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Arts festival opens with public event tomorrow

Never mind the bubbly and the bling . . . the inaugural Tairawhiti Arts Festival opens tomorrow with a free public event tailored to the unique character of this region.

Described as “part performance, part ceremony, part interactive experience”, Maui Putahi will be held on Marina Park from 5.30pm-8.30pm.

Maui Putahi is a free event to open the inaugural Tairawhiti Arts Festival.

To ease people into the first of Maui Putahi’s four phases, the Kai Food Festival, which runs from 4pm-8pm across the river, will function as a tasty prequel.

The Kai Street Food Festival with its “kete-full” of food choices will be in Read’s Quay, walking distance from Marina Park.

As dusk falls, Te Ara I Whiti, The Light Trail, will come to life.

Created by artists Tai Kerekere, Kaatarina Kerekere and Simon Lardelli, Te Ara I Whiti is an installation of light sculptures that signifies the creative legacy of “the coast (tai) where the sun (ra) shines (whiti)”.

As Maui Putahi comes to a close, the lights remain for the 12 days of the arts festival.

Teina Moetara, artist and creative director of Maui Putahi, talks about Maui Putahi in the Guide, page 24.

Accommodation is filling up for a busy month of events in Gisborne

The Tuia 250 commemorations, the inaugural Tairawhiti Arts Festival, a Historic Places Aotearoa and ICOMOS (International Council on Monuments and Sites) conference, various sports events, and the school holidays . . . Gisborne is facing a busy time through to late October.

That busy-ness is reflected in bookings for accommodation around town.

The Captain Cook Lodge is full but has some vacancies left for October 12,13 and 19.

Teal Motor Lodge is fully booked for the next few days and those bookings are largely around Tuia 250.

Pacific Harbour Motor Inn is “pretty fully booked” and slightly busier for this time of year.

Waikanae Beach Top 10 Holiday Park is also “pretty full” and also slightly busier than usual for this time of year.

Waikanae Beach Motel is full and has seen a “noticeable increase” in bookings over the coming two weeks but has a few vacancies over the October 13 and 14 weekend.

Te Ha general manager Glenis Philip-Barbara is not surprised at the demand for accommodation.

“Our events are focused on the sharing of the story and the history of our region,” she says.

“Naturally we expect visitors from outside the region will be attracted to that. We worked on the basis those numbers would be consistent with our commercial capacity.”

Te Ha expects Gisborne people who live out of the region and come back for the commemorations will generally stay with friends and family.

“Let’s not forget, marae have also opened their doors, hosting manuhiri in a time-honoured way.”