Nelson festival plan a 'first for NZ'

The Alternatiba festival in Bayonne, France, draws thousands of people in, and the hope is to have something similar in ...

The Alternatiba festival in Bayonne, France, draws thousands of people in, and the hope is to have something similar in Nelson.

Proponents of a proposed Nelson Region Sustainability Festival say it will be a first for New Zealand.

Alice Robin, Guy Redmond and Indigo Levett gave a presentation on the proposal to Tasman district councillors last week and asked for support.

Robin said the proposed top of the south event would be based on the popular Alternatiba festivals in Europe.

The plan was to hold an open-air festival in Nelson CBD during April 2018 with "streets and squares full of people sharing knowledge and expertise on making our region a more sustainable, resilient place to live", Robin said.

There would be stalls, hands-on workshops, debates, competitions, street entertainment, food and drink "bringing people together in a way that's not been done before".

Redmond said Nelson CBD would be transformed into "thematic zones", organised by areas of interest. Proposed areas of interest included energy, housing, health and wellbeing.

"Each zone will have its own mix of activities," Redmond said. "This event offers a catalyst that will activate people and inspire them help create a future they want to live in."

Levett said the organisers would consult and collaborate with businesses, organisations, iwi and individuals. 

The Nelson region had a reputation for being environmentally orientated but "there's nothing to showcase what's going on here", she said.

Redmond said the proposed Nelson festival "will be a first for New Zealand showing that this region can lead the way".

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Robin said the team had support from Nelson City Council and had submitted to its Annual Plan.

"We hope that Tasman and Marlborough district councils will support us, too," she said. "We have a business plan in place, which shows quite clearly that this is a practical and achievable project and so we're here today to ask you for your support in principle for this project."

It was hoped there would be TDC support with promotion throughout the district for public meetings in Murchison, Takaka, Motueka, Tapawera and Richmond.

"We would also ask you for partnership funding together with Marlborough so that we can have a regional communication platform to ensure that ...Tasman residents have the opportunity to benefit from this amazing project."

Cr Dana Wensley asked if "pockets" of the festival could be held in Tasman district communities.

Robin said a one-day event was planned and similar festivals in Europe had been in one location.

However, there were a series of lead-up events that included activities such as teams of bicycles riding between towns, she said.


 - Stuff


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