Pukapuka Talks

Throughout the festival don’t miss our innovative digital commission, which celebrates incredible Aotearoa writers, spoken word artists and storytellers exploring the theme, ‘Belonging’. The series will be headlined by Ko Wai Koe (from whose waters do you flow?), a spoken word/waiata/music performance by Motueka-based collective, Te Ora Hā, and will be presented throughout the festival, for free, via our digital stages and online.

Ko Wai Koe will be performed and filmed at a range of venues throughout the Tasman region, highlighting local Māori literary voices and helping to connect our large festival audience with the multitude of talent on the whenua.  

This opening piece will be followed by a series of performances from six other commissioned authors who have already written and/or published work the explores the theme of belonging.   

The result will be a series of seven short digital performances featuring images and soundscapes.  

This project will be a collaboration between Te Ora Hā and the Nelson Arts Festival, co-curated by Donna McLeod and Kerry Sunderland. The Ko Wai Koe headline video will be produced by Renee Kahukura Iosefa.  

We’re currently commissioning authors to participate. Stay tuned for more information! Other writers to be announced!

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Donna McLeod 

Donna McLeod (Te Āti Awa) is mana whenua in Te Tauihu and lives on papakainga in Motueka. She is a writer and performer of Te Ora Hā and a member of Te Ohu Whakaari. She is published in Headlands: New Stories of Anxiety (VUP, 2018) and Eastbourne: An Anthology (Mākaro Press, 2013). She has also had poetry published on The Spinoff, includingIhumātao’, which published on the day she visited this whenua. More recently, she curated a selection of visual art and sculpture from more than 20 artists for the new Motueka Library. 


Renee Kahukura Iosefa  

Renee Kahukura Iosefa is a Māori storyteller, journalist, and filmmaker. She won the 2017 Canon Media Award for Best Reporter - Māori and Ethnic Affairs. In 2017, she and her Samoan husband moved to Samoa to provide an opportunity for their children to learn the Samoan language and culture and, during this time, Renee worked for TV1 Samoa as its news manager and news editor. She now lives in Motueka and has been involved in several local film productions, including for Wakatū Incorporation. 


Kerry Sunderland 

Kerry Sunderland was born and raised on Bunurong Country in Victoria, Australia, then ‘grew up’ on Minjungbal Country in NSW before moving to Aotearoa in late 2012. In 2016, she completed a Master of Arts (Creative Writing) at Victoria University of Wellington. Since 2018, she has been programme manager of the Nelson Arts Festival’s literary programme, Pukapuka Talks. Her personal essay, ‘Scared to Death’, was published in Headlands: New Stories of Anxiety (Victoria University Press, 2018), and is currently being adapted for the screen. Kerry also works as a freelance journalist, writing features and people profiles for publications including New Zealand Geographic, The Spinoff, North & South, Stuff/Nelson Mail and The Byron Echo. 


Thu 20 Oct - Sun 30 Oct

Various durations

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