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Au kaupapa e rima mo te Rāpare 13 Mahuru

Thursday in Wellington brings you swimming champs, searching movies, more volcanoes and type design, a new novel and a law revue.

The 2018 New Zealand Secondary School Swimming Championships start today at the Wellington Regional Aquatic Centre, 63 Kilbirnie Crescent, with general admission just $2.00. The annual competition held by Swimming New Zealand runs from 8:00am to 6:00pm today through Sunday, and is a chance to see New Zealand’s top high schools go stroke for stroke to see which girls, boys and co-ed high schools will become Poolus Supremus for 2018.

The missing person mystery movie getting most of the opening attention today will probably be A Simple Favour (117 mins; M, sex scenes, violence, drug use & offensive language) from Bridesmaids director Paul Feig, starring Anna Kendrick as a small-town vlogger trying to discover the truth behind the disappearance of her new friend (Blake Lively). Unless you count The Predator (107 mins; R16, violence, sexual references & offensive language), Shane Black’s remake of the Arnie action 80s hit, in which there will definitely be missing persons as part of the body count from the titular alien trophy hunter. Sadly overlooked may be Searching (101 mins; M, drug references), returning after its NZIFF debut, with John Cho hunting his missing daughter in a taut and twisty thriller told entirely on the screens of laptops, PCs, TVs and mobiles. This conceit works brilliantly for the feature debut of Aneesh Chaganty, who used to work for Google and never breaks the tech credibility boundaries. Highly recommended, and screening at Reading Courtenay from 12.00pm onward (and in Porirua and the Hutt).

If you missed Colin Wilson’s  2018 New Zealand Rutherford Lecture yesterday – The Life and Times of Supervolcanoes (thanks to Royal Society Te Apārangi, GNS Science, EQC and Victoria University of Wellington), it’s on again today for free from 12.30pm (though it might pay to register) at RHLT1, Victoria University of Wellington Rutherford House (Pipitea Campus) 33 Bunny Street. Also echoing yesterday’s events is more type design talk at Enjoy Public Art Gallery, part of A Working Week – a series of consecutive one-week residencies and accompanying public programmes running to 29 September. From 5:30pm to 7:30pm, artist and designer Johnson Witehira discusses Māori typographic histories, followed by a presentation by design students from Victoria University. These talks are hosted during a temporary mini-exhibition of 3D printed and letterpress work by students from Victoria University, alongside designs by Sarah Maxey, Neil Pardington, Walter Hansen, Johnson Witehira and Kris Sowersby.

“The hour is late. The candle is low. Tomorrow I will see whether it is my friends or a ship homewards I meet. But I must finish my story for you first. My future, my descendent, my mokopuna. Listen.” Join author Tina Makereti and friends from 5:30pm at The Attic, Wellington Museum, Jervois Quay, for the launch of her new novel, The Imaginary Lives of James Pōneke. All welcome, free entry.

Anyone who saw the truly excellent promo video from the Wellington Law Revue (see below) should be grabbing tickets now for their annual comedy and musical satire, written, produced and performed by Wellington Law students and young professionals. The Mystery of the Red Hearing, sold out tonight and tomorrow but with tickets available for the 7:30pm Saturday show at Memorial Theatre, Victoria University of Welington, asks “Who could have done it?” as an unlikely band of misfits try to uncover the identity of a mysterious assailant following an illustrious conference on an island near Wellington City involving a host of exceedingly wealthy individuals, thousands of bottles of champagne, and one dead body. Tickets available here.

And here’s their video, which should be widely shared.