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The Council's work

The Arts Council meets six times a year and its meetings are guided by a formal agenda.

Significant work in 2017

  • Agreeing on a new Investment Strategy, supporting our goal that we regularly refine our investment to ensure the arts continue to develop in New Zealand for New Zealanders.
  • Developing a new Advocacy Strategy and annual action plans, supporting our goal that we become a powerful advocate for the arts.
  • Deciding on Creative New Zealand’s three-year budget and priority activities for the 2017/18 financial year, supporting the second year of delivery to our Statement of Intent 2016–2021
  • Supporting New Zealand’s presentation, Lisa Reihana: Emissaries, at the 57th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, the pre-eminent international art exhibition in the world.

The agenda

The council’s meeting agendas are organised into five sections:

  1. Procedural items – covering meeting minutes, matters arising from those minutes, and conflicts of interest.
  2. Advancing our strategy – focusing on items relating to the vision and outcomes, and strategic goals, set out in the Statement of Intent 2016–2021. This section makes up most of the meeting.
  3. Operational matters – including reports from the Chief Executive, Māori Committee and Audit & Risk Committee.
  4. Council as a team – where good practice governance matters are discussed.
  5. Other business – covering correspondence to and from the council, noting papers and Council-only time.

Creative New Zealand staff will usually prepare reports for the council to consider, or provide updates in person. At most meetings, guests from the arts sector and other partners are invited to discuss their work with the council.

Meeting dates in 2017

  • 22 February – Auckland
  • 26 April – Wellington
  • 28 June – Auckland
  • 30 August – Christchurch
  • 25 October – Wellington
  • 6 December – Wellington

Post-meeting summaries 2017

26 April 2017

  • Council had a positive discussion about Pacific arts and made a commitment to work towards delivering a Pacific arts strategy that delivers to Pacific aspirations.
  • Council welcomed Justin Lester, Mayor of Wellington, for a discussion about the arts in Wellington. Council were encouraged by Mayor Lester’s commitment to the arts, and local government’s investment in the arts more broadly.
  • Council agreed a draft budget for 2017/18 and outyears, to help inform planning for the next financial year and the Statement of Performance Expectations 2017/18. Council also revised its policy on accumulated funds which will allow Council to provide more certainty to the arts sector around future years’ funding.

22 February 2017 

  • Council discussed the upcoming development of the Statement of Performance Expectations for 2017/18, including the strategic and contextual factors which will influence this.
  • Council agreed on the final Advocacy Strategy 2016–2021 and endorsed an Action Plan for the balance of 2016/17. These will help guide delivery to the strategic goal ‘We are a powerful advocate for the arts’ and will be published in late March 2017.
  • The interim evaluation of the Regional Arts Pilots was presented, with Council noting progress to date and opportunities around the delivery of the remainder of the pilots.
  • Guests from Foundation North and the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra discussed their work and reflected on future directions for their relationships with Creative New Zealand.

Post meeting summaries 2016

7 December

  • A good discussion was had on Creative New Zealand’s investment in Pasifika Arts, with Council noting how much has been achieved to date, areas that are currently being progressed and that engagement is continuing, with a focus on development opportunities.
  • As part of implementing the results of the Review of Investment Programmes, Creative New Zealand has been consulting with the sector to more clearly define the concept of leadership within the Toi Tōtara Haemata (Arts Leadership) programme. Council approved the broad arts sector leadership expectations for Tōtara organisations recommended by management.
  • Council further discussed its approach to budgeting in 2017 and future opportunities in this area.
  • Successes to date under the Focus on Asia initiative were noted, with interim review results and recommendations for future years to follow in April 2017. An update on the 2017 Venice Biennale was also received and members were pleased with the good progress to date.
  • A draft advocacy strategy was tabled for discussion. Council’s feedback will be incorporated into the draft prior to the final strategy being agreed in February 2017.

26 October

  • Council received the final draft of Creative New Zealand’s Annual Report for 2015/16 – noting the excellent results within it – and agreed that this is forwarded to the Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage for tabling in the House of Representatives.
  • A good discussion was had on Māori arts development, noting the breadth of Creative New Zealand’s current offering around ngā toi Māori and the potential for a broader, cross-agency focus around this work going forward. The importance of creating a map describing who is doing what across Government in the role of Māori arts and culture was also noted.
  • Council continued to refine its approach to budgeting in 2017 and discussed future opportunities in this space.
  • Creative New Zealand’s staff engagement survey for 2016 was discussed, and Council noted the strong levels of engagement across the organisation.
  • The Arts Philanthropy and Partnerships Programme was outlined for Council and a positive discussion about the forthcoming refreshed Advocacy Strategy was held.
  • The strong results from the Creative Communities Scheme for 2015/16 were also noted; the Scheme supporting 1,725 projects and distributing $3,442,637 in funds over the past year.

14 September

  • Council members had a good discussion about Creative New Zealand’s funding, including the volatile lottery component. Council acknowledged the inherent risks presented by the current structure – noting recent mitigating steps put in place – and discussed future funding opportunities.
  • Council approved the terms of reference for the re-establishment of an Audit and Risk Committee. This committee will be tasked with overseeing audit, risk, financial management and performance reporting within the organisation.
  • Progress in implementing Creative New Zealand’s new Grants Management System (GMS) and Client Relationship Management (CRM) system was acknowledged by Council. Council commended the work of staff in implementing this project on time and on a budget. These sentiments were echoed by Audit New Zealand who has been monitoring the project.
  • The recipients of the 2016 Te Waka Toi Awards were congratulated by Council. Staff were also acknowledged for the success of the awards ceremony.
  • The Deputy Chairman reported back to Council on his trip accompanying the Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage to the 2016 Edinburgh International Culture Summit in August 2016. The Deputy Chairman relayed the high esteem in which Creative New Zealand is held by officials from the Edinburgh Festivals.

27 July

  • Council members and staff welcomed three new Council members to their first meeting: Professor Taiaraha Black, Karl Johnstone and Roger King.
  • Council agreed on Creative New Zealand’s budget for 2016/17. This updated budget reflects changes to the draft that was agreed at Council’s April meeting, thanks to a significantly better funding forecast from the New Zealand Lottery Grants Board (NZLGB). An important feature of the approved budget is the new ‘double buffer’ approach that will allow reasonable shifts in NZLGB funding to be better managed.
  • Council agreed the final recommendations for Investment programme funding (Tōtara and Kahikatea) for the 2016 round, with a total of $10.18 million to be invested in 39 arts organisations.
  • The final Statement of Intent 2016-2021 (Creative New Zealand’s medium-term strategy document) and revised draft Statement of Performance Expectations 2016/17 (annual plan) were agreed, and are due to come into effect on 1 September.
  • Hon Peter Dunne, Minister of Internal Affairs, spoke with Council in his capacity as Presiding Member of the NZLGB. Minister Dunne gave a brief overview of the Department of Internal Affairs’ role in administering gambling legislation and discussed the volatility in lottery funding over the 2015/16 year.
  • Council congratulated everyone involved with the Festival of Pacific Arts on the success of the New Zealand delegation to Guam. The delegation represented Aotearoa to the highest standards creatively and professionally, to plan and within budget.
  • Areas of focus for Council’s new Audit and Risk Committee were discussed, with the Committee to look at audit, risk, financial management and performance reporting matters.

27 April

  • The budget process for the 2016/17 financial year is now underway. Council held preliminary discussions on how to support the arts sector while minimising the impact of a potential decline in lotteries revenue for Creative New Zealand. Options being considered to reduce spending include ongoing reductions in operating costs and scaling back spending on a range of funding, capability building and advocacy initiatives. Council will agree on a final budget in July 2016.
  • The high-level findings of the review of Investment programmes were presented, and additional work by staff agreed on, to support Council making decisions in July 2016.
  • The annual Investment programme monitoring report was also received. Council noted the solid performance of arts organisations across the Tōtara and Kahikatea portfolios, in meeting expectations in artistic, financial, organisational and audience performance measures. A strong showing by Māori and Pacific organisations was also noted positively.
  • Council approved the draft Statement of Intent 2016–2020 (medium-term strategy) and draft Statement of Performance Expectations 2016/17 (annual plan), which now go to the Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage for feedback
  • A final update on preparations for the Festival of Pacific Arts was received, and Council members offered their best wishes to the Aotearoa delegation to Guam. Updates on the Venice Biennale and the Auckland Diversity Project were also provided.

17 February

  • Council discussed Creative New Zealand’s strategic direction, noting the new strategy is being developed in an environment where lotteries funding is reducing
  • The draft strategic direction was approved for public consultation, noting the arts sector’s excellent participation in the earlier stakeholder forum series
  • Council took a high-level look at what some of the impacts on investment clients might be from reduced funding
  • Council agreed to trial a simplified application and assessment process for the upcoming Toi Uru Kahikatea Investment programme funding round
  • Updates on the 2017 Venice Biennale, iwi engagement, Festival of Pacific Arts and the Regional Pilot programmes were received.

About Creative NZ : The Council's work