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Images of Te Putanga Toi Arts Access Awards 2021, held in Te Papa Tongarewa Photos: Elias Rodriguez,
CELEBRATING ACCESS: Te Putanga Toi Arts Access Awards 2021 at Te Papa Tongarewa on 5 July Photos: Elias Rodriguez, Images available to download 

The finale with all the recipients and those Highly Commended on the stage for the National AnthemAwards celebrate diversity and the arts

5 July 2021
An award-winning dancer, arts projects, a creative space nurturing mental health and wellbeing, a theatre company committed to accessibility, and leadership in delivering arts programmes in prisons were celebrated tonight at Te Putanga Toi Arts Access Awards 2021, presented by Arts Access Aotearoa at Te Papa Tongarewa in Wellington.

Richard Benge, Executive Director, Arts Access Aotearoa, says the annual Te Putanga Toi Arts Access Awards celebrate the achievements and contributions of people and communities who provide pathways to mental health and wellbeing through the arts and creativity.

“Last year, like many people and organisations, we did things differently and held our first online awards ceremony,” Richard says. “This year’s event was live at Te Papa Tongarewa – another first – and a great venue to present our eight awards.”

Arts Access Accolade 2021

And for the first time, the Arts Access Accolade was presented to two individuals rather than the one. Lawrence Ereatara and Hone Fletcher, Principal Advisors at Hawkes Bay Regional Prison, have worked together for many years and share a similar passion for their culture. They are both implementing the new Māori Pathways programme at the prison.

Arts Access Accolade 2021 recipients Hone Fletcher and Lawrence Ereatara, Hakwes Bay Regiuonal Prison, with Richard Benge, Bill Kaua and Beth HillThe two men have also worked with Arts Access Aotearoa over many years and are champions of prisoner rehabilitation and community reintegration through the use of tikanga and toi Māori.

The Arts Access Accolade is chosen by Arts Access Aotearoa’s staff and board. “Lawrence and Hone go above and beyond to pass on their deep knowledge and skills to the men in Hawkes Bay Regional Prison, to Arts Access Aotearoa and the wider Arts in Corrections community,” Richard says. “We are extremely grateful for their vision, commitment and generosity.” Read about Hone Fletcher and Lawrence Ereatara

Andre Chumko, The Dominion Post and Stuff

This year, Arts Access Aotearoa also presented the Arts Access Creative New Zealand Media Award 2021 to Andre Chumko, a journalist with The Dominion Post and Stuff. “Andre demonstrates leadership and excellence in reporting about accessibility and inclusion in the arts – in prisons, the professional arts sector and in the community arts sector,” Richard says. “His work shines a light on the role of the arts in building a cohesive, engaged society.” Read about Andre Chumko

The six other recipients, selected by judging panels, are:

  • Lusi Faiva, Auckland, awarded the Arts Access PAK’nSAVE Artistic Achievement Award 2021, for her outstanding artistic achievements, and contributions to dance and the disabled community. Lusi brings an abundance of joy to her work and to her audiences, transforming perceptions about disability and carving out a space for other disabled dancers. Read Lusi's story
  • Circa Theatre, Wellington, awarded the Arts Access Creative New Zealand Arts For All Award 2021, for its long-term commitment to becoming more accessible. The strong relationships it’s building with the Deaf and disabled communities is evident in the growing number of Deaf and disabled patrons attending its accessible shows (110 patrons associated with NZSL attended its Cinderella pantomime in December 2020). Read about Circa's accessibility
  • Art-East, Christchurch, awarded the Arts Access Holdsworth Creative Space Award 2021, for its rich mix of arts projects that empower its artistswith alcohol or drug addiction issues, mental ill health, isolation and institutionalisation. Grounded in a Kaupapa Māori framework, its practice incorporates collaboration, innovation and inclusion. Read the Art-East story
  • Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and its Platform Programme, awarded the Arts Access Manatū Taonga Community Arts Award 2021, for its outstanding programme with Christchurch Men’s Prison through the Pathway Trust. Its weekly classical music workshops with men in the prison’s Navigate Unit have had a profound impact on both the prisoners and the small group of CSO musicians. Read the CSO story
  • Tipene Rangihuna (Pāpā T), Eastern Institute of Technology and Hawkes Bay Regional Prison, awarded the Arts Access Corrections Māui Tikitiki a Taranga Award 2021, for his leadership and commitment in passing on his knowledge and teaching te reo Māori to men in Hawkes Bay Regional Prison to create transformational change and strengthen te ao Māori. Read Papa T's story
  • Kyle Ellison and Pirika Taepa, Hawkes Bay Regional Prison, awarded the Arts Access Corrections Whai Tikanga Award 2021, for incorporating tikanga and toi Māori into employment programmes (e.g. building model marae and decorating them with kowhaiwhai) and building a bridge between the prison and the community. Read their story

Highly Commended certificates

Highly Commended certificates were also presented in several of the award categories. These were:

  • Helen Vivienne Fletcher, Wellington, Arts Access PAK’nSAVE Artistic Achievement Award 2021, for her achievements and contributions as a multi-talented writer, performance poet, teacher and mentor. Through her work, she is a strong disability advocate and barrier-breaker.
  • Theresa Cooper, Wellington, Arts Access Creative New Zealand Arts For All Award 2021, for creating a legacy so that Te Papa and the wider GLAM sector can provide a positive experience for Deaf visitors, including the introduction of an NZSL web-based museum guide at Te Papa.
  • Nicola Owen and Audio Described Aotearoa. Auckland, Arts Access Creative New Zealand Arts For All Award 2021, for pioneering and developing audio description in New Zealand, always promoting the voice of blind people in the audio description process.
  • Cantabrainers Choir, Christchurch, Arts Access Holdsworth Creative Space Award 2021, for transforming the lives of its singers (people with neurological conditions such as stroke, Parkinson’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis and Traumatic Brain Injury) and building community, social connection and joy in singing.
  • Women’s Art Initiative, Palmerston North, Arts Access Holdsworth Creative Space Award 2021, for providing safe, healing place where women can explore their creativity.
  • Juanita Davis, Whanganui, Arts Access Māui Tikitiki a Taranga Award 2021, for her raranga programme with men in Whanganui Prison, developing their confidence, cultural identity and skills.
  • Zak Devey and Youth Arts NZ, Auckland, Arts Access Māui Tikitiki a Taranga Award 2021, for his dedication, reflection, responsiveness and innovative processes in the development of Te Kāhui, a creative writing programme for rangatahi in Mt Eden Corrections Facility.
  • Annah Mac, Otago Corrections Facility, Arts Access Māui Tikitiki a Taranga Award 2021, for her commitment to music as a powerful rehabilitative tool. Creating an album of music across multiple sites demonstrates her ability to navigate complex issues and achieve excellent results.
  • Sharne Parkinson and Harakeke Down South, Invercargill, Arts Access Whai Tikanga Award 2021, for sharing her expertise and passion for toi Māori and tikanga with men in Invercargill Prison.

Read more about those Highly Commended

The annual Te Putanga Toi Arts Access Awards are the key national awards in New Zealand celebrating the achievements of individuals and organisations providing opportunities for people with limited access to engage with the arts as artists and audience members. They also recognise the achievements of an artist with a disability, sensory impairment or lived experience of mental illness.





TVNZ reporter Jacob Johnson talks to Juanita Davis, Christchurch Symphony Orchestra musicians and Richard Benge.

Hone Fletcher and Larence Ereatara receive the Arts Access Accolade 2021
Arts Access Accolade 

Te Ao - Maori News: Kaimahi recognised for transformational work in Hawke's Bay prison
RNZ’s Nine to Noon: Reforming recidivism through prison programmes

Arts Access Manatū Taonga Community Arts Award

RNZ’s Nine to Noon: Classical music workshops for prisoners
The Press/Stuff: Changing their tunes: Music helps tū ora at Christchurch Men's Prison

Lusi Faiva with Kieran O'Sullivan, PAK'nSAVE Lower Hutt and Petone
Arts Access PAK'nSAVE Artistic Achievement Award

Sunday Star Times/Stuff: Artist award for Samoan dancer who performs from wheelchair

Art-East representatives with Hon Carmel Sepuloni
Arts Access Holdsworth Creative Space Award
RNZ’s Standing Room Only: Appreciating the Art-East studio
The Press/Stuff: Christchurch’s Art-East scheme helps people discover their strengths through art

Leonie Aben, receiving the award on behalf of Pāpā T from Hoin Kelvin Davis
Arts Access Corrections Māui Tikitiki a Taranga  Award
Anna Mac, Otago Daily Times: Songwriting done behind bars
Juanita Davis, New Zealand Herald: Whanganui raranga teacher Juanita Davis receives award for prison tutoring programme

Redemption Arts musician
Arts Access Corrections Whai Tikanga Award

Te Ao – Maori News: Hawke's Bay prison workers acknowledged for incorporating tikanga Māori
Sharne Parkinson, Southland Times: Artist’s work with prisoners recognised in National art awards

Tim Bray Theatre Company
Arts Access Creative New Zealand Arts For All Award
Creative New Zealand: Circa’s journey to accessibility recognised

Andre Chumko and David Pannett, Creative New Zealand
Arts Access Creative New Zealand Media Award
Creative New Zealand: Andre Chumko: taking the arts seriously
The Dominion Post/Stuff: Hawkes Bay regional prison, Dominion Post report win Arts Access awards




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