Hager to speak at festival

After a three-year hiatus, Levin is welcoming back a popular "alternative outlook festival" with a lineup of high-profile speakers.

The Organic River Festival, which starts today at the Kimberley Reserve, celebrates creativity, crafts and holistic health, aiming to enlighten, educate and inspire people about environmental issues.

Three speakers tasked with the job are Auckland's "moon man" Ken Ring, best-known for his weather and earthquake predictions, investigative journalist and author Nicky Hager, and the Manawatu Standard's Person of the Year for 2012 and Massey University environmental science lecturer Mike Joy.

Organiser Malcolm Hadlum, of Levin, said Sunday's speakers would be sharing their thoughts on topics including climate change and New Zealand's 100% Pure tourism campaign, but he expected Mr Ring's controversial views to cause the most chatter.

"He doesn't seem to mind the flack or people questioning him and let's face it, he thinks global warming is a bit of a scam and we're an organic, green festival, so there is a lot of people who think global warming is alive and well.

"We invite people to come along with an open mind and hear both ends of the tale."

Along with the hot weather and heated discussions, there would be some light-hearted family-fun events, Mr Hadlum said.

There will be food stands stocking everything from vegetarian dishes to gourmet burgers and stalls selling craft cider, beer and wine.

Also on the cards is yoga, meditation workshops, a kids' zone, pony rides, learn-to-play guitar sessions and more than 25 bands making musical performances.

While today and tomorrow are for campers only, the festival is open to the public on Sunday from 10am till 7pm. Admission is $15 for adults, $10 for senior citizens, $5 for children under 13, under-5s free and $40 family concessions. For more information see ecofest.co.nz.

Manawatu Standard