Wednesday February 14, 2018
Hands-on project to inspire young artists Twelve students from the Wellington region will have the chance to look behind the scenes of the country’s most prominent arts festival. The New Zealand Festival has selected 12 motivated secondary school students, each with a keen interest in performing, writing, directing, journalism or sharing their story through social media. Student ambassadors begin their journey with training in mobile journalism, writing, editing and podcasting. “[S]omething I’ve always enjoyed is expressing my feelings through words, and writing and reading in general,” Niruthmie Pallawala, student ambassador from Wellington Girls’ College says. Niruthmie and the other ambassadors will go behind the scenes, conduct interviews with the artists and see open dress rehearsals. “I’m really looking forward to interviewing Dr Selina Marsh because I’ve watched a couple of her poetry recitals and I’m mind blown. “My favourite poem right now of hers is Unity, the one that she performed at the Commonwealth Service with the Queen. She’s just so down
to earth and she seems incredible,” the 15-year-old adds. At the end of their NZ Festival journey, the students will collaborate to create a highlights reel and a recorded podcast. Coralie Tapper, New Zealand Festival’s education and community producer says they’re aiming to give students an inside view of professional theatre, festival-making and a career in the arts. “We want to broaden horizons and provide students with experiences which will inspire them to advocate for the arts in their school and community.” Gabbi Conway from Newlands College is another student ambassador and has been interested in reading and writing from a young age. “I’m going to interview RA Spratt. She writes children’s books like Friday Barnes and Nanny Piggins,” Gabbi says. “I don’t read those books anymore but I did when I was younger. It’s so funny how you read books differently when you’re older because I keep thinking ‘how is she coming up with these mysteries?’.” The NZ Festival will run from Febr ua r y 23 to 18 March.
‘Housing affordability not a single number’ Wellington City councillor Brian Dawson says a single number for housing affordability is not the right approach. “I think the problem is people are confusing affordable with ‘cheaper than average’,” the housing portfolio leader, says. “A $50-steak might be considered cheap if everywhere else is charging $75, but it doesn’t make it any more affordable for someone whose budget is maxed out at $30.” Brian says the council was developing a more nuanced model called Wellington Housing Affordability Measure (WHAM). “It starts with the total household income and looks at what they can actually afford given their earnings. “That number will be different depending on which population group you are looking at. “The pur pose of the WHAM is to understand what housing is affordable to specific population groups,” Brian explains. The model recognises that affordability varies significantly across different house-
Front: Victoria Spackman, NZ Shelagh Magadza, Maddie Brooks Gillespie, Niruthmie Pallawala, Gabbi Conway, Raihan Bismo, Leroy Paton-Goldsbury, Hariata Moriarty and Thomas Morum-Kelly. Back: Watene Campbell, Ben Shea, Saffron Calman-O’Donnell, Ed Paterson and Kaira Scheck. PHOTO: Supplied
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Independent Herald 14-02-18