Shelagh Magadza gets creative
Shelagh Magadza was going to spend a year driving around Australia and being a nomad when a job she couldn’t refuse came up at the New Zealand Festival.
She started working as an administrator at the festival in 1992, when she was 19. At the time she had been in New Zealand for only two weeks since migrating from Zimbabwe.
In 2014, she returned as artistic director.
‘‘In the 1992 festival there was one computer with email in the office and we used to all take turns, and there were a lot of faxes,’’ she said.
A 10-year stint at the Perth Festival put her in good stead to take the reins of the festival – she was Perth’s artistic director for four years and increased audiences by 80 per cent.
This year’s New Zealand Festival is the eighth she has had a hand in.
She said that though the New Zealand Festival was slightly smaller than Perth’s, it had the same quality of acts as its Australian counterpart.
‘‘Every festival is influenced by its city and it takes on its characters and environment.
‘‘We’ve got unique things here – the Pacific, the Maori culture and the amphitheatre of Wellington Harbour.’’
The festival is funded by the Wellington City Council but pri- marily sustains itself through ticket sales.
‘‘What that speaks to is that Wellingtonians really back us and people come out and are really engaged.’’
A lot has changed since she started at the festival.
revolution transformed the world and how people are exposed to entertainment.
‘‘In 1992, performers coming from all over the world and putting on their shows here was much rarer.
‘‘Getting audiences is a continual challenge. We have to con- tinue to be relevant when there are options like watching Netflix.’’
The festival comes around every two years.
Wellington’s biggest fishing contest takes place on March 5 and 6. It is being organised by the Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club and is offering more than $50,000 in prizes. The main prize is a new Holden Coronado ute 4 x 4. Entries cost $40 for adults and $10 for juniors, and are limited to 400. To enter and for details, go to RPNYC.org.nz.
Some Massey University design students and Boys and Girls Institute staff are trying to help young women participate in physical activities. Their enterprise – Give back, Shift forward – crowdsources funds by offering prizes for those who support the project via PledgeMe. If the target of $5000 is reached, young women will be able to apply to the fund online for financial support to remove barriers to participation, such as registration fees, uniformcosts, equipment and transport. To watch the PledgeMe campaign video, or to donate, visit pledgeme.co.nz/projects/4397-giveback-shift-forward.
Mary Potter Hospice will have stalls at the Newtown Festival (March 6), Creekfest in Porirua (March 12) and at Cuba Dupa (March 20).
Former Pulse coach Yvette McCausland-Durie has been named head coach of the Central Zone team in the National Netball League. McCausland-Durie steps into the new coaching position following the establishment of the league, which has been introduced to provide a level of competition immediately below the professional ANZ Championship, but higher than the now discarded week-long national championships.
Zonta honoured two young women at a ceremony on February 4. Melissa Bailey, of Whitby, and HannahWard, from Churton Park, won Zonta International’sWellington regional Young Women in Public Affairs award for 2015-16. The award is aimed at young women who were in year 13 last year, and who intend commencing tertiary education this year. They received a certificate and a $1000 cheque.
New Zealand Festival artistic director Shelagh Magadza.