’The Big OE’ is a long-held tradition in Aotearoa New Zealand. High schoolers and university students look forward to it with excitement, and the prospect of not going on an OE is often met with surprise. But is the Creative OE still as necessary as it was 50 years ago, when the term was coined?

Alice Snedden joins three established Aotearoa creatives as they debate this question, and reflect on their artistic journeys, careers and experiences both overseas and locally. Jan Kemp, esteemed poet and writer now living in Germany; James Wenley, prolific theatre reviewer and academic focusing on the unique experience of Aotearoa New Zealand theatre; and Aotearoa New Zealand’s Poet Laureate Chris Tse all bring differing perspectives and opinions on the topic.

Come along for a rigorous conversation about the changing landscape of Aotearoa New Zealand and whether it is still an essential part of the creative experience to go overseas in search of better opportunities … Spoiler: the answers may surprise you.

Also at Auckland Writers Festival 2024

$2 per hour to a max of $12 on weekends and a $12 flat rate for weekday evenings at The Civic car park. Find out more

Last updated: 12 March 2024