Otago / Otepoti Pasifika Arts Event


01 February 2022

New Zealand Poet Laureate to open Otago Pasifika arts event
Dunedin-based poet of Rotuman, Tongan and Pākehā descent, David Eggleton, will give the
opening address for the Ua:Ua 2022 Pasifika Arts event being held at the Dunedin Public Art
Gallery on Wednesday 2 February. David’s experience as the current Poet Laureate for
Aotearoa and as a full-time poet and artist will provide valuable insights for the gathering.
Creative NZ is developing its Pacific Arts Strategy (2024 - 2029) and invited Otago Pacific
artists, groups and communities to contribute to this process. A group of local Pacific
creatives teamed up to organise the event to focus on the strategy but expanded its purpose
to consider ways that they could collaborate and network beyond the review.
“It provides an opportunity for us to share with one another about the conditions or kinds of
support that would strengthen and sustain the Pacific arts sector in Otago,” says
ethnomusicologist and co-facilitator Dr Irene Karongo Hundleby.
“Even though we are at red of the Covid Protection Framework, it is important for us to
proceed with this event because we need to talk about these issues and share some
solutions too,” says Dr Karongo Hundleby.
“We have designed a programme format that will celebrate our artists but also give space for
attendees to raise their concerns and share ideas. In line with the CPF guidelines, we will
keep our numbers to a maximum of 50 people.”
Ana Teofilo has been producing unique artworks that draw on her Samoan heritage for
almost 10 years. She welcomes the opportunity to meet others and share her journey as a
Dunedin artist when she delivers a presentation.
The arts and culture sector in Aotearoa New Zealand has been under huge pressure to hold
onto work and events that nurture creative practice. For Pasifika communities, the
challenges have been exacerbated by issues such as access to resources, recognition of
traditional cultural art forms, and coping with cancellations and restrictions on gatherings.
Dr Karongo Hundleby adds, “It’s a long time coming for so many of us. We feel blessed to
bring together an incredible collective of Pasifika arts navigators enthusiastic about this
work. Thomas Henry of Rā Designs has bestowed a symbolic representation of the
conversations the group has held. There is overwhelming support for us to develop a thriving
creative arts community for Pasifika artists so that our talents are nurtured and our futures
will flourish.”

Media spokespeople
Co-Facilitator: Dr Irene Hundleby,, 027 406 1235
Co-Facilitator: Pip Laufiso,, 027 425 9357
David Eggleton, David Eggleton New Zealand Poet Laureate

Ana Teofilo, Ana Teofilo - Artist
Thomas Henry, Rā Designs - Ōtepoti

Pasifika Arts Navigation Team: Ana Teofilo, Hiliako Iaheto, Irene Hundleby, Lah Tuhura
Laufiso, Litea Ikahihifo, Marlia Lome Morris, Nikolai Talamahina, Corinne Hundleby, Nikolao
Cockerell, Pesamino Tili, Petone White, Siale Tunoka, Tagiilima Feleti, Thomas Henry, Pip


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