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Published: 2015-02-09 00:00:00

Waikato Regional Council funding is helping this year’s Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival have a number of creative works that highlight sustainability and conservation issues.

The festival gets underway this Friday and runs till 26 February.

Late last year, the council’s finance committee agreed to contribute $23,000 to the Hamilton Gardens Festival Foundation so as to include environmental awareness and sustainability events on the programme.

Relevant events include:

  • A key debate about whether ‘New Zealanders expectations of water quality are too high’ – Riverside Terrace, 4pm, Sunday 22 February, free admission. The debate will be introduced by council chairperson Paula Southgate.
  • A ‘Whales’ outdoor spectacle, suitable for grown-ups, children and “hipsters”. Bring a bucket – Turtle Lake Lawn, 2pm, Saturday 21 February. Free.
  • ‘Whenua-land’, a contemporary dance theatre work responding to environmental and political concerns – The Beach, 21 & 22 February, 11am & 6pm, also Monday 23 February, 6pm. Free.
  • ‘Awesome adventures of modern Maui’, fun-filled theatre – The Beach, Saturday/Sunday 14 & 15 February 11am, 1pm & 3pm; also 21 & 22 February at 1pm and 3pm. Koha admission.
  • ‘Te Ao Kowhatu’ stone carving demonstration – Te Parapara Gardens, Friday 20 February and 21 February at 10am to 5pm, also 22 February 10am – 2pm. Free.
  • ‘Cultivating art’, activities on incorporating environmental practice into creative life – Sustainable Backyard, Sunday 22 February, 10am to 4pm. Free. However, there’s a $50 fee for the Raranga Wanaga (weaving workshop) from 10am to 3pm.

More details are available at

Meanwhile, the council is also supporting the event with free buses to the Teddy Bears Picnic on Saturday 14 February, from 10am-2pm, on the Rhododendron Lawn (gold coin admission).

The free service is on the 29 Lake and Gardens bus between the Transport Centre in the CBD, Hamilton East and the Hamilton Gardens. Buses will be fully accessible, but please be aware it is likely prams and strollers will need to be folded. Details at