Our council 

Creative New Zealand is a Crown entity governed by the Arts Council of New Zealand Toi Aotearoa Act which took effect from 1 May 2014.  

Our governing body is the Arts Council which has responsibility for policy, strategy and funding allocation. It replaces the previous division of responsibilities between the Arts Council, the Arts Board, Te Waka Toi and the Pacific Arts Committee.

The Council has a minimum of four members with knowledge of Māori Arts, te ao Māori (a Māori world view) and tikanga Māori (Māori protocol and culture). These members were appointed in consultation with the Minister of Māori Affairs.

Two members have also been appointed with knowledge of the arts, and the traditions or cultures, of the Pacific Island peoples of New Zealand, in consultation with the Minister of Pacific Island Affairs.

The Council carries out its statutory functions with funds provided by the New Zealand Lottery Grants Board and by the New Zealand Government, through the Ministry for Culture and Heritage.

Members of the Council 

Richard 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.

Suzanne 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 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 is a current board member of the Michael King Writers’ Centre. 

Karyn Fenton-Ellis of Waikato was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the 2014 New Year’s Honours’ List for services to the community, arts and racing. As a senior executive for Tower Ltd, she implemented a range of arts sponsorships from 1997-2013.  Under her leadership Tower was named NBR Business Sponsor of the Arts in 1998 and 2005. She served as a National Trustee for the Arts Foundation of New Zealand from 2007-2009 and is a former board member of the Christchurch Arts Festival.

Darrin Haimona (Ngati Haua) of Waikato was previously chair of Te Waka Toi, Māori Arts Board of Creative New Zealand. He is chief Executive of Te Hauora O Ngati Haua Trust. He has set up and run a local iwi arts management plan, and has worked on community housing and non-violence networks. He has strong links with Māori communities in Waikato. 

Grant Kerr of Auckland is a consultant specialising in commercial property investments and business acquisitions.  He practised law in New Plymouth for many years and was senior partner of New Plymouth law firm, Reeves Middleton Young from 2001-2008. In 1991 Grant was co-founder and chairperson from 1992-2003 of the Taranaki Arts Festival Trust Inc. which operates a biennial arts festival. He was awarded a QSM in 2004 for services to the community. 

Luamanuvao 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.

Peter-Lucas Kaaka Jones (Te Aupōuri) of Te Hiku o Te Ika is General Manager of an iwi-based media organisation, Te Hiku Media, which broadcasts from Kaitaia.  It includes three radio stations and a regional TV station. At the recent 2014 Iwi Radio Awards, Te Hiku FM won best kaumātua show in Te Reo Māori, best E Tū Whānau campaign and Peter-Lucas won best talk or current affairs host in te reo Māori. He has over 10 years experience working with iwi, including Treaty Settlement negotiations for Te Aupōuri and strategic planning. He has strong iwi connections throughout Te Taitokerau, and is an elected board member of Te Runanga Nui O Te Aupōuri, the Te Aupōuri post treaty settlement governance entity. A graduate of Te Panekiretanga O Te Reo Māori, he has an iwi-based understanding and knowledge of tikanga Māori, is a proficient speaker of te reo Māori, and recognises the significance of Ngā Toi Māori as a cultural and artistic fabric of Aotearoa. 

Wayne Marriott of Whakatāne is Manager, Culture and Heritage for Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa and since 2007 Director of Te Waipounamu Museums, a cultural heritage and cultural business consultancy. He is an experienced cultural heritage and art gallery director who has held numerous senior positions in New Zealand and internationally. These include Manager, Arts and Culture at the Whakatane District Council (2009-2012). Recently he has completed a contract with Tuhoe Uru Tamatea on the development of their Library, Archives and Heritage space within Te Wharehou o Tuhoe.  He led the redevelopment of Te Koputu o te Whanaga a Toi (Whakatane) and the Town Acre 445 redevelopment of the Nelson Provincial Museum. 

Michael 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.

Felicity Price of Canterbury was awarded a New Zealand Order of Merit for her contribution to business and the arts in 2009. She was chair of the Court Theatre for seven years until 2013, and also chaired the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and The Press Christchurch Writers’ Festival. She is the author of seven published works of fiction and three of non-fiction and is a recent Victoria University International Institute for Modern Letters graduate in Creative Writing.

Caren 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. 

James Wallace of South Canterbury was a member of the former Arts Council of Creative New Zealand. He is a lawyer in private practice and lives on a small farm near Geraldine. James was previously a member of the QE2 Arts Council for four years before it became Creative New Zealand in 1994. He has also been involved in arts development at a community level through arts festivals, community arts councils, music, theatre and gallery groups. In recent times James has been a board member of Arts Access Aotearoa and Arts on Tour NZ. In 2014 he was awarded the New Zealand Order of Merit for his contribution to arts and conservation.