Dame Kiri shares her thoughts
Posted on 20 December 2010
2010 has been a very busy and productive year for the Foundation - looking ahead at some of the projects being planned in 2011 is likely to be just as busy. During the year we announced five grants supporting a number of very talented young singers – many of whom I was also able to mentor and help in a workshop environment.We launched our new website and welcomed the BNZ as our latest corporate sponsor - we were all delighted with the success of the recent concert we were able to provide at Opera Factory for the BNZ and their guests.
There are many talented singers emerging – I’m particularly pleased that we are supporting 19-year-old baritone Kawiti Waetford to enable him to continue his studies in Dunedin. We have great hope for his future.
You may recall my concerns that current UK legislation is making it very difficult for NZ singers to live and sing professionally following completion of their studies in the UK. The problem being that by the time students have completed their tertiary education in NZ and graduated from one of the UK music schools they are usually nearly 30 – the age beyond which they can no longer apply for a working visa – and regardless of their age they have no significant income record or appropriate degrees which are required to earn points to support a working visa application. Consequently these young talented people have to leave the UK and return home to face retraining for new careers.
The good news is that following my meeting with NZ’s Prime Minister John Key and contact with my own Member of Parliament here in the UK there appears to be light at the end of the tunnel and potential solutions to this problem. We shall wait and see.
Finally, thank you for your continued support of the Foundation and help for all those young singers and musicians to realize their dreams. I extend my best wishes to you and your families for a very Happy Christmas and New Year.