About Creative New Zealand

Creative New Zealand is the national arts development agency developing, investing in and advocating for the arts.

We are funded by the New Zealand Lottery Grants Board and by the New Zealand Government through the Ministry for Culture and Heritage.

Our vision is to help develop strong and dynamic New Zealand arts which are valued in Aotearoa and internationally. As we work towards this vision we are encouraged by the knowledge that New Zealanders are strong supporters of the arts.

New Zealanders attitudes towards the arts

Our research report New Zealanders and the Arts 2014 found:

  • 86 percent of New Zealanders agree they learn about different cultures through the arts
  • 78 percent of New Zealanders agree the arts help to define who we are as New Zealanders
  • 85 percent of us agree overall, New Zealand arts are of high quality.

Our plan

Creative New Zealand’s Strategic Plan for 2013-2016 has identified four outcomes that are key features of a strong and dynamic arts environment. These are:

  • New Zealanders participate in the arts
  • High-quality New Zealand art is developed
  • New Zealanders experience high-quality art
  • New Zealand arts gain international success.

We are committed to achieving these outcomes by:


We operate a number of complementary funding programmes, ranging from investment funding for significant  arts organisations, project-based grants to individuals and  organisations, through to funding devolved to local councils  for smaller community arts projects. In many cases, we are just one of a number of funders and our funding helps to leverage additional revenue from other sources.

Capability building

We assist arts organisations and individual artists and practitioners to deliver their work in the best possible way, by building their skills and capability, in areas such as community engagement, applying audience research, and market development.


We advocate on behalf of the arts to central and local government and to other interested parties. Our advocacy work includes carrying out research for the benefit of the arts sector, delivering other resources to the sector, making submissions on issues affecting the sector (such as the Christchurch earthquakes).

Project delivery

In addition to our investment work, we lead several significant initiatives stemming from invitations to the New Zealand Government, including events such as the Venice Biennale and four-yearly Festival of Pacific Arts.
Further, when we are the best-placed agency to respond, we do simple, practical things such as providing support to Christchurch organisations affected by the earthquakes.