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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 2016

  • supporting the Aotearoa delegation to the Festival of Pacific Arts in Guam, in May/June
  • reviewing the Toi Tōtara Haemata (Arts Leadership) and Toi Uru Kahikatea (Arts Development) Investment programmes, with final recommendations received in July
  • setting Creative New Zealand’s new medium-term strategy, through the Statement of Intent, by July
  • deciding on Creative New Zealand’s three-year budget and priority activities for the 2016/17 financial year, also by July.

The agenda

The agenda is organised into six sections:

  1. Purpose, direction and priorities 
  2. Policy agenda
  3. Funding decisions, monitoring clients, and Creative New Zealand initiatives 
  4. Key outcomes or results
  5. Financial and risk reporting
  6. Governance.

Creative New Zealand staff will usually prepare reports for the council to consider, or provide updates in person.

Agendas include:

  • regular updates on significant initiatives, such as progress with iwi engagement, the Festival of Pacific Arts and the Venice Biennale
  • reports on the performance of funding programmes (eg, Investment programmes, Creative Communities Scheme grants)
  • policy items, including reports on implementing artform policy review recommendations
  • items which assist in meeting statutory or government requirements, like mid-year reporting on the Statement of Performance Expectations
  • reports which appear on each meeting’s agenda, many of which relate to financial and risk management. For example the contractors register, financial reports and updates on implementing the Grants Management System.

Meeting dates 2016

  • 17 February - Auckland
  • 27 April - Wellington
  • 27 July - Wellington
  • 14 September - Auckland
  • 26 October - Wellington
  • 7 December - Wellington.

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 around 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 budget. These sentiments were echoed by Audit New Zealand who have 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 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.

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