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Creative New Zealand To Withdraw From Pasifika Festival
Auckland council says sponsorship drop should be reconsidered

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Feb. 19, 2013) – Creative New Zealand is being criticized for withdrawing its sponsorship of the country’s biggest Pacific arts event, the annual Pasifika Festival in Auckland.

The arts agency has part-sponsored the last three Pasifika Festivals, but refused a request for NZ$65,000 [US$54,883] for this year’s event next month.

Creative New Zealand says it funds Pacific artists whose projects wouldn’t otherwise go ahead - not the case for the Pasifika Festival which is getting NZ$450,000 [US$379,672] from the Auckland Council.

But the chair of the council’s Pacific advisory panel, Uesifili Unasa, says the decision should be reconsidered.

"Creative New Zealand need to be asked the questions of, not just a lack of support for this year’s festival, but its position going forward, given that the festival is getting bigger, and it is starting to bring in different aspects of Pacific art and culture."

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