Te Pāti Māori Co-Leader Rawiri Waititi has come out swinging against the Government’s lack of response for our creative, arts and music industry in light of the recent red light setting that has seen all summer festivals and large gatherings cancelled.
“The Government has used and abused our artists, musicians and creatives by using them to front vaccination campaigns for the purpose of participation at summer festivals, only to leave them out to dry by cancelling those festivals without a back-up plan to cover the loss they suffer as a consequence,” said Waititi.
“Our musicians, creatives and artists, acting in good faith with the Government the entire time, have been repayed by having their livelihood stripped away from right under their feet within 24 hours and without any adequate support in place. It’s incredibly demoralising and highlights the value the Government places on the industry.
“The Government must act immediately by making relief funds available for our artists and creatives who have lost work due to thet move to Red Light settings,” said Waititi.
Cilla Ruha, Creative Navigator/Māori Music Manager – InDigiNation Music says “It’s disheartening to see that the Government has leveraged the influential might of artists, creatives and musicians to roll out an entire vaccination campaign over summer, only to leave many without the means to feed their whanau following the cancellation of festivals. This callous inaction is the antithesis of the care for community artists have exhibited so bravely to date, to completely loose their trust at this juncture would be catastrophic.”
Similarly, Ria Hall, singer and songwriter, states that “On the basis that our industry and sub sets of the wider live performance and arts industry have been compliant and patient; we are double vaccinated and have participated in Government-led campaigns to encourage vaccination based on festivals over summer as an incentive; the lack of response nearly a week since the announcement is unacceptable.”
“The high uptake of vaccination rates among Rangatahi can be attributed to our musicians and artists who participated in Government led campaigns to increase vaccination uptake to attend summer festivals,” said Waititi.
“In times of desperation and celebration, it is the work of our artists and creatives in Aotearoa that people turn to for inspiration and hope. Their collective influence across the world far outweighs the influence of any political party and that must be recognised.
“For Tangata Whenua, their influence is even more powerful because our Māori creatives are the protectors and projectors of our indigenous voice. They are our academics and are an integral part of the fabric that makes our country Aotearoa,” said Waititi.