Dame Fiona Kidman, Ambassador

One of New Zealand's most celebrated writers, Dame Fiona Kidman sees the immense value of Te Auaha.

“I think it's marvellous. It's a place where people can express their energy and collaborate. For pure creativity, it seems like a wonderful space,” she says.

Fiona has written over 30 books, ranging from novels and short stories to poetry, and has long been involved with students and creative writing programmes. She founded the Fiona Kidman Writing School in 1995, which is now part of the Creative Writing programme at Whitireia and was honoured to be made a Dame in 1998 for her contribution to literature.

She thinks Te Auaha will transform the experience of students learning and practising in their creative discipline by working in groups.

“It makes it so much easier for creativity in groups. I work in groups quite a lot and it sparks so many ideas,” says Fiona, who has also written many scripts for television, film and radio drama.

“What's more, Wellington has the ingredients for creativity. With the theatres, libraries and galleries, creativity follows you and leaves you energised.”

Photo: Dame Fiona Kidman (right) with arts consultant Karen Ross at the launch of Te Auaha