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BTW… is a book published by Whau the People and distributed across the Whau for FREE into 5000 homes, libraries and schools. With over 60 artists and creatives from the Whau contributing to its pages, it is a celebration of art by the Whau, in the Whau and for the Whau. Over the years Whau The People has celebrated local creatives through our annual Whau Arts Festival. We have managed some audacious feats: poetry at lunchtime yum char, river crossings with creatives and opening our arts space in Avondale, however, BTW is our greatest ode to the Whau yet.

header: BTW…cover image PUSI URALE ‘Fale Talimalo’ 2018

Haere mai, afio mai and welcome to BTW… a collection of art by the Whau!

In 2020, COVID-19 presented both a challenge and an opportunity for Whau The People to transform our yearly festival into a publication that feels, reads, and connects — like us. 

Born of hot coffee and brown paper brainstorms, this ‘festival in your hands’ is an evolution of local talanoa contextualised through a global lens. Amidst the pandemic, Black Lives Matter, #metoo, rollercoaster foreign affairs, constant construction (road cones aplenty), and the ongoing loss of our beloved urban canopy — BTW became an anchor for the artists and storytellers within these pages. More than gold sifted through grit this is a historical snapshot of our community at a critical moment of change. 

photos: Dairies in te Whau, thanks to Louise Stevenson, Tim Danko and Ina Patisolo

Currently in dairies, across te Whau, drop in to any of these locations, support our local businesses and grab your copy while they last!

ALL GOODS | Glen Eden Library | New Lynn Library | Avondale Library | Blockhouse bay Library | Bay Mini Mart  | Golf Rd Dairy | Green Bay Mini Market | Kelston Food Market | Kelston Superette | Kwikstop Dairy | My Choice Mini Mart | Nikau Superette | Rimu Street Superette | Astley Superette | Hutchison Superette | Jalaram Dairy |Seabrook Superette |Tutti Frutti Fruit Shop | Bolton Street Dairy | Boundary Superette | Domain Dairy | Fair Deal Dairy | Pioneer Mini Mart | Taylor Dairy | Whitney Grocer | Alpine Superette | New Windsor Dairy | Ram’s New Windsor Superette | The Activist Cafe | Rampant | Huckleberry Cafe | Mt. Atkinson Coffee | Super Seven Titirangi | Boston St Cafe | The Block | The Bay Cafe | Icoco Cafe | Blockhouse Bay Community House | Zoom Cafe | Green Bay Community House | Hospice New Lynn, delta Ave | Dung Beetle Space | Hip St shop | Salvation Army op shop, margan Ave  | Humbug cafe | Oceania food & catering | The book exchange Glendale | Glen Eden Library | Ol’Mate caravan | Titirangi library | New Lynn Library | Akshar Superette | Angels Spices & Superette | Avondale Food Market | Discount Dairy | Giriraj Food and Spices | Glenavon Superette | Julieann Dairy | Rays Dairy | Rosebank Dairy | Super Saver Food Mart | Browne Street cafe | Taste cafe | Salvation Army, Avondale | Beach Pizza | Felice hairdresser | 24/7 Laundromat @54 Rosebank Rd | Master Fader | Premium Barber | Cain Tattoo | Cheddar | Avondale Physio | Haven | Ol’ Mates | Ding Dong Dairy

Thanks to our supporters for making this project possible:

Missed out on a hard copy?

Copies are available to borrow in libraries across te Whau, schools and here to download as a pdf.

Access to the arts in Aotearoa is a challenge for many and the opportunity to engage with and contribute to the creative economy is a hard-fought privilege. We thought deeply about the seven connecting neighbourhoods that make up the Whau area and how to share this book far and wide, and at no cost. During lockdown, dairies became critical to our social survival; a trip down the road for milk and bread took on a different meaning. New friendships were formed with dairy owners — front line heroes risking their own wellbeing and that of their families so that ours would not go without.   

At the heart of BTW there is genuine pride and love for our little piece of paradise here in the Whau. We may find ourselves doing much of the heavy lifting of Auckland’s housing crisis. We may be facing uncertainties that at times can seem overwhelming. While art is not the answer to all of these struggles, it gives the struggle purpose, shapes hauora and defines a horizon line.    

For us, the community is our river. We are constantly in awe of the people and groups doing amazing mahi around us. We extend our heartfelt thanks and our collective mauri in acknowledgement of the contributors and supporters of BTW. 

Book Launch: a celebration with BTW… contributors

August 2021 | photos by Amber McCardle

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