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Common Ground Festival Water Conversation Series Announced

Strand Park, Hutt River in flood 2016. Image: Pippa Sanderson.

Come and be part of conversations about our relationship with groundwater: Monday 27 February to Friday 3 March in the Lower Hutt CBD. The conversations bring together artists, citizens, scientists, planners and advocates about water issues. Bringing together people who might not usually connect in regard to issues they all care about, to find common ground.

Speakers confirmed so far are below. We welcome others who want to contribute contacting us here or just coming along on the night. The discussions are at a specially created festival Hub which takes over Centre City Arcade, 39-41 Queens Drive, Lower Hutt (a five-minute walk from Dowse Art Museum and the river).

Monday 27 February 7-9pm: Korokoro Stream, sensitive urban design and ecological restoration
Includes artists Kedron Parker, Liana Stupples, Huhana Smith and Birgit Bachelor, ecologist and volunteer Paula Warren, ecological engineer Stu Farrant, Wellington Tenths Trust Chair and water management engineer Morrie Love, Korokoro Environment Group’s Jill Haggie and Whitebait Connection’s Sarah Neighbours.

Tuesday 28 February 7-9pm: What Do Artists Contribute? River and flood management, science and planning.
Includes artists Gabby O’Connor, Anne Noble, Andrea Selwood and Brydee Rood, GRWC’s Ross Jackson, flood manager Alistair Allan, Hutt Valley High teacher Connor Baird, curator Bruce Phillips, Hydrogeologist and Environmental Consultant Simon Liddell, and environmental planners Boffa Miskell.

Wednesday 1 March 7.30-9pm: The local politics of water. Waiwhetu Stream and artesian aquifer, and the value systems ascribed to water.
Includes artists Johanna Mechen, Angela Kilford, Aliyah Winter, Tanya Te Miringa Rorarangi Ruka and Josephine Jowett, Waiwhetu marae kaumatua Teri Puketapu, GNS Science groundwater scientist Rob Van Der Raaij, Wellington Water wastewater manager Steve Hutchinson, Million Metres Stream Project Manager Georgina Hart and ecological engineer Stu Farrant.

Thursday 2 March 6.30-8pm: Imagining a river and an aquifer – the role of storytelling, music, performance and art.
Includes artist Murray Hewitt, writer Moira Wairama, singer Susie Hardie, groundwater scientist Sheree Tidwell, artist Sam Broad, Dowse curator Melanie Oliver, artist Johannes Mueller-Welschof, Victoria University Associate Professor in Landscape Architecture Peter Connelly, artist Tim Barlow and river ranger Travis Moody.

Friday 3 March 7.30-9.30pm: Advocating for Water: treating water as more than just a thing
Includes artist Julian Priest, ecological advocate and teacher Dr Mike Joy, Friends of Waiwhetu Stream’s Merilyn Merrett, Hutt community water advocacy groups, Senior Environmental Officer NZ Defence Force Harley O Hagan and GWRC water quality scientists Claire Conwell and Mark Heath.

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