Inspiration station

Needing some inspiration? Then an event at the Auckland Writers Festival might be just what the doctor ordered. The 2016 festival features more than 150 local and international authors over six days, with readings, debates, stand-up poetry, literary theatre, children's writers and free public and family events. Headlining this year is Jamaican/American Marlon James, whose novel A Brief History of Seven Killings won the 2015 Man Booker Prize.

May 10-15. See writersfestival.co.nz

The Huntsman: Winter's war

I'm not going to pretend I've managed to wrap my head around the plot for this fantasy follow-up to Snow White and the Huntsman, but suffice to say it introduces two significant new characters - Ice Queen Freya (Emily Blunt), who is the sister of Queen Ravenna (Charlize Theron), and Sarah the Warrior (Jessica Chastain) who is the wife of Eric the Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth). Epic battles will be fought, spells will be cast, and polar bears will be ridden.

Exhibition

Each person's response to war is different, but Cynthia and Chris McKenzie were so moved by what they encountered at Gallipoli it translated into what they do best: art. The pair were among 2000 New Zealanders drawn in the ballot to attend the 100-year commemorations in Turkey last year, along with 8000 Australians, and found the experience so intense and emotional they could not let it go. In time for Anzac Day this year, the artists have each created works in their own mediums - Cynthia in pastel, and Chris photography - to reflect how it made them feel. The pastel works focus on the symbolic poppy, while the photographs record the Turkish landscape.

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Today until Wednesday, 27 April, Small Dog Gallery, Depot Artspace, 28 Clarence St, Devonport.

Energy MOTAT

The team at the Museum of Transport and Technology is gearing up for their electric school holiday experience, starting today. The focus is on all things energy, from the powerful laws of natural energy to how it is harnessed and used every day.

Today until May 1, 10am-4.30pm. Motat, 805 Great North Rd, Western Springs. Free with a Motat general admission fee.

Horse trials

The Kihikihi International Horse Trial is a major event on the New Zealand equestrian calendar. And the show-jumping phase consists of one round of jumping, the objective being to jump all the fences clear inside the time.

The event includes three International classes (CIC 3-star, 2-star, and 1-star) which bring together Australasia's top eventing riders. You can witness the challenge of the Cross Country, where a course of natural obstacles has to be jumped inside the optimum time. And the show-jumping phase consists of one round of jumping, the objective being to jump all the fences clear inside the time.

Today, Cross Country, from 11.30am. Tomorrow, Show Jumping, from 12.15pm. Kihikihi Domain, Te Awamutu.

Comedy festival

In its 24th year, the 2016 NZ International Comedy Festival powered by Flick Electric Co promises to bring you some of the best international and local comedians from across the world. We believe that laughing matters and the 2016 programme, full of a wonderful variety of comedians, will make you do just that. So round up your mates and share good times watching live comedy. In its 24th year, the 2016 NZ International Comedy Festival powered by Flick Electric Co promises to bring you some of the best international and local comedians from across the world. We believe that laughing matters and the 2016 programme, full of a wonderful variety of comedians, will make you do just that.

April 22-May 15. For tickets and the full festival line-up, head to comedyfestival.co.nz

Music and oysters

The Annual All-You-Can-Eat Oyster Day at Clevedon also features New Zealand artist, Riqi Harawira, who performs at the festival and is launching his new album Sound of the Long White Cloud. There'll also be wine tasting - and so you can enjoy without driving, there's a "party bus" leaving Ponsonby at 11.30am.

Tomorrow, from midday, Clevedon Hotel, Kawakawa Rd, 09 292 8783. Bus and oysters, $65; oysters, $50 p/p.

Rainbow connection

Holi is a celebration marked all over the world, representing the victory of good over evil. Also known as the festival of colours, this event sees strangers come together under clouds of gorgeously bright powdered dye.

Bring your white clothes for maximum effect.

Today, noon-5pm. Island View Reserve, Whangamata. Free entry, dyes sold on site.

Woof woof

Take your dog-pal along to Chamberlain Park to witness the good work of organisations such as Humane Rescue, Rehabilitation and Rehoming Charitable Trust and Desexy Revolution. There'll be an educational stall and small prizes. For the pups, there'll be buckets of multicoloured tennis balls, a dog training tunnel, dog agility poles and rabbit ears to photograph your dog in to get into the Easter theme.

Bark in the Park: Today, 2-5pm Chamberlain Park, Sutherland Rd, Pt Chevalier.

Roger Hall

For harried parents and grandparents, check out the Auckland Theatre Company's production of Roger Hall's You Can Always Hand Them Back. This revival of a classic celebrates Hall's 40-year career. For harried parents and grandparents, check out the Auckland Theatre Company's production of Roger Hall's You Can.

Until 16 April, SkyCity Theatre. Tickets: atc.co.nz or (09) 309 0390