Auckland Arts Festival returns with 'Aroha'

By Te Ao - Māori News

In a week where Aotearoa is remembering the earthquake in Ōtautahi and having just come out of another lockdown the Auckland Arts Festival theme of “Aroha” is one that may resound with many.

Te Ahurei Toi o Tāmaki begins next week and runs for 18 days, bringing world-class local acts to venues all over Tāmaki Makaurau.

Festival Māori director Ataahua Papa says that this initiative to implement Ngāi Māori has been talking for quite some time now.

“Three years ago, Auckland Arts Festival organisers undertook a commitment to make the festival a champion for Te Reo.

“They wrote their own Te Reo strategy so Māori will be seen and heard throughout all aspects of the strategy, not just a little headline or name of the programme,” Papa says.   

The event opens with “Te Timatanga” – which Papa says will symbolise a return from lockdown and into normal life – accompanied by waiata and performances.