book Awards), they have also been known as the Montana New Zealand Book Awards and the New Zealand Post Book Awards. The honours, now given for Fiction, Illustrated Non-fiction, General Non-Fiction and Poetry, as well as for Best First Book, are governed by the New Zealand Book Awards Trust (a registered charity).

Ockham Residential Limited is Auckland’s most progressive developer, founded in 2009 by Mark Todd and Ben Preston. They describe themselves as urban regenerators, who love Auckland, and who want to see Auckland’s urban built environment become as beautiful and as world class as its natural landscape. Their Ockham Foundation is a generous donor to schools and universities.

The Auckland Writers Festival is the largest literary event in New Zealand and the largest presenter of New Zealand literature in the world. Now in its 15th year, it hosts more than 150 writers from New Zealand and abroad over six days. Festival attendance increased 17 percent in 2015, to more than 62,000, following a 55 percent increase in 2014.

The Acorn Foundation is a community organisation based in the Western Bay of Plenty, which encourages people to leave a gift in their wills and/or their lifetimes, supporting their local community forever. Donations are pooled and invested, and the investment income is used to make donations to local charities, in accordance with the donors’ wishes. The capital remains intact. Since it was established in 2003, Acorn has distributed over $2.4million, and this year expects to distribute a further $500,000. It currently has invested funds of $13million. www.acornfoundation.org.nz, or www.nzcommunityfoundations.org.nz

Creative New Zealand is a Crown entity governed by the Arts Council. The council encourages, promotes and supports New Zealand arts to benefit all New Zealanders. It upholds the right to artistic freedom and promotes a New Zealand identity in the arts.

2016 Ockham New Zealand Book Award judges are:

Fiction category: distinguished writer Owen Marshall CNZM, Wellington bookseller and reviewer Tilly Lloyd, and former Director of the Auckland Writers Festival and former Creative New Zealand senior literature adviser Jill Rawnsley.

Poetry category: former Auckland University Press publisher Elizabeth Caffin MNZM, Dr Paul Millar, of the University of Canterbury, and poet and University of Auckland academic Dr Selina Tusitala Marsh.

General Non-Fiction category: Metro Editor-At-Large Simon Wilson, Professor Lydia Wevers, literary historian, critic and director of the Stout Research Centre at Victoria University of Wellington, and Dr Jarrod Gilbert, a former Book Awards winner for Patched: A History of Gangs in New Zealand, of the University of Canterbury.

Illustrated Non-Fiction category: former publisher Jane Connor, publisher of the magisterial The Trees of New Zealand, which won the Book of the Year award in 2012, Associate Professor Linda Tyler, Director of the Centre for Art Studies at The University of Auckland, and Leonie Hayden, the editor of Mana magazine.

I was media consultant to the New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards and the New Zealand Post Book Awards (formerly Montana New Zealand Book Awards) for six years.

As the awards are the highest accolades a New Zealand author can hope to achieve in their own country, I was lucky enough to work with the nation’s most talented emerging and established writers.

Each year, the Awards generate significant media coverage – of the awards themselves, the judges, the finalists and the winners. The Award’s coverage not only impacted on the winners’ book sales, but also on publishers’ reputations and that of the book industry as a whole. It was a significant responsibility and one I relished, working determinedly to achieve maximum media coverage for all stakeholders.

In 2011, Margaret Mahy won the New Zealand Post Book of the Year. Understandably, media attention was substantial. Capturing interest required judicious judgement – balancing the needs of a very popular writer, the need to negotiate due editorial space was devoted to her win and the need, on behalf of the book industry, to generate media for all of the winners’ books.

Media managing these awards required working with the chief reporters of virtually every newspaper and radio station in the country; national content editors at Fairfax, Reuters and APN; the bureau chiefs, producers, reporters across national TV networks; arts, literary and news websites; literary bloggers and radio show producers.

The role meant always thinking outside the square for new angles, in addition to news announcements and coverage with literary media.

The coverage generated grew year-on-year and was valued in the many millions.

Sydney, Australia: Sydney’s pre-eminent summer event, Sydney Festival, today announces its full festival program; including 12 world premieres, 14 Australian exclusives across an epic line-up of dance, theatre, installations, music, VR, talks, classes and free events collectively presenting a bold, eclectic and innovative program set to transform Sydney into a world cultural hub from 6-28 January.

Aldous Harding

The Festival features an eclectic spread of NZ talent with gothic folk singer-songwriter Aldous Harding set to make waves as a key feature of the music program. With sold out shows across Europe and the USA, as well as being listed as Rolling Stone’s ‘10 Artists You Need to Know’ in April 2017, Harding’s moment has clearly arrived and is a must-see.

Lisa Reihana

Artist of Māori and British descent, Lisa Reihana presents her first Australian survey show Lisa Reihana Cinemania.  Featuring a range of video and photographic works including her re-imaging of the 1805 wallpaper Les Sauvages de la Mer Pacifique and Pursuit of Venus (infected) (which was recently part of the 2017 Venice Biennale), this is an immersive colossal panoramic video that is an interrogation of colonialism and cultural identity.

The beautifully strange stream-of-consciousness, award-winning and internationally acclaimed clown and mime artist Trygve Wakenshaw is set to deliver the laughs with his show Trygve Wakenshaw: Nautilus.

Trygve Wakenshaw

Sydney Festival Director, Wesley Enoch says Sydney Festival is Australia’s Cultural New Year’s resolution, starting the year the way you want to live the next 365 days – sharing time with friends and family and having engaging conversations about big ideas.

“This year Sydney Festival has a huge array of shows exploring strong female leadership – Pussy Riot, Germaine Greer, Barangaroo, Meow Meow, Lady Rizo….you might say we are having our own form of Jacindamania.

“Australia and New Zealand share so much already. Come across and share Sydney in summer.”

Here is a taste of what Sydney Festival has to offer this January:

  • Contemporary ballet Tree of Codes, a unique collaboration between choreographer Wayne McGregor, visual artist Olafur Eliasson and award-winning musician Jamie xx (6-10 January)
  • The critically acclaimed Barber Shop Chronicles, direct from London’s National Theatre, exploring the role of the barber shop in the lives of African men (18-28 January)
  • Circus Oz’ latest show Model Citizens, featuring an all-new ensemble and new artistic director Rob Tannion (2-28 January)
  • Aquasonic, an ethereal underwater concert performed by five Danish musicians on custom-made instruments whilst submerged in aquariums (6-9 January)
  • The Australian premiere of Town Hall Affair which reimagines a raucous 1971 feminist debate. Featuring Maura Tierney as Germaine Greer, the New York theatre company Wooster Group perform in Sydney for the first time (7-13 January)
  • Hyde Park’s Spiegeltent hosting the hottest stars of ‘boylesque’ with Briefs: Close Encounters, a seductive mix of contortion, aerial acrobatics and raunchy comedy, and RIOT an all-Irish variety show starring famed drag queen Panti Bliss
  • The Wider Earth bringing to life Charles Darwin’s five-year journey across the planet exploring new species, featuring an award-winning cast by Queensland Theatre and masterfully-built puppets from Dead Puppet Society (17-27 January)
  • An expansive plastic toy landscape with towering toy dinosaurs, Jurassic Plastic by Japanese artist Hiroshi Fuji (6-28 January)
  • Four Thousand Fish, a large-scale art installation at Barangaroo featuring a giant ‘nawi’ (canoe) and thousands of fish made of ice, to be returned to the harbour (5-28 January)
  • Internet sensation and political parodist Randy Rainbow unveiling his live show exclusively at Sydney Festival in his Australian debut (18-20 January)

The Meriton Festival Village returns to Hyde Park offering a Spiegeltent bursting with activity alongside the Village Sideshow presented by China Southern Airlines, Sydney Festival’s freaky fun park of wild and bizarre experiences. A specially commissioned Ghost Train takes the brave through the inner workings of their mind in a Virtual Reality (VR) world whilst physically chugging down a real fairground ghost train track. The world’s first Karaoke Carousel also arrives at Sydney Festival this year, spicing up a double-decker carousel with the vocal talents of Sydney’s party public. 10 Minute Dance Parties By JOF replicate the best 10 minutes of a dancefloor at its peak, the Glitterbox by zin continues the dancing revelry and swimming pools in shipping containers provide a much needed cooling off before exploring the further fun on offer.

In 2018 Sydney Festival runs 6-28 January. For further details, including session times and tickets head to http://www.sydneyfestival.org.au

Listings information:

What: Sydney Festival Genre: Theatre, Dance, Music, Installation/Visual Arts, Circus, Talks/Language Classes, Free Events
Where: Various venues, see website for details and full list
For further details on shows, Media Information Sheets can be found here:
General images for Sydney Festival can be found here: http://sydfe.st/genpics2018


For interviews and further information contact:

Penny Hartill, Director, hPR, 021 721 424, penny@hartillpr.co.nzHugo Mintz, Communications Manager, Sydney Festival, + 61 (0)2 8248 6525, hugo.mintz@sydneyfestival.org.au


About Sydney Festival

Every January, Sydney Festival enlivens and transforms Sydney with a city-wide multi-art form cultural celebration. Sydney Festival 2018 takes place 6-28 January and sees Festival Director, Wesley Enoch in his second year with program of over 130 events and performances across theatre, dance, music, circus and art. Inclusive programming, a broad range of free events and accessible pricing policies for the ticketed shows means that Sydney Festival is open to all, welcoming both Sydneysiders and visitors from wherever they live.

Since its launch in 1977, Sydney Festival has presented international artists such as Björk, Brian Wilson, Grace Jones, Manu Chao, Elvis Costello, AR Rahman, Cate Blanchett, Ralph Fiennes, Robert Lepage, The Flaming Lips, Peter Sellars, Sir Ian McKellen and David Byrne & St. Vincent alongside some of the world’s great companies – Wayne McGregor’s Random Dance, Cheek by Jowl, Gate Theatre and the Schaubühne Berlin to name only a few. Sydney Festival creates a meeting point for the best in national and international art, building a world class Festival in one of the world’s greatest cities.