Hawke's Bay Tourism

Unprecedented artistic coup the Royal New Zealand Ballet in Napier tomorrow.


In an unprecedented artistic coup the Royal New Zealand Ballet has commissioned one of the world’s most sought after choreographers working today - Liam Scarlett - to create a brand new ballet for the company.

The Vodafone Season of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, will have its world premiere on 20 August in Wellington ahead of a five centre New Zealand tour.

"We are incredibly excited to showcase this sensational new ballet created for the RNZB by the talented Liam Scarlett. This magical tale will cast its spell on audiences of all ages. And as with all the best stories, true love and friendship triumph in the end." says RNZB Artistic Director Francesco Ventriglia.

Liam Scarlett is renowned for his witty and sophisticated choreography and this spectacular new ballet will be no exception.

"Shakespeare's tale of wit, love, petty quarrels and mistaken identities has captured the hearts of audiences young and old for centuries and has secured its place in history as one of the greatest stories ever told. It is with great pleasure and responsibility that I have the opportunity to transform this magical piece of work into a ballet. Being able to create this for the RNZB is a joy, and the end result will be a testament to their talent and enthusiasm and all that this wonderful company has to offer." says choreographer Liam Scarlett.

"In a smart business move we are partnering with Queensland Ballet to bring this tremendous production to the stage. It is a great opportunity to collaborate on a significant new dance work that will certainly form part a central part of our repertoire." says RNZB Managing Director Amanda Skoog.

"We’re thrilled to continue our support of the RNZB with this year’s Vodafone Season of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Vodafone customers and staff up and down the country can look forward to the production in their town as the show makes its way around New Zealand. 2 for 1 tickets are available as part of our Fantastic Fridays offer," says Matt Williams, Vodafone Consumer Director.

Liam Scarlett, has been lauded as the future of UK ballet and called "Dance’s hottest property" by the UK press. At only 29 years of age he regularly choreographs for leading international companies and was awarded UK Dance Critics Circle National Dance Award for his Asphodel Meadows. He was appointed first Artist in Residence at The Royal Ballet Covent Garden in 2012, a position created especially for him when he retired from dancing with the company. He continues to attract acclaim from audiences and critics alike with his work. Recent collaborations include New York City Ballet, English National Ballet, San Francisco Ballet and American Ballet Theatre. A Midsummer Night’s Dream will be his third full length ballet.

Distinguished costume and set designer Tracy Grant Lord has been behind many of the company’s successful productions, most notably Cinderella. Her designs for A Midsummer Night’s Dream will create a glorious new vision of thousands of lights, glitter and butterflies. She is working closely with M.A.C. cosmetics to create a unique and compelling look for each of the main characters. Tracy is a Winston Churchill Fellow, has a Bachelor of Spatial Design from Auckland University of Technology and her work is frequently chosen to represent performance design in New Zealand, at the Prague Quadrennial (Czech Republic).

The set for this production is the biggest the RNZB has ever created. It will also feature over 4000 LED lights and over 2,000 metres of fibre optics cable and be illuminated by Kendall Smith (Giselle).

Mendelssohn’s wonderful and highly recognisable music will be performed by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra in Wellington, the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra in Wellington and the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra in Auckland, conducted by RNZB Music Director Nigel Gaynor.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a Co-Production between the Royal New Zealand Ballet and Queensland Ballet.

The Vodafone Season of A Midsummer Night's Dream is tomorrow from 7.30-9.30pm and on Sunday from 1.30-3.30pm, at the Napier Municipal Theatre. For tickets, phone 0800 4 TICKET.

2015 Hawke’s Bay Tourism Industry Award Winners Announced


Last night close to 200 Hawke’s Bay tourism providers and industry members gathered at East Pier Hotel for the fourth annual Hawke’s Bay Tourism Industry Awards.

Hosted by Shane Cortese, New Zealand actor, singer and performer, the night was full of fun and glamour as the regional tourism industry celebrated local tourism businesses delivering exceptional visitor experiences.  

The awards were open to Hawke’s Bay Tourism members (financial and non financial) across all tourism sectors and over 50 entries were received.

The entry process was rigorous and included entrants completing a comprehensive questionnaire and presenting their business plan.  Entries were then judged by an independent panel made up of Hon. Craig Foss-MP for Tukituki, Wayne Walford-CEO Chamber of Commerce, Liz Read-Managing Director of Consultancy firm Reputation Matters and Katherine Halliday - Business, Marketing and Event Consultant

The judged award categories were Activity & Attraction, Accommodation and Small Business which was a new category introduced this year. A Supreme Award winner was then selected from the 3 category winners.

Back by popular demand was “The People’s Choice” award, sponsored by The Hits Radio Station where members of the public voted for their favourite tourism business. Over 600 people cast votes for 50 of Hawke’s Bay’s tourism businesses.

The awards were led by Hawke’s Bay Tourism in conjunction with its parent group the Hawke’s Bay Tourism Industry Association (HBTIA).

Hawke’s Bay Tourism General Manager Annie Dundas said “We’re delighted to see such great industry engagement and support of each other because it’s important to take time to acknowledge and celebrate local businesses who work so hard to deliver amazing experiences for visitors to Hawke’s Bay. The winners here tonight play a pivotal part in doing that and are well deserving of their accolades.”

The 2015 results: 

2015 People’s Choice Award Winner: Kennedy Park Resort Napier
Sponsored by The Hits Radio Station

2015 Supreme Award Winner: Nimon & Sons
Sponsored by EIT

2015 Accommodation Winner: Cobden Garden Homestay
Sponsored by Central Linen Services

2015 Activity and Attraction Winner: Nimon & Sons
Sponsored by Hastings District Council

2015 Small Business Award Winner: Hawke’s Bay Express
Sponsored by Napier City Council

Other Finalists were:


  • Cobden Garden Homestay (winner)
  • Ormlie Lodge
  • Palm City Motor Inn
  • Redcliffe Homestead

Activity & Attraction:

  • Church Road Winery
  • Hawke’s Bay Express
  • Mohaka Rafting
  • Nimon & Sons (winner)
  • National Aquarium of NZ
  • Takaro Trails
  • The Old Church

A highly commended certificate was presented to Takaro Trails for this category.

Small Business:

  • Hawke’s Bay Express (winner)
  • Laserforce
  • Odyssey NZ
  • Ormlie Lodge
  • Redcliffe Homestay

Jetstar to create up to 30 additional Hawke's Bay jobs.


Recruitment will begin on Thursday for up to 16 new jobs at Hawke’s Bay Airport. Ground handling company Aerocare will inject $200,000 to create the jobs in the region.


Aerocare’s local chief executive offer, Jason Gray, said they will invest more than $1.8 million in new equipment to set up the four regional ports in Jetstar’s new Q300 operation, taking the total number of ports operated in New Zealand by Aerocare to seven.

Australian Airline, Jetstar, announced recently it will begin flights between Hawke’s Bay and Auckland.

Positions include customer service agents, responsible for check-in and baggage, and ramp staff, who will assist with managing aircraft and baggage handling.

Senior positions with Aerocare, which currently manages ground handling for Jetstar's domestic and international flights in Auckland, Wellington and Queenstown, will also be available at the Hawkes Bay Airport and other new locations.

"People will be able to apply through our website, we have got a portal there where people can apply for jobs," Mr Gray said.

"We'll conduct interviews in October and then start roles in early to mid November, and start up on December 1."

Expressions of interest can be submitted to Aerocare for all regional roles on its website at www.aerocare.com.au.

Across New Zealand, Jetstar's new regional network is set to create more than 150 new jobs, including up to 55 pilot and 30 cabin crew roles, plus 80 ground crew jobs.

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The Face to feature in today's Hastings Blossom Parade.


Hastings district councillor Kevin Watkins with his Chinese gateway float. Photo: Clinton Llewellyn

By Clinton Llewellyn

Today’s Hastings Blossom Parade will feature a float built to honour a special Chinese visitor, whose home town was destroyed in an earthquake similar in strength to the 1931 Hawke’s Bay Earthquake.

Read more: The Face to feature in today's Hastings Blossom Parade.

Massive night ahead in Hastings for Waiata Māori Music Awards.


Māori musicians and their achievements in the music industry are being celebrated tonight in Hastings at the 8th annual Waiata Māori Music Awards.

There are 15 finalists this year including SIX60 and Stan Walker, but tonight, the founder of the awards, Tama Huata, will be given a posthumous Lifetime Contribution to Māori Music Award.

It's a night to celebrate some of Māoridom's biggest and brightest stars in the music industry.

But tonight, the late Tama Huata, who founded the Waiata Māori Awards, will be recognised for his lifetime work to Māori music.

Māori songstress Maisey Rika says, "It's only right that we acknowledge him, his life's work, his skill-set and his forward thinking. I say that with love and thanks to him."

Huata acted as a mentor to many up-and-coming performers wanting to make music and entertainment their career.

Tipene Harmer says, "He gave a lot of us our first chance I remember 10 years ago, he gave me my first chance at Waitangi Day, but he was visionary, taking Māori music to the world."

Tyna Keelan says, "We recognise everything that he's done for Māori entertainers for performing arts for kapa haka he took to the world and we all recognise that."

Though he passed away earlier this year at the age of 64, his legacy continues to live on.

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Famous New Zealand artists to feature at Hastings City Art Gallery.


Works by some of the most famous names in the New Zealand art world have been brought together for an upcoming exhibition that is exclusive to Hastings City Art Gallery.

Amongst them are pieces by the late Diggeress Te Kanawa, widely regarded as New Zealand’s most renowned weaver.

Te Kahui Maunga Kura Toi - 30 Years of Contemporary Maori Art from Te Wananga o Aotearoa, has been installed in the Hastings City Art Gallery this week.

Work by Te Kanawa will be surrounded by that of 50 artists - all who have had an involvement with Te Wananga o Aotearoa over its 30 year history.

Curator Chris Bryant-Toi said the works had been gathered from across the country, including the collection of Te Wananga o Aotearoa and the Waikato Museum. "Some of these works mark a significant institutional outcome in the history of Te Wananga o Aotearoa, while others reflect a contemporary Māori art trend or ground breaking new direction," he said. Other famous names in the exhibition include master carver the late Dr Pakariki Harrison, painter, educationalist Nin, and Sandy Adsett.

Gallery director Toni MacKinnon said seeing the "really special treasures by established masters like Te Kanawa and Dr. Buck Nin alongside the very contemporary works of people like Hiwirori Maynard and Margaret Aull is amazing".

Alongside Te Kahui Maunga Kura Toi, the gallery will be hosting a John Miller photography exhibition: New Zealand Maori artists and Writers 1973-1993.

Miller had photographing pivotal moments in New Zealand’s history since the 1960’s.

MacKinnon said the exhibition going into the gallery focussed on hui held by The New Zealand Maori Writers and Artists organisation over the 20 years from 1973.

She said quite a few of the 41 "beautiful" photos feature personalities from Hawke’s Bay.

Miller has gifted five of the photographs with relevance to the region to the gallery.

In 2003 John Miller received a Media Peace Prize Lifetime Award in recognition of his photography and its role in helping to promote peace.

What’s On

Exhibitions: Te Kahui Maunga Kura Toi - 30 Years of Contemporary Maori Art from Te Wananga o Aotearoa and New Zealand Maori artists and Writers 1973-1993, Hastings City Art Gallery, Eastbourne St, Hastings, daily, September 12 to November 22.

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