Arts and Culture Subcommittee



6 September 2018




Order Paper for the meeting to be held in the

Council Chambers, 2nd Floor, 30 Laings Road, Lower Hutt,







Wednesday 12 September 2018 commencing at 6.00pm








Cr M Lulich (Chair)


Deputy Mayor D Bassett

Cr T Lewis (Deputy Chair)

Mayor WR Wallace




Community Representatives:


Christine Fagan

Iwi Representative

Pam Hindmarsh

Stage and Event Manager

Anita Mansell

Hutt Multicultural Council

Johannes Mueller-Welschof

Hutt Art Society

Desiree Mulligan

Heritage and local history expert

Noel Woods

Atiawa FM, Event organiser, musician





For the dates and times of Council Meetings please visit








10 (4 elected members, 1 iwi representative and 5 community representatives)

To be chaired by a Councillor.



Meeting Cycle:

Meets on a quarterly basis, as required or at the requisition of the Chair

Reports to:

Community Services Committee


To advise Council regarding a strategic direction for community arts and culture in Hutt City that aligns with the principles of Council’s Arts and Culture Policy 2016-2021.

Determine and monitor:

     To ensure that outcomes outlined in the Council’s Arts and Culture Policy 2016-2021 are achieved

     To ensure the strategic direction for arts and culture supports tangata whenua and Lower Hutt’s many diverse communities.

     To receive reports on grants in the following area: Community Arts and Culture Fund.

     To monitor fulfilment of Council’s obligations towards Creative Communities funding.

     To foster communication between Council and the Lower Hutt arts sector

Consider and make recommendations to Council on:

     Developments that support Council in achieving an increased focus on arts and culture in the city

     Opportunities to strengthen the arts sector.


Approval and forwarding of submissions on matters to other consent authorities on matters relevant to the Subcommittee’s area of responsibility.

Delegated Authority:

The Arts and Culture Subcommittee will have delegated authority to carry out activities within its terms of reference.





Arts and Culture Subcommittee


Meeting to be held in the Council Chambers, 2nd Floor, 30 Laings Road, Lower Hutt on

 Wednesday 12 September 2018 commencing at 6.00pm.




Public Business


1.       APOLOGIES 

An apology was received from Deputy Mayor Bassett.


Generally up to 30 minutes is set aside for public comment (three minutes per speaker on items appearing on the agenda). Speakers may be asked questions on the matters they raise.  

3.       Presentations

a)      Heritage Week (18/1422)

Presentations by Ms J Henton,  the City Archivist and Mr D Batchelor, Director of Wellington Heritage Week 2018

b)      Hutt Minoh House Friendship Trust (18/1440)

A presentation by Ms A Walters, a representative of the Hutt Minoh House Friendship Trust

c)       Poly Odyssey (18/1449)

A presentation by Ms A So’otaga, a representative of Poly Odyssey



5.       Minutes

Meeting minutes Arts and Culture Subcommittee, 20 June 2018                         7     

6.       Information Items

a)      Community Arts Advisor Update (18/1413)

Memorandum dated 27 August 2018 by the Community Arts Adviser  12

b)      Whakatū Wāhine: Women Here and Now   August 2018 – August 2019 (18/1415)

Report No. ART2018/4/122 by the Communications and Relationships Manager  20     

7.       QUESTIONS

With reference to section 32 of Standing Orders, before putting a question a member shall endeavour to obtain the information. Questions shall be concise and in writing and handed to the Chair prior to the commencement of the meeting.   




Judy Randall



                                                                      11                                                 20 June 2018



Arts and Culture Subcommittee


Report of a meeting held in the Council Chambers, 2nd Floor, 30 Laings Road
Lower Hutt on

 Wednesday 20 June 2018 commencing at 6.00pm





Cr M Lulich (Chair)

Deputy Mayor D Bassett (until 7.10pm)

Cr T Lewis (Deputy Chair)

Community Representatives:


Ms C Fagan

Iwi representative

Ms P Hindmarsh

Stage and event manager

Ms A Mansell

Hutt Multicultural Council

Mr J Mueller-Welschof

Hutt Art Society

Ms D Mulligan

Heritage and local history expert



APOLOGIES:                  Mayor WR Wallace
Mr N Woods


IN ATTENDANCE:       Ms C Johnston, Director, Museums

                                          Ms J Randall, Committee Advisor






1.       APOLOGIES 

 Resolved: (Cr Lulich/Mr Mueller-Welschof)                     Minute No. ART 18301


“That the apologies received from Mayor Wallace and Mr Woods be accepted and leave of absence be granted.”



There was no public comment.







3.       Presentation

Presentation from a Representative of The Learning Connexion (18/805)

Mr K Gandhi, a representative of The Learning Connexion School of Creativity and Art (the School), provided a presentation on the work of The Learning Connexion in Lower Hutt. He explained the School’s broad view towards art and education that questioned conventional ideas and recognised life skills and experience that informed creativity. He advised the School had recently adopted qualifications that recognised the necessity of transferable skills and ran programmes that reflected this.  He added they also were partnering with businesses and other organisations so students could get the opportunity to use their skills in different contexts. He further advised the School regularly adjusted programmes to match the needs and abilities of students. He said the School also ran distance programmes and workshops in the community.

In response to questions from members, Mr Gandhi advised Lower Hutt did need more hubs with art facilities for students and artists.  He noted Lower Hutt had very few available facilities.



Ms Mulligan declared a conflict of interest in item 6a as a Trustee of the E Tu Awakairangi Hutt Public Art Trust and took no part in voting on the matter.

5.       Minutes

Resolved: (Cr Lulich/Mr Mueller-Welschof)                      Minute No. ART 18302

“That the minutes of the meeting of the Arts and Culture Subcommittee held on Wednesday, 11 April 2018, be confirmed as a true and correct record.”


6.       Information Items


Arts and Culture Policy (18/1036)

Memorandum dated 13 June 2018 by the Divisional Manager, Strategy and Planning

Ms Mulligan declared a conflict of interest and took no part in voting on the matter.


In response to questions from members, the Director, Museums explained the Arts and Culture Policy (the Policy) was a partnership between Council’s work and the community. She advised the Community Arts Advisor’s workplan was informed by the Policy but noted there were other areas of arts and culture work informed by other guidelines and policy.  She considered that increasing the diversity of art in the City, including Māori art, was a cross-Council responsibility and she believed art should be part of community spaces and buildings rather than stand-alone pieces. She recognised the work of the Community Arts Advisor encouraging a diversity of applications for Creative Communities funding.

Members discussed parts of the Policy that might need updating and suggested possible areas of focus for the Subcommittee work programme. Concerns were expressed about funding for the work programme but it was suggested areas of focus be clarified before funding was considered.

Members agreed to hold an informal workshop to discuss a work programme and further develop the recommendations of the Divisional Manager, Strategy and Planning.


Resolved: (Cr Lulich/Ms Mulligan)                          Minute No. ART 18303


“That the Subcommittee:

(i)      notes the Arts and Culture Policy attached as Appendix 1 to the memorandum and considers and discusses it with a view to developing a work programme for the Subcommittee;


(ii)     notes Council’s relationship with E Tu Awakairangi Public Art Trust;


(iii)    notes the membership and Terms of Reference for the Public Art Advisory Group attached as Appendix 2 and Appendix 3 to the memorandum; and


(iv)    meets informally in July 2018 to further discuss the  matter.”



Community Arts Advisor update (18/941)

Memorandum dated 29 May 2018 by the Community Arts Adviser


In response to questions from a member, the Director, Museums advised that the Community Arts Advisor’s work involved extensive engagement with other organisations. She noted that the community representatives on the Subcommittee and presentations at meetings also helped to keep members updated on activities in the arts community.  


Community representative members agreed that the Community Arts Advisor maintained a strong connection to the arts community.



Resolved: (Cr Lulich/Cr Lewis)                                Minute No. ART 18304


“That the Subcommittee notes and receives the report.”



Wellington Regional Amenities Fund Update (18/1044)

Memorandum dated 14 June 2018 by Cr Lulich    


The Chair elaborated on the memorandum. He noted feedback to the Wellington Regional Amenities Fund would be via Mayor Wallace.

Members discussed the advantages and disadvantages of the current criteria and funding allocation process.

In response to a question from a member, the Chair advised that other Councils had not expressed the same concerns as Hutt City Council about the equity of funding allocations.


Resolved: (Cr Lulich/Ms Mulligan)                          Minute No. ART 18305


“That the Subcommittee notes and receives the memorandum.”



Matariki Celebrations (18/1070)

Memorandum dated 15 June 2018 by Cr Lulich

Cr Lewis suggested the Subcommittee consider ideas for Matariki celebrations beyond 2019. Members discussed ideas for celebrations including performances, a concert, gardening activities, exhibitions and a kite festival. It was suggested other cultures be invited to be part of the process and that the community be asked to contribute ideas.

Cr Bassett left the meeting at 7.10pm.

The Director, Museums expanded on current and past Matariki events Council had been part of. She noted The Dowse had previously partnered with Te Papa to create a Matariki programme and this year The Dowse had partnered with Kia Mau for a theatre and dance festival.  She advised The Dowse annually exhibited a Maori artist during the Matariki period. She further advised that libraries were working alongside schools on Matariki themed events during the mid-winter period.  She said the Community Events Division was supporting the Matariki Whanau Festival in Wainuiomata this year. She added that in 2019 the Community Events Division would be inviting community organisations to apply for events funding so they could run their own community Matariki events.

It was agreed the informal Subcommittee workshop to discuss the Arts and Culture Policy would include discussion on future Matariki celebrations.

The Director, museums was thanked for her passion and hard work.


Resolved: (Cr Lulich/Mr Mueller-Welschof)            Minute No. ART 18306


“That the Subcommittee notes and receives the memorandum.”


7.       QUESTIONS

There were no questions.    

There being no further business the Chair declared the meeting closed at 7.24 pm.




Cr M Lulich




CONFIRMED as a true and correct record

Dated this 12th day of September 2018


MEMORANDUM                                                  12                                               12 September 2018

Our Reference          18/1413

TO:                      Chair and Members

Arts and Culture Subcommittee

FROM:                Pippa Sanderson

DATE:                27 August 2018

SUBJECT:           Community Arts Advisor Update




That the Arts and Culture Subcommittee notes and receives the report.


Purpose of Memorandum

1.         Community Arts Advisor update


2.         Community Funding

The Creative Communities Funding Scheme Round 1 for 2018/19 opened in August and closes on 1 October 2018. There is $35,000 to distribute. The Creative Communities panel will meet on Tuesday 30 October 2018 to allocate the funds.

3.         Community Arts Network

The Community Arts Network HuttCAN, is successfully running independently, with financial support from the Community Arts budget, to cover the cost of the coordinator’s fixed term part time role. The next Community Arts Network meeting is 4 September at The Depot in Petone. The sense of rebuilding the arts networking community is really strong and rewarding for participants, and local arts practitioners have taken ownership of the network programme.

HuttCAN Facebook page:


4.         Mural Projects

The final mural of 2017/18 financial year, ‘It’s OK’ mural in Wainuiomata has almost been completed after a delay when artist Ranga Tuhi, who was leading the project with the Rangatahi Centre, developed cancer and passed away.  Two experienced mural artists picked up the project and are working with the Rangatahi Centre and local youth organisations, CAYAD and CART to complete the mural.


5.         Hutt Winter Festival 2018

Hutt Winter Festival 2018 was the second winter arts festival led by Council’s Community Arts. It was a 3 day visual arts festival, 16 – 18 August that spanned Lower Hutt.


The aims of the festival were to:

-    Connect people through art and culture

-    Involve the local community in development and delivery of events

-    Support and provide a new platform for the presentation of local and community focused arts activities that are accessible to people of all cultures, ages and abilities

-    Make better use of existing community arts spaces

-    Improve the visibility of arts and culture in the Hutt

-    Build audiences for art in Hutt City

-    Extend summer community events into winter.


The festival included 16 cultural and community groups and artists, 380 workshop participants and reached over 3500 attendees, more than doubling our numbers from last year.



Workshop attendance, average of 20 people at 19 workshops:  380

Pimp My Jacket:               300

Hutt’s Got Talent :           500

Final Event - workshops based on 40 min stay 100 at a time : 450

Puppet & Illuminated Bike Parade & Ancestral Pathway: 200

Main Stage: 100

Labyrinth: 1500 - over several artist talks, open sessions, and 3 days of the festival – some overlap with festival visitors, but many came exclusively to experience the labyrinth

Total attendance: 3500


(See Appendix 1 attached to the report, ‘Hutt’s Got Talent’ figures).



There were four key projects and 17 workshops on the programme across seven sites throughout Lower Hutt:


1.   Pimp My Jacket – Mix Creative Space

2.   Hutt’s Got Talent – GoodTime Music Academy

3.   Tape Art NZ Labyrinth

4.   Lucid DreamBike ‘Lighting our Ancestral Pathways’ and ‘Illuminated Bike Parade’


Partners included: GoodTime Music Academy, Mix Creative Space, Lucid DreamBike, Tape Art, Naenae Nature Trust, Dustys and Lulu, Hutt City Libraries, The Dowse, Council’s three community hubs, the Common Unity Project. Officers worked collaboratively across several departments. Both of Council’s Computer Clubhouses were involved.


Funders included: Wellington Community Trust and Creative Communities.


Sponsors and supporters included: Mediaworks, Resene, Bunnings, Good Fortune Coffee, Pete’s Emporium, Price Busters, Bicycle Junction, Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust and Atiawa Toa FM, Brothers and Sisters Collective.


Survey results showed enthusiasm from the community for the events, and appreciation of the opportunities to engage in local arts activities.


Media coverage and online engagement: This was very successful, with national and local, television, online and print coverage achieved. The Hutt Winter Festival Media Report is attached as Appendix 2 to the report, and the Hutt Winter Festival Facebook Statistics are attached as Appendix 3 to the report.


Documentation: Wonderful photos were captured by Masanori Udagawa, Mark Amery, and Tape Art. These were circulated to media organisations with great uptake, and on social media where they were viewed and shared many times. Links to the photos are attached as Appendix 4 to the report.








Hutt’s Got Talent figures - GoodTime Music Academy



Hutt Winter Festival Media Report



Hutt Winter Festival Facebook Statistics



Photo links






Author: Pippa Sanderson

Community Arts Adviser




Approved By: Courtney Johnston

Director, Museums

Attachment 1

Hutt’s Got Talent figures - GoodTime Music Academy


Hutt’s Got Talent figures - GoodTime Music Academy

·    Over 150 performers entered making up 70 acts

·    25% of entrants were GMA students, 75% independent performers.

·    Over 500 people attended the 4 heats, held at GoodTime Music Academy and the 3 Council hubs.

·    Over 500 people attended the final event

·    Mai FM attended the final and streamed live on air

·    TV3’s The Project covered the final event, going live on air

·    GMA facebook reach over the week prior to HGT and the week during was almost 16,000 people

·    GMA raised over $3000 in prizes

·    Diverse range of people at the events, including many neighbours who came out to watch despite not knowing anyone who entered. 

·    Over 30 GMA staff/volunteers involved in the entire project

·    Rave reviews from all involved. 


Attachment 2

Hutt Winter Festival Media Report


Arriba! PR Media coverage report – 2018 Hutt Winter Festival

20 pieces of media coverage secured and achieved across major mainstream metropolitan, regional and community newspapers as well as major digital outlets (no.1 news website in New Zealand). NZ Herald online and national TV (TV3, The Project).

·    NZ Herald – 11 July. (weekly readership 1.668 million)

·    Wainuiomata News – 25 July 6,000 per paper

·    Wainuiomata News- 1 August 6,000

·    The Dominion Post – 1 August 470,000 per paper

· – 5 August:  Readership: 2 million weekly

· – 6 August: Readership: 2 million weekly

·    The Dominion Post – Capital Day – 6 August 470,000 per paper

·    The Dominion Post (front page) – 6 August 470,000 per paper

·    Upper Hutt Leader (front page) – 8 August 25,000

·    Hutt News (front page) – 7 August (66,000

·    Regional News – 7 August 2018 100,000

·    Capital magazine – August issue (Rebecca to source) TBC

·    Taita Times – August issue TBC
Stokes Valley Times – August TBC

·    Hutt News – 14 August x3 pieces 66,000

·    TV3 The Project – 17 August approx. 200,000 viewers

·    Hutt News – 21 August x2 pieces 66,000


Attachment 3

Hutt Winter Festival Facebook Statistics


Attachment 4

Photo links


Photo links


Final Fantastic Festivities - 18 Aug 2018 – Lower Hutt Event Centre, The Dowse, Riddiford Gardens

Password is: huttwinterphoto00110


Hutt’s Got Talent Final 17 Aug 2018 – Lower Hutt Event Centre

Password is: huttwinterphoto00110


Pimp My Jacket Final – 16 Aug 2018 – Lower Hutt Event Centre

Password is: huttwinterphoto00110


Mask-making workshop – 14 Aug 2018 – Koraunui Stokes Valley Hub

Password is: huttwinterphoto00110


Bike Illuminating Workshop 1 Aug 2018 - Remakery

Password is: huttwinterphoto00110


Lantern workshop – 28 July 2018 – Koraunui Stokes Valley Hub


20180728 Hutt Winter Festival - Lantern Workshop 001.JPG

From left Nikole ( 10 ) and P.K Khamsengsai, Hutt Winter Festival - Lantern Workshop at Koraunui Stokes Valley Community Hub, Lower Hutt, New Zealand on Saturday 28 July 2018.
Photo by Masanori Udagawa.


20180728 Hutt Winter Festival - Lantern Workshop 005.JPG
From left Virginia and Donald Kingi, Hutt Winter Festival - Lantern Workshop at Koraunui Stokes Valley Community Hub, Lower Hutt, New Zealand on Saturday 28 July 2018.
Photo by Masanori Udagawa.


20180728 Hutt Winter Festival - Lantern Workshop 010.JPG
Toshy Rapana and Kelvin Aris, Hutt Winter Festival - Lantern Workshop at Koraunui Stokes Valley Community Hub, Lower Hutt, New Zealand on Saturday 28 July 2018.
Photo by Masanori Udagawa.

Password is: huttwinterphoto00110


Labyrinth Workshop – 12 July 2018 – Walter  Nash Centre

View and Download password is: huttwinterphoto00110


Labyrinth Workshop #2 – 26 June 2018 – Wainuiomata Hub
Tape Art NZ Facebook photos

Photographer: Struan Ashby, Tape Art NZ


Labyrinth Workshop #3 – 26 June 2018 with Earthlink – Walter Nash Centre
Tape Art NZ Facebook photos

Photographer: Struan Ashby, Tape Art NZ


Labyrinth Workshop #4 – 10 July 2018 – Koraunui Stokes Valley Hub
Tape Art NZ Facebook photos

Photographer: Struan Ashby, Tape Art NZ


Labyrinth Workshop #5 – 11 July 2018 – Wainuiomata Hub

Photographer: Mark Tantrum

View and Download password is: dowse943


Labyrinth Workshop #6 – 3 August 2018 – Walter Nash Centre
Tape Art NZ Facebook photos

Photographer: Struan Ashby, Tape Art NZ


Labyrinth Workshop #7 –  15 July 2018 – Belmont, Lower Hutt
Tape Art NZ Facebook photos

Photographer: Struan Ashby, Tape Art NZ


Labyrinth Workshop – Inner labyrinth (southwest)
Tape Art NZ Facebook photos

Photographer: Struan Ashby, Tape Art NZ


                                                                                      21                                               12 September 2018

Arts and Culture Subcommittee

27 August 2018




File: (18/1415)





Report no: ART2018/4/122


Whakatū Wāhine: Women Here and Now   August 2018 – August 2019





A display at Petone Settlers Museum Te Whare Whakaaro o Pito-one




That the report be noted and received.




1.       2018 marks the 125th anniversary of women’s suffrage in New Zealand Petone Settlers Museum Te Whare Whakāro o Pito-one is proud to present Whakatū Wāhine – Women Here and Now as part of the suffrage commemorations.


2.       Our display celebrates the contributions younger generations of women make to our communities’ health and vibrancy. To do this, the public was invited to nominate women aged 15 to 40 who demonstrate inspiring leadership in the Te Awakairangi Lower Hutt area to be featured in this display.


3.       From a large group of nominations, our selection panel chose five women’s stories to share: Sharee Adam, Te Hau Winitana, Sithmi Sathruwani, Skye Chadwick and Sisi Tuala-Le’afa. Their stories are included in Attachment 1 to the report.   Each of these wāhine exemplify contemporary community leadership.


4.       Opening Event

On Friday 17 August we hosted an event to celebrate these woman and officially open the display. The event was attended by more than 100 people and was opened with a karakia by Mark Te One, Te Atiawa, Taranaki.  The celebrations brought together the women selected for display, their networks, local residents, politicians and Council staff.


Importantly, this event celebrated the positive impact these woman have on the community Council serves and ensured that our museum fulfils it’s role in Council’s commitment to create more connected, engaged communities.


5.   Attendance


Our museum is open 5 days a week, Wednesday through Sunday 10am – 4pm.  All committee members and their networks are welcome to visit us and experience the display in person.








Whakatū Wāhine: Women Here and Now










Author: Alexandra Grace

Communications and Relationships Manager







Approved By: Courtney Johnston

Director, Museums

Attachment 1

Whakatū Wāhine: Women Here and Now



Sharee Adam (Ngāti Koroki-Kahukura, Ngāti Paoa)

Founding member, Tōku Reo Charitable Trust

“Not only did I learn the words, the kupu, I learnt how to be; how to be a person, what it was like to see te ao Māori…and I learnt how you’re supposed to treat people as well.” – Sharee Adam

For Sharee Adam, learning and teaching te reo Māori is more than sharing new words and sentence structures. She explains “it is about learning your identity through the words of your tīpuna (ancestors); it can become a healing process for some people.”

In 2014, Sharee co-founded Tōku Reo Charitable Trust with friend Moana Kaio (Te Whānau-ā-Apanui, Ngāti Pikiao) to provide more opportunities for whānau (families) to speak reo Māori. Sharee reflects “a lot of people were learning the reo, but it wasn’t making its way back into the home.” Sharee believes that intergenerational language use in the home is essential to the health and continuation of te reo Māori. By supporting ‘language leaders’ within a whānau, future generations have a chance to grow up with reo Māori in their everyday lives. 

Tōku Reo Trust runs several kaupapa, or initiatives, in total immersion language learning – from knitting circles to leadership programmes aimed at creating future reo champions. Their latest project has been establishing a community garden at Hikoikoi Pā, Petone, launched during Matariki 2018. Support from the local mana whenua governing bodies adds to the mana (prestige) of the work Sharee and Moana share with the community.

Sharee’s commitment to the revitalisation of te reo Māori is localised and powerful, and will benefit generations to come.



Te Hau Winitana (Ngāti Ruapani, Te Ātiawa, Kuki Airani)

Founder, Īnano Dance

"My students are just as much leaders as I am. I’m just the spearhead that drives it forward, and they come behind me.” – Te Hau Winitana.

An artist, teacher, choreographer and dancer, Te Hau Winitana launched her dance school Īnano Dance in 2016 as a response to growing interest in her Polynesian-inspired fitness classes. Students were eager to learn more from her Cook Island dance expertise.

Students from the ages of 5 to 70 enjoy Te Hau’s classes and her leadership, guidance and ability to pass on cultural knowledge. Te Hau shares, “I plant the seed in my students, I water and feed them, and they grow and flourish in their own types of ways.”

With her mother from the Cook Islands and her father from Ngāti Ruapani and Te Ātiawa, Te Hau grew up with a strong appreciation for her cultural background. From a childhood love of Janet Jackson’s music videos to embracing her Pasifika roots in high school, Te Hau’s love for Cook Island dance was realised while performing with her school as a part of Wellington Pasifika festivals. Te Hau entered her first international dance competition, the Heiva San Diego, in 2017, and was pleased to win runner-up in her division.

The future is bright for Te Hau as she continues to compete and follow her career in performing arts. She carries the spirit of her ancestors and community as she dances and teaches.



Sithmi Sathruwani (Sri Lanka/Aotearoa New Zealand)

Board of Trustees – Student Representative, Hutt Valley High School

“I recognise myself as a global citizen.” – Sithmi Sathruwani

A Year 12 student at Hutt Valley High School, Sithmi Sathruwani sees opportunities where others see barriers. She embodies the strength of an emerging generation of young women who are embracing the possibilities of technology and connectivity.

Inspired by the local Innovative Young Minds programme, Sithmi launched a girls-focused technology club at her school. Based on the STEAM curriculum (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics), the girls explore and build confidence in areas like coding, robotics and web design. Sithmi says it’s about encouraging girls to “reach for those really big dreams” and to prepare for the jobs of the future.

Sithmi recently returned from the 2018 United Nations Youth New Zealand Pacific Project. As a member of this group, Sithmi tackled subjects like the future of democracy, climate change and New Zealand’s role in the Pacific with like-minded individuals. Sithmi’s tenacity was evident all the way from her application process to fundraising for her travel. She attended the UN Youth Australia National Conference in Adelaide, followed by a trip to Vanuatu on a cultural and educational exchange.

Sithmi recognises the positive impact one individual can make, and the strength of a collective working together. Passionate about seeing young people embrace sustainable development goals, Sithmi’s future projects will focus on these areas. Her optimism and confidence is contagious, and as a regular volunteer with Te Omanga Hospice and Kaibosh Food Rescue, Sithmi encourages young people to give back to their community.



Skye Chadwick (Te Awakairangi)

Founding member, Hearth Trust

My life has been so surprising, and the best things, I haven’t seen them coming.” – Skye Chadwick

Skye Chadwick is a founding member of the Hearth Trust, based in Kelson, Lower Hutt. The Trust was established in 2015 to provide homes for people with disabilities. Several years into the project, Skye reflects that much of the work has been exploring “what an inclusive, resilient community” looks like.

With her friend Lucy Carver, Skye was joint recipient of the Wellingtonian of the Year Youth Award in 2015. They were recognised for co-founding Orientation Aotearoa (OA), an alternative education programme for 18 to 25 year olds. The course offered a live-in eight-month programme, with a focus on leadership, sustainability and social entrepreneurship.

The experience of running OA led Skye to establish the Hearth Trust with family members and associates. Skye describes the Trust as a community of people, with and without disabilities, “living, flatting, and doing life together”. Skye’s brother Timothy has autism, and it was a dream for her and her family to create a local, inclusive living situation for him. Through OA Skye met a donor who shared her vison and helped buy the land and property for the Hearth Trust.

The structure of the Trust enables leadership and responsibility from all involved, including the trustees, the co-worker support team, and a body of community and family members living on or off-site. Events and activities are open to non-residents, hosted in the communal barn and surrounding land.

Skye leads through the values she lives by, collaborating and learning alongside the people that make up her community.



Sisi Tuala-Le’afa (Savai’i, Samoa)

Manager, EMPOWER – Empowering Māori and Pacific of Wainuiomata to Excel and Rise

“To be active citizens, we need to give everyone the tools to make these decisions.” – Sisi Tuala-Le’afa.

Sisi Tuala-Le’afa recognises the strength of group participation —“I’m big on groundswell,” she says. Through EMPOWER she provides a life-skills development course for Wainuiomata youth between the ages of 10 and 17 years. The programme takes place over weekends, and is based at Wainuiomata Marae.

EMPOWER was driven by a need to create positive change in the local youth population. Co-founder Kathleen Godinet-Samuelu had a vision for the programme and called a community meeting. Along with facilitator Jay Farris, Sisi had a key role in bringing the idea to life. The pilot programme with 28 young women ran from September 2017 to April 2018, with the young men’s programme beginning April 2018. The participants from the initial pilot are now preparing for their graduation dinner, and the leadership group of five seniors are embarking next on EMPOWER facilitation training.

In 2009, Sisi established a community garden in Wainuiomata to help support whānau with affordable fresh produce. The garden has continued to be used and developed, and Matariki 2018 marked the first harvest of kumara, planted by EMPOWER rangatahi (youth) and facilitators. Although they were told kumara was an unlikely crop to succeed there, the group are proud of their results.

Sisi is also an elected member of the Wainuiomata Community Board, and is an advocate for issues affecting her community. Whether she’s on the field supporting local women’s sport, or engaged with the EMPOWER rangatahi, you’ll witness Sisi uplifting and inspiring people with her work.