Creative spark and stereographic Tauranga

The stereograph inspired Creative Spark David Tauranga.

David Tauranga is from Hamilton, but now works and lives in Tauranga with his partner and a little Tauranga, Billie.

Now David Tauranga, the former Hamilton David Tauranga, is due to feature in Tauranga’s “sassy” little Escape Festival offering with some fascinating insights into historic Tauranga.

Let’s unscramble that.

David is one of a panel of five – “Creative Sparks” they are called – who will feature at the third iteration of Escape.

Each will talk to an object chosen from Tauranga’s Heritage Collection – a museum with closed doors that you’re left with when a small, self-interested section of the community has rejected the idea of having a museum in which to showcase the historic jewels of the city.

The Creative Sparks feature David, a former journalist and now Baycourt marketing co-ordinator, children’s author and drama teacher Angie Belcher, singer-songwriter Marion Arts, Tauranga Moana artist Que Bidois and physicist and musician Dr Simon Taylor. The session is introduced by Tauranga Museum curator Fiona Kean.

David Tauranga will enlighten us on the delights of something called a stereograph – it was the original View-Master, the stereoscope which displayed thin cardboard discs containing 3D colour images.

The much more rudimentary stereograph looks like binoculars mounted on a handle. Identical images can be attached – but one is at a slight angle, again offering a 3D appearance. “I think it was all the rage in the late 1800s,” says David.

But what captured David were 22 stereographic images from the museum’s library of more than 1000. “Scenes of Tauranga and the Mount – beautiful old images of The Strand, Mauao, Main Beach, Pilot Bay, all over the show, all early 19th century. Places I am very familiar with.” And he will create poems and prose inspired by a handful, about six of those images, for Escape!

The Baycourt marketing man’s first impression of the images was “s**t – how things have changed!” 

He says there was so much more greenery in the 1800s. “It’s been replaced with concrete and buildings and steel. How things have evolved.”

Creative Sparks, who will be introduced by the museum’s Fiona Kean, is just one component of a thought provoking and fun weekend of food, theatre, discussion, workshops, storytelling, music and poetry featuring an intriguing mix of the up-and-coming as established names.

Escape takes place over the Queen’s Birthday weekend, from June 1 -4, and has attracted young guns Max Harris on politics, Monique Fiso on food and social issues writer Emma Espiner, alongside political cartoonist Tom Scott, activist Sue Bradford, comedian Michele A’Court, food writer Allyson Gofton, novelists Laurence Fearnley and Paula Morris, doctor-poet Glenn Colquhoun, founder of the Te Araroa Walkway of New Zealand Geoff Chapple, financial journalist Bernard Hickey and Middlemore Hospital intensive care specialist Dr David Galler.

“I love the whole Escape festival concept,” says David Tauranga. “Anything to do with the arts – reading and writing and performing – is always going to get a tick in my book. It’s who I am and what I love.

“And to have a festival that appeals to my love for arts and creativity in general is wonderful and adds a level of vibrancy and life to the city.”

See the full Escape Festival programme at:

Tickets are available from: or over the phone on: 0800 842 538.