Wider fo­cus for fes­ti­val

Groups get to­gether to fight family vi­o­lence

South Waikato News - - NEWS -

The South Waikato Cul­tural Fes­ti­val is ex­pand­ing and re­brand­ing as chil­dren through­out the district pre­pare to per­form later this month.

For­merly known as the Poly­ne­sian Fes­ti­val, the new name, South Waikato Cul­tural Fes­ti­val is in­clu­sive of the en­tire district.

South Waikato Cul­tural Fes­ti­val com­mit­tee chair­man Jar­rod Boon said the new move was not only in­cor­po­rat­ing the district, it was also ac­knowl­edg­ing the other cul­tures within it.

‘‘We have a lot of dif­fer­ent cul­tures in our district to­day. When the Poly­ne­sian Fes­ti­val be­gan our sole fo­cus was the Poly­ne­sian and Maori cul­tures. What we are say­ing is, let’s in­volve all the cul­tures that make our district unique.’’

The fes­ti­val will be held at the Pu­taruru Plaza this year, mak­ing it the first time it has been held out­side the district.

‘‘We are mov­ing it to the Pu­taruru Plaza this year be­cause the venue is fan­tas­tic and we wanted to showcase Pu­taruru tal­ent this year. Pu­taruru has al­ways made the trip so now it’s our turn,’’ Mr Boon said.

Thir­teen schools in­volved this year.

The fes­ti­val is set for Septem­ber 24 with tick­ets avail­able from par­tic­i­pat­ing schools. Door sales will be avail­able pend­ing seat­ing avail­abil­ity.

are Or­gan­i­sa­tions are band­ing to­gether to tackle is­sues fac­ing South Waikato res­i­dents.

Toko­roa Coun­cil of So­cial Ser­vices, South Waikato Pa­cific Is­lands Health Com­mit­tee, Sal­va­tion Army and Raukawa Set­tle­ment Trust have all teamed up to cre­ate the Family Cen­tred Ser­vices Project, which launches this week.

Toko­roa Coun­cil of So­cial Ser­vices man­ager Gwenda Brodie said the project fo­cused on fam­i­lies where vi­o­lence had oc­curred – ‘‘Sup­port­ing fam­i­lies to make the changes so that vi­o­lence doesn’t re­cur.

‘‘And putting them in the driv­ing seat ba­si­cally to iden­tify how they want their lives to be dif­fer­ent, to iden­tify what kinds of changes they would like to make and sup­port­ing them through their process.’’

Ms Brodie said the project was very prac­ti­cal.

‘‘ Fundamentally what we are look­ing at is so­cial work sup­port; some­one who cov­ers a wide area – from as­sist­ing peo­ple, to get all of the ben­e­fits they are en­ti­tled to if that is an is­sue.

‘‘ So from South Waikato Pa­cific Is­lands Com­mu­nity Ser­vices’ point of view, what they are look­ing at do­ing is hav­ing a sup­port worker who will be right there and be par­tic­u­larly fo­cused on work­ing with Pa­cific Is­land fam­i­lies,’’ she said.

Ms Brodie said the Sal­va­tion Army aimed to have a so­cial worker who would be ded­i­cated to fam­i­lies where family vi­o­lence was an is­sue.

‘‘Work­ing to in­volve wider fam­i­lies and com­mu­ni­ties in mak­ing pos­i­tive change so that vi­o­lence is un­ac­cept­able is a much longer-term goal but it is crit­i­cally important be­cause if we don’t have a wider com­mu­nity in­tol­er­ance to family vi­o­lence then we can’t pos­si­bly ex­pect in­di­vid­u­als or small fam­i­lies to try to make changes in iso­la­tion,’’ she said.

CUL­TURAL FES­TI­VAL: South Waikato Cul­tural Fes­ti­val Com­mit­tee Jar­rod Boon out­side the new venue for the South Waikato Cul­tural Fes­ti­val.

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