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Our Council

Creative New Zealand is a Crown entity governed by the Arts Council. The council encourages, promotes and supports New Zealand arts to benefit all New Zealanders. It upholds the right to artistic freedom and promotes a New Zealand identity in the arts.

Arts Council of NZ
Creative New Zealand Council (L-R): Luamanuvao Winnie Laban,  Karl Johnstone, Roger King, Suzanne Ellison, Andrew Caisley, Richard Grant (Chairman), Caren Rangi, Wayne Marriott, Michael Moynahan (Deputy Chair) and Professor Taiarahia Black. Absent: Michael Prentice. Dame Jenny Gibbs and Rose Evans

Role and responsibilities

The council:

  • sets the strategic direction of Creative New Zealand and monitors its performance 
  • sets guidelines for the allocation of funding and the implementation of initiatives
  • establishes assessment processes for the allocation of funding
  • maintains relationships with other agencies and organisations.

The council must uphold the principles of:

  • participation, by supporting initiatives that encourage participation in the arts
  • access, by supporting initiatives that provide access to the arts for those that may not otherwise have the opportunity
  • excellence and innovation, by supporting work that develops the creative potential of artists and artforms
  • professionalism, by maintaining and developing a professional arts infrastructure in New Zealand
  • advocacy, by promoting New Zealand art and artists at home and overseas.

The council recognises:

  • the cultural diversity of New Zealand
  • in the arts, the role of Māori in arts as tangata whenua
  • the arts of the Pacific Island peoples of New Zealand.

For more detail read the Arts Council of New Zealand Toi Aotearoa Act 2014 at legislation.govt.nz

More about how the Arts Council works

Māori and Pacific representation

The Council includes:

  • a minimum of four members with knowledge of Māori Arts, te ao Māori (a Māori world view) and tikanga Māori (Māori protocol and culture) appointed in consultation with the Minister of Māori Development
  • two members with knowledge of the arts, and the traditions or cultures, of the Pacific Island peoples of New Zealand, appointed in consultation with the Minister of Pacific Communities.

Members of the Council 

Dick GrantRichard Grant (Chairman) of Havelock North was chair of the former Arts Council. He had a distinguished diplomatic career of more than 40 years with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in the Pacific, Europe, Australia and Asia. From January 2008 until March 2012, he was Executive Director of the Asia New Zealand Foundation.  A graduate of Victoria University of Wellington, he received his doctorate at the University of Clermont-Ferrand in France.  In 1999 he was a Visiting Scholar at the John F Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, and in 2004 was a Visiting Fellow at the Oxford Internet Institute, Oxford University.

Michael MoynahanMichael Moynahan (Deputy Chair) of Wellington has a long association with literature and a 25-year career in publishing. He helped develop the Auckland Readers and Writers Festival and was the inaugural Chair of its trust board. Michael chaired the Publishers and Booksellers Associations of New Zealand and was a member of the New Zealand Book Council. He was also CEO of Harper Collins (Australia, New Zealand and India), CEO of Random House India, and Managing Director and Chairman of Random House New Zealand. 

Professor Taiarahia BlackProfessor Taiarahia Black, of Ngāi Tūhoe, Ngāti Tūwharetoa and Te Whānau a Apanui descent, is a senior staff member at Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiarangi in Whakatane. A Foundation Fellow (external) of Massey University, Palmerston North, Professor Black is an internationally known expert in Māori language revitalisation and reclamation.



Andrew CaisleyAndrew Caisley of Auckland has served as a member of the Arts Council, the New Zealand Book Council, and is currently a member of the New Zealand Film and Literature Board of Review. He was chairman of Silo Theatre from 2000 to 2003, and as founding chairman of the New Theatre Initiative Inc. from 2000 was closely involved in the development of the Q-Theatre on Queen St in Auckland. Andrew is a founding partner of legal firm Kiely Thompson Caisley.

Suzanne EllisonSuzanne Ellison (Kati Huirapa Runaka ki Puketeraki) of Otago is an iwi manager and researcher for arts and cultural heritage projects. She provides information, research, networks and management skills for a range of arts and culturally based projects and has a particular knowledge of Kai Tahu/Te Wai Pounamu networks. Suzanne chairs the Ngai Tahu Fund. She was a senior manager with Ngai Tahu Development Corporation for more than 10 years. In 2008, she completed two terms as a board member of Te Waka Toi, the Māori Arts Board of Creative New Zealand.

Rose EvansRose Evans (Te Atiawa) of Auckland is a heritage professional with 20 years’ experience with major museums, galleries, private collectors and corporate clients, including Auckland Council and the Historic Places Trust. She is actively involved in the conservation profession and the broader cultural heritage industry in New Zealand and internationally. In 2001 she received a Getty Scholarship and in 2009 was awarded a Churchill Fellowship. She is a former trustee of Te Māori Manaaki Taonga Trust and a former board member of the Michael King Writers’ Centre. 

Dame Jenny Gibbs DNZMDame Jenny Gibbs DNZM is an arts patron and collector who has served as founder and chair of the Patrons of Auckland City Art Gallery and Auckland Contemporary Art Trust, as an inaugural board member of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, and as Commissioner of the Venice Biennale in 2001 and 2003.


Karl JohnsroneKarl Johnstone, of Rongowhakaata, Te Aitanga-a-Mahaki, and Ngāi Tāmanuhiri descent operates his own consultancy, Haumi (NZ) Ltd. which specialises in cultural strategy, and concept and content development. He was the Director of the New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute, which – alongside its expansive international programme – operates the national schools for Māori material culture. Karl was formally trained in fine arts and education and has worked in the cultural heritage sector for 20 years, including seven years at New Zealand’s National Museum, Te Papa.

Roger KingRoger King is from the Hawkes Bay and has more than two decades of experience in the arts. This includes being WOMAD Festival Programme Director, Artistic Director of the Taranaki Festival of the Arts, Chair of Chamber Music New Zealand and Creative Hawkes Bay.



Winnie LabanLuamanuvao Winnie Laban, QSO of Wellington was Chair of the former Pacific Arts Committee of Creative New Zealand. She is Assistant Vice Chancellor (Pasifika) at Victoria University. This follows a Parliamentary career as the Member of Parliament for Mana, Minister of Pacific Island Affairs, Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector, and Associate Minister of Social Development, Economic Development, and Trade. Elected in 1999, Luamanuvao Winnie Laban was the first Pacific Island woman in the New Zealand Parliament. She resigned in October 2010 to take up her position at Victoria University.

Wayne Marriott of Whakatāne is an independent cultural heritage consultant.  He is an experienced cultural heritage and art gallery director who has held a number of senior positions in New Zealand and internationally.  He is a Trustee, BayTrust, and a conjoint Member of the Board of Heritage New Zealand and Maori Heritage Council.  Formerly Manager, Culture and Heritage for Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa, he is a shareholder of ArtandAcre, a gallery and cultural heritage and cultural  consultancy. He is an experienced cultural heritage and art gallery director who has held numerous senior positions in New Zealand and internationally. Other former positions include:Manager, Arts and Culture at the Whakatane District Council (2009-2012where he led the redevelopment of Te Koputu o te Whanaga a Toi (Whakatane) and in 2005 he completed the development of Town Acre 445 , The Nelson Provincial Museum. He is a former General Manager, Museums Aotearoa.

Michael PrenticeMichael Prentice of Christchurch was a member of the former Arts Board of Creative New Zealand. Michael is Managing Director of the Christchurch office of strategic design consultancy Designworks. Previously he was Planning Director for Ogilvy New Zealand. He has extensive managerial and commercial skills and has developed the brand and advertising strategies of some of New Zealand's most recognised brands. He founded and chaired the trust board of contemporary dance company, Black Grace and is a former director of Auckland’s performing arts facilities organisation, The Edge.

Caren RangiCaren Rangi of Hawkes Bay, is of Cook Islands Māori descent, and is a former member of the Pacific Arts Committee of Creative New Zealand. She is an experienced public sector governance practitioner, with a passion for Cook Islands Māori dance, music and cultural history. Caren is a qualified accountant and auditor who owns and operates Ei Mua Consulting Ltd, providing consulting services in facilitation, strategic planning and training.  Caren is a board member for NZ On Air (the Broadcasting Commission) and the Charities Registration Board. She is also a trustee of the Eastern and Central Community Trust, and Pacific Homecare Services, and was a founding board member of the National Pacific Radio Trust. 






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