Ready to rock Rakau: Mala Januskiewicz and Ted Coutts preparing to play at Rakau this Sunday afternoon

A part-time Queenstowner’s turning his Arthurs Point Rd front lawn into an outdoor music venue for ‘Sunday Summer Sessions’.

Architect Tony Koia, who owns the pizzeria, Rakau, on his property, started a five-week series of gigs on November 19, and this Sunday is hosting talented students including Wakatipu High songwriter/guitarist Mala Januszkiewicz, 16, and guitarist Ted Coutts, 17.

Koia, who set up a Queenstown practice in 2004, on top of his existing Auckland office, says he’s got back into following gigs and listening to music over the past four years.

‘‘I just had a bit more free time — it’s a great way to get entertained.

‘‘I have a particular interest in New Zealand music, and I just think there’s some incredible, original talent.

‘‘And I thought, ‘oh well, that would just be a great thing to add to our mix’.’’

Live music, he suggests, ‘‘mixes in perfectly with pizzas and sunshine and bean bags and wine’’.

‘‘And I thought it would be great to have a pathway for this up-and-coming talent to be able to come through and play, not in a pub environment but in a more family-friendly type of environment.’’

Through meeting a local musician, Koia got in touch with Arrowtowner Justin Eden, who runs youth music trust RockFormation — ‘‘he was really enthusiastic to have these types of venues’’.

Plans: Architect Tony Koia has designs on increasing performance opportunities for local musos

He then got pulled onto the judging panel for the annual Central Sound Waves contemporary music event held at Queenstown’s Yonder, early this month, ‘‘which was kind of funny’’.

‘‘Just to see these kids, my memories of high school bands’ abilities were certainly changed.

‘‘These kids are super-talented and some of them, I think, will go all the way, nationally.’’

Koia’s using the grass patch behind Rakau, away from noisy passing traffic.

‘‘This is stage one, literally, and if this goes well, we’re looking at perhaps putting another stage behind it, and being able to run bigger events.’’

After the final Sunday in this series, December 17, ‘‘we’ll do a re-evaluation over Christmas’’.

‘‘The idea is we want to continue to do this and we want to pop some other things around it.’’

Sunday Summer Sessions, Rakau, 170 Arthurs Point Rd, till December 17, 2-5pm; this Sunday featuring high school student musos

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