NZ: WOMAD Honored, Kiwi Denied Citizenship
Disabled Community Honors WOMAD
WOMAD was recognized by Arts Access Aotearoa for the way it looked after the disabled members of the 40,000 who attend the three-day festival.
It was given the Big “A” Creative New Zealand Arts For All Award 2012 for providing opportunities for people with disabilities to engage with the arts.
“WOMAD gets accessibility in every way and is a benchmark for what other organisations can aspire to,” Judges said, adding that it “puts community participation, consultation and access at the heart of everything it does.”
It finds out what patrons’ disabilities are, and provides reserved car parks, buggies, mobility scooters and constant assistance through its information centre. WOMAD business manager Chris Herlihy explained, “It’s about looking after everyone.”
Phoenix Foundation Member Denied Citizenship
NZ band Phoenix Foundation’s heavy overseas touring schedule is causing a problem for its UK-born co-writer, percussionist and keyboardist.
According to the Dominion Post, Will Ricketts moved with his family from London to Wellington in 1981 when he was 2.
Although he has permanent residency, his application for citizenship was turned down by the Internal Affairs Department because he spends too much time outside New Zealand.
Applicants have to have spent 240 days in the country for each of the past five years. The band’s singer, Samuel Scott, said that Phoenix Foundation overseas trips are often paid for by the Government-run New Zealand Music Commission, to showcase NZ music.
Authorities have told Ricketts he can apply again for citizenship in five years. Scott argues he’ll probably still face the same problem, as NZ’s small population means its acts have to tour abroad frequently to survive financially.