Welcome to the New Zealand Festival

21:40, Feb 20 2014
Kerry Prendergast
Kerry Prendergast.

Welcome to the New Zealand Festival.

Having booked to see 24 shows in the next 24 days I know that the coming three weeks are going to be both exciting and transformative - not just for me personally but for the whole city.

The biennial New Zealand Festival not only brings the best from around the world to Wellington - it brings out the best in Wellingtonians.

I love the energy this city takes on during these three special weeks, and the way Wellingtonians embrace visitors and new experiences during this time.

The Festival's Executive Director Sue Paterson and her team work hard to make this huge event happen and as both the Executive Chair of, and regular visitor to, the Festival offices I enjoy the buzz created by these very busy people. 

(I have also been known to drop in occasionally with emergency baking to keep the hard-working team going).


Innovative partnerships are key to the success of this Festival and we have worked to secure win-win relationships and excellent matches.

In 2014 around 25% of Festival funding (over $3.3 million) will come from partnerships, not sponsorships.  

Our leader partners TV3, Wellington airport and Weta Digital have in 2014 been complemented by exciting new relationships with Contact Energy (for The Contact Season of Power Plant), Westpac (for Beyond circus and Bach Collegium Japan).  

We also welcome back Fletcher Construction to complement our new 'activator' or second tier partnerships which include I-site, Dominion Post, Minter Ellison and the Todd Corporation; and let's not forget our many friends and patrons!

We know the Festival isn't just good for morale - it's good for the economy; the 2012 Festival had an economic impact of around $56 million for the city and we look forward to a similarly great result again in 2014.  

There are still tickets available for many of the events.

I suggest you get onto the web, or into the St James or Ticketek, see what's on that appeals, and book.

This amazing time in our city only comes around every two years - take advantage of it, indulge yourself, and make sure you enjoy your festival!

Kerry Prendergast

Executive chair of the NZ International Festival of the Arts.

The Dominion Post