TEZA 2015, Transmission

Images TEZA Day 7

Images: Andrew Matautia, Mark Amery, Gabrielle McKone, Alicia Rich and Frankie Padallec


Beginning the day and ending the day the Young Visionaries projection runs through the night during TEZA in the windows of The Old McDonalds.


Outside TEZA Hub flags featuring prints of tuna printed by tamariki in Kaiapoi from the TEZA 2013 project Kaihaukai have flown all week. They travel on this day to Titahi Bay and Hongoeka Marae.

A quieter, gentler morning at the Hub.

IMG_0819-44Cassidy Browne works on editing the TEZA Transmission (the publishing platform you’re reading).

IMG_0817-43While Faith Wilson hosts.

Ash’s roleplay for the day was to be a student at Titahi Bay School. Here he is with his artists for the day.


Over at Pataka, Sarah Maxey runs an alternative signs workshop as part of the Porirua People’s Library.

The results sneak their way into the gallery and nearby library.


It was a busy day for the The People’s Library. Margaret Tolland and Kerry Ann Lee were out and about around Porirua with a mobile zine table.


Up at Cannon’s Creek.


Zac with work starting on the PPL zine for launch Sunday.


Pip Adam works on The Made-Up Times


A visit from artist Wi Taepa (who has popped up at beautiful times throughout TEZA), with photographer Andrew Matautia.


Lunchtime saw a really productive discussion on different models for independent artist run spaces, with recent and planned experiences in Porirua and contributions from the wider region.


TEZA 2013 artist Kim Lowe skyped in to talk about setting up her space Toi Te Karoro in New Brighton since TEZA.


While Liana Leiataua discussed the art space she will open up where Sharemart is next week through Urban Dream Brokerage Porirua.


Mark Harvey was at it again, finding plenty of volunteers for his refinery.

The community were completely aglow at their first Titahi Bay Boatshed Festival – the bay vibrating with kinship for two and a half hours, before the rain sent us scurrying into a boatshed to watch old movies of Porirua, care of the Film Archive.



Simon did a brisk trade in bread while next door Tim cooked fresh fish. No charge.




TEZA 2015, Transmission

Response #6: Gem Wilder

Image: Gabrielle McKone

Community and Accessibility

I want to write about community. At least, that’s what I thought I wanted to write about, heading into TEZA 2015. Building and actively participating in communities is something I have become increasingly passionate about over recent years. I am also interested in the way many communities fail to see those they exclude; the outsiders and the left behind.

I talked a lot about community to some of the great people I met at TEZA on Thursday. I told them about how a while back I’d joined my local neighbourhood Facebook group, and then very quickly left again, feeling disillusioned. There had been so much talk about the types of people living in the community, so much negativity towards people who were different. The group’s members couldn’t understand that these people they were so afraid of were also a part of their community. They were too caught up with what the community in their heads looked like. It looked like themselves, and no one else.

I go to numerous literature events, and more often than not they are exclusively white. White writers speaking to a white audience. I talked about this in my discussions on Thursday, about how so often creative events are inaccessible. There are huge swathes of people they simply do not reach. “Who do you think isn’t being reached here?” I’m asked. I think.

On Tuesday I’d seen people drawn into conversations on their lunch breaks while walking past TEZA participants. When I sat on Cobham Court with Pip Adam, writing an article for ‘The Made Up Times’, people were able to offer a quick headline as they passed by. In less than a minute, while on their commute they had been given the chance to participate, to contribute. Pip went into some of the surrounding shops to talk to the local business owners and their staff. The workers who couldn’t get away from their stores had TEZA brought to them, made accessible.

On Thursday morning I sat in while groups from Corinna School made salads with Rosalind McIntosh. Children are one of the most disenfranchised groups of society. They are rarely welcome at creative events unless those events are catered to them specifically. They are so often a forgotten, invisible portion of our communities, and yet here they were, involved.

That afternoon I took part in the Raps & Monologues workshop run by Pikihuia Haenga, Amelia Espinosa and Te Kupu. After introductions and some quick writing exercises we adjourned to work on our pieces while Te Kupu headed off to pick up his seven year old daughter from school. When they returned she participated in the workshop, reading her own original writings along with the rest of us. Children were not confined to a quiet corner until their parents were finished partaking in the day’s activities. Parents were not restricted by childcare hours. Everyone was welcome. Everyone was catered to. Accessibility.

But I don’t want to paint a picture of a utopian community. I can’t ignore that TEZA is taking place in Porirua, and yet the vast majority of people I interacted with had come from out of town specifically for the event. Does that even matter? As the day began to wear on me I headed over to North City Shopping Centre to try and distance myself from the critical thinking and analysis that TEZA had inspired in me. Compared to the outlying shopping strips where TEZA has set up camp, the mall is full of the hustle and bustle of life. I’d been tricked into thinking of Porirua as a dying community, but inside the mall I saw that it is thriving. I thought about all of these people going about their business, and wonder why TEZA isn’t aiming to draw them in as its audience. Surely these locals are a valid arts audience.

That evening I realised I’d got it all wrong. TEZA is not primarily about creativity. Creative thinking is a major foundation of the week, no doubt, but the clue is right there in the name: Transitional Economic Zone of Aotearoa. This is about economics, a fact I have managed to conveniently ignore because I thought I had no interest in economics. I’m as guilty as anyone of creating an imaginary community, blind to what I don’t want to see.

At the Creative Summit on New Economy Thinking I discovered that I’m more interested in economics than I thought I was. I listened as people shared their desire for a new economic system, one that values things such as time, knowledge and even mood over money. The conversation was unsettling. I couldn’t help but think of the book Who Cooked Adam Smith’s Dinner? by Katrine Marçal, which discusses how Smith, the father of modern economics, neglected to take into account his mother, who prepared his meal every night when constructing his economic theories of food production and labour. I thought about who we might have been forgetting in our discussions. I heard about the supposed “poverty of soul, mind and spirit” that people are suffering from, and then heard about the large amounts of labour that people are already performing free of charge. I heard about how beneficiaries are supposedly “rich in time” and wondered why we were talking about, and not to. There was hope in these conversations, but there was also a sense of the enormity of the task at hand. No one seemed to have the answer we were all so desperately searching for.

From what I can tell, TEZA isn’t about finding answers. It is about asking questions. It is about suggesting alternatives. And it is about bringing together a community. Not necessarily a geographic community, but a community of like minds. I wanted to write about the community I saw in my head before experiencing TEZA. Instead, I am grateful for the community that I built for myself with each conversation I had, each question I asked, and each workshop I participated in.

TEZA 2015, Transmission

Day 6 TEZA in images

Photographers: Gabrielle McKone, Amanda Joe, Georgina Conroy, Sophie Jerram and Mark Amery

Serious salad making began on Thursday, with artists from Corinna School working with mixed vegetable media.
In the kitchen at the bread-making workshop.
Hair play at the All Good? Pop-Up Hair Salon.
Mark Harvey worked with the Corinna School kids to construct cardboard and tape costumes for street performances.
Barbarian Production’s Thomas La Hood awaits customers.
Shay Green, artist for the day makes bread as part of his exchange with Ash Howell.
Clothing upcycling at the Sharemart.

Ash Howell’s Ako Ako  role swapping project continues. Ash started as a politician on Monday and worked his way up to stable hand by Thursday.

UxDdJwC1ZwwjW9YHxvbzhs1hbTH8iARAZFVGUha5Owo.jpgAt the end of the day, Ash debriefs with his day’s stand-in. Here with artist-for-a-day, local MP Kris Faafoi. The projection is in a backspace behind Sharemart until Sunday night 29 November.

dz3L6lPtNZvX-a5-O8sr5APzssQUJmCM430DCFWyLnYAsh at Wellington Riding for the Disabled.

a_YVoJbo2AbQ-zsemruJcWdn361n_Yj5t1iEc1-Scfo,YmS2xGmoSOCnqz_0KD-FdIGa9lI-MZBkLTXrzZ8lyyQ,OHZ_SBvZ-nfEYXw0IdIPD_sthMxnM5C_BzEIBrc4r9k.jpgStrong Pacific Families had a busy day with the continuing exhibition of Pacific arts and crafts and a screening of Koa o Tokelau – a collection of film clips from 60 years of Tokelau’s history.


Jung Shim Krefft, Georgina Conroy, George Staniland (Massey interns and TEZA photographers), David Cook and Leala Falesuega installing Young Visionaries at the Old McDonalds.



The OMD windows contain the student’s portraits and visions – these can be viewed online here.

cTOMt9cku7-1nfNbMvaSHOzQsv_BoZsMDPqWLlnHy2cPikihuia Haenga and Kerry Ann Lee from the Porirua People’s Library before the Free Range Raps and Monologues workshop kicked off at the TEZA hub, with guest Te Kupu.


yg0clI_5dT194hvhC-QzLbES9m-ozXU_IlaAaYegn6w.jpgShay Green with Chiang Mai-based Belgian writer and activist Michel Bauwens who joined TEZA for a discussion on “New Economy Thinking”.

OLexzO0BRcANb1fwTJ_-nlCfTOslGdmZiM0RlXYy_ZwMichel with local film director and writer Wiremu Grace at Titahi Bay.

Xpgi8eaBEmDA5C6V8Bo1moEwEHZ5fG16tXuUUFxjHOM.jpgRichard Bartlett from the worker-owned Loomio collective, facilitated a wide-ranging discussion on economic alternatives to the cash economy.


y0jqW6v482C7NiC7Zqqyxe2278vI5q8Nd186wdZIyoQThe day ended with Cycle-Powered Cinema out in the mall, care of Gapfiller in Christchurch who joined us via Skype from their fifth birthday celebrations (happy birthday you stunners!). We screened a documentary about Gap Filler’s Pallet Pavilion, all powered by bikes.




Big thanks to Deb Fisher, Marcus McShane, Rich Bartlett, John Poppleton and crew for making this happen.

photo 2

TEZA 2015, Transmission

Response #5: Max Rashbrooke

Image: Gabrielle McKone

What do artists know about economics?

Max Rashbrooke

“The only reason to learn about economics is to stop economists pulling the wool over your eyes.”

– David Norton, Emeritus Professor, School of English Literature, Victoria University of Wellington

WHAT IS ECONOMICS? What is it for? And how much of it do we want? These questions lingered, like an irritating aunt, throughout my day at the Transitional Economic Zone of Aotearoa (TEZA) 2015. It was hard to avoid economics, given the way the word, and therefore the concept, were embedded right within the thing itself. And there were suggestions, hints, thoughts about new ways of doing economics scattered everywhere in the TEZA programme.

The artists were asking questions, as artists do, and should, rather than searching too hard for immediate answers. But I did wonder if other questions needed to be asked. A question can be a bridge between you and the person you disagree with. And I think that many people cynical about TEZA’s purpose – the people who aren’t at all convinced about volunteering, the sharing economy, post-capitalism, or the wider project of redefining economics – would have bridged the gap between TEZA and themselves by asking, in a slightly hostile tone: yes, this is fine, but how is it all to be paid for?

EVEN THOUGH THE TEZA SPACES WERE IN A SHOPPING PRECINCT, surrounded by layers of concrete, they felt like spring. Ideas were popping up everywhere, and not in a central, organised structure like a tree trunk, but independently, unpredictably, like blades of grass.

Very often the ideas were right in line with TEZA’s mission of thinking about new forms of exchange, new kinds of economics. I test-tasted bread with Simon Gray as he talked about working on school gardening projects and trying to make schools self-sufficient. I helped Mark Harvey create bizarre, inventive cardboard and sticky tape costumes for a bunch of schoolkids, as a way of thinking about volunteering and what it brings to people on both sides of that exchange. I visited Sharemart, which promised “a new economic model” for clothing, based on exchange, repair and reuse. I went out to the old Porirua mental hospital grounds and talked to Tim Barlow about artisanal workers, industrial workers and the now-defunct Todd Motors plant.

All these projects were joyous, and creative,and clever. They stood on those merits alone. They were all also questioning the dominance of market systems, the exchange of buying and selling in our modern lives. But there were other questions that I felt needed asking. I also felt that free-market economics would have posed some difficult questions for them.

Getting schools to grow more vegetables is something I wholeheartedly support, for its own sake and for its many spin-off benefits – the lessons it teaches about the environment, the earth, the growing process. But there is a good reason that schools and other small groups don’t invest much time, often, in growing vegetables. Anything done by amateurs in small chunks will produce less of what we want in a given time than something done by professionals at scale. Leaving gardening to the professionals – division of labour in other words – opens up the time for us to do other things that we might want to do.

Sharemart faced similar issues. One of its staff members noted that people coming there to have clothes repaired were supposed to stick around, so as to learn from the seamstresses and exchange something meaningful, but they would often just “drop and run”. Again, it was about division of labour: leave someone to do something efficiently, and you can use that time to earn an income, or do something else that you value. It’s also about cost: people often don’t get clothes repaired because it’s cheaper to buy new ones.

TEZA, of course, is arguing that we need a different kind of economics: but what kind, exactly? Clothes are cheap in part because when you throw away old ones, you pay almost no price, in rubbish bags or tip fees, to compensate for the environmental costs of this pollution (the externality, in economic terms, that you impose on everyone else). So is TEZA saying that if we put a proper price on pollution – and, not incidentally, carbon – then throwing away clothes would, rightly, become more expensive than repairing them, and that would get us to our desired outcome? Is the answer, in other words, to be found in extending the reach of economics, applying price mechanisms to more things in a fairer way?

Similarly, with self-sufficiency in schools, one could argue that the many benefits of growing your own vegetables outweigh the efficiency benefits of leaving it to the big boys. But how do we quantify those benefits? Could we somehow measure them in a concrete way, put a number on them that could be added into a matrix of traditional economic calculations to evaluate the best option? Again, this would be extending the reach of economics. Or, conversely, should we simply assert that those things cannot be measured, and that non-economic concepts – learning for its own sake, protecting the environment, ideas from other disciplines such as sociology and philosophy – have primacy? That would be a deliberate plan to re-orient economics around different goals.

Tim Barlow’s mobile community centre sparked even bigger questions, thanks to the fact it was towed by, and paid homage to, a Hillman Hunter from the old Todd Motors factory. Todd Motors used to be an essential part of Porirua life, employing thousands of people, and its disappearance still reverberates harshly through the community. But it disappeared because New Zealand simply couldn’t produce cars that were as cheap and reliable as Japanese imports, and the country overall chose – and benefited from – those imports, even if Porirua suffered.

Barlow isn’t suggesting that we revert to protecting a car industry (not that we could anyway, given the free trade agreements we have signed). But then what do we do? Again, do we try to concretely measure the benefits of having local industries – the spillover effects, the savings from not having people unemployed, and so on – in a way that allows us to better make the case for them? Or do we say that we, the people, acting through government, have a better view of how the economy could work than when we, the people, act as consumers, buying and selling things? If so, how would we have that knowledge, and how could we articulate it?

THESE ARE ALL DIFFICULT QUESTIONS, and I’m not saying that TEZA could have answered them alone. But if we, the broader movement in which TEZA is embedded, cannot answer them, cannot come up with a new and coherent economics, we will probably be unable to explain to the skeptics how everything is going to be paid for.

At one point during my day at TEZA one of the artists said to me: “Economics is so cool. It seems like an imaginary system.” And to some extent it is. Its supposed precision and predictive power are certainly illusory, and, as my old English lecturer David Norton suggests in the epigraph to this piece, it’s good to be able to challenge its more ridiculous claims. But the non-imaginary part of economics simply helps us answer the question of how we can best do what we want, given limited resources. And that is one of the hardest questions to answer.

Programme, TEZA 2015

TEZA What’s On: Sunday 29 November

8.30am – 3pm (Hongoeka Marae, Plimmerton). The Conscious Roots hui brings gardeners, healers, whānau and kaumātua together to celebrate and strengthen our connection to Papatuanuku and each other. There will be music, stories, creativity, film, workshops, dance, rongoā, karetao, mirimiri, fire, hangi, and laughter in the spirit of community. Presented by Wiremu Grace and Linda Lee and hosted by Hongoeka Marae. (FULL HOUSE)

1pm – 2pm (TEZA Hub, 10 Lydney Place South). Citizen Funeral: Funeral for TEZA

5.30pm (TEZA Hub). Poroporoake/Farewell.

Programme, TEZA 2015

TEZA What’s On: Saturday 28 November

All events are free and open to the public to participate.

9am – 9pm (TEZA Hub, 10 Lydney Place South). Pop in anytime to get involved and have a cuppa.

10am – 5pm (Hongoeka Marae, Plimmerton). Powhiri at 10am. The Conscious Roots hui brings gardeners, healers, whānau and kaumātua together to celebrate and strengthen our connection to Papatuanuku and each other. There will be music, stories, creativity, film, workshops, dance, rongoā, karetao, mirimiri, fire, hangi, and laughter in the spirit of community. Presented by Wiremu Grace and Linda Lee and hosted by Hongoeka Marae. (FULL HOUSE)

12pm – ongoing (The Old McDonalds, 1 Cobham Court).  Young Visionaries: Photographic artists David Cook and Leala Falesuega have worked with students of Russell School in Cannons Creek and Discovery School in Whitby to visualise their shared visions for the future. Building on Cook and Tim J Velling’s acclaimed Freeville School Project (TEZA 2013), Cook and Faleseuga present a collective documentary process using photographs, moving images, words and drawings, to produce large scale presentations of the work as a whole in the windows of the old McDonalds site.

12pm – 1pm (TEZA Hub). A gathering of those who have swapped roles as part of Ash Howell’s Ako Ako Role Swapping Adventure over the week. A chance for a small group of highly diverse local community members to come together to reflect on and celebrate an intense collective experience.

12.30pm – 1.30pm (Hartham Place). Lunch at Sharemart.

TEZA 2015, Transmission

Day Five TEZA in images: Ako Ako, Workshops with Corinna school students, Strong Pacific Families, Sharemart, Volunteer Refinery, JIT, Creative Summits and

Images: Gabrielle McKone, George Staniland and Sophie Jerram

As part of his Ako Ako role-Swapping adventure, Ash took on the role of Tracey Wellington, CEO/co-founder of Kiwi Community Assistance, a food and resource recovery agency to assist people in the community.


The TEZA Hub morning began with a visit from a group of young students from Corinna School who participated  in workshops, including salad making with Ros McIntosh, breadmaking with Simon Gray and cartooning with Zac Mateo.





Volunteer Refinery worked with Corinna Students finishing with a street performance.



Strong Pacific Families have been busy running a pop-up exhibition full of art and craft workshops showcasing the Tokelau community in Porirua.


The Corinna students getting in on the action.


Meanwhile Tim and the Just in Time Community Centre headed to Te Rito Gardens in Kenepuru for the afternoon.



As midday came, the first of the two Creative Summit sessions was happening back at the TEZA Hub with artist presentations by Kemi and Niko, Andrea Selwood and Kedron Parker.



All Good? – Pop-up Hair Salon’s hairdresser Jason Muir visited local hair salons where he spoke with hairdressers to chat about the intimacy of the act of cutting someone’s hair and the implicit role of the hairdresser as an unofficial counsellor. Here artist Faith Wilson gets a special cut at Zils in the CBD.



Meanwhile visiting artist for the day thanks to Ash, Tracy Wellington gets stitching with Sharemart shop manager Lotte Kellaway to make a bag.



Here’s Tracy embracing being Ash Holwell, the cyclist.

photo 3

Simon Gray with ‘mother’.


Barbarian Production’s Thomas La Hood hawking for new haircut clients.


Some of the Porirua People’s Library artists: Pip Adam, Faith and Lana Lopesi.