Creative New Zealand mourns the passing of Sue Paterson

13 Jul 2018

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Sue Paterson
Sue Paterson

Creative New Zealand mourns the passing of hugely respected arts leader Sue Paterson.

Sue contributed to the arts across a number of roles for more than 40 years. She was a lover of the performing arts and advised and mentored countless individual artists and arts administrators, many of whom would acknowledge her as being outstandingly supportive and wise.

In two separate stints, over many years, Sue worked for the New Zealand Festival, initially as Marketing Director, and then as Executive Director until her retirement in 2017.  She was also a board member of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and a member of the Major Events Investment Panel of the Ministry for Business and Innovation until she died.

In the early 2000s Sue was general manager of the Royal New Zealand Ballet where she is attributed with turning around the company’s flagging fortunes.

During the 1990s she also worked for the QEII Arts Council (the predecessor to Creative New Zealand) as a key member of the arts development team. Her former colleagues recall her deep commitment to the arts and the people she worked with.  She developed many deep relationships and was noted for her generosity of spirit.

Sue was a former dancer and managed dance groups including Limbs, New Zealand’s seminal professional contemporary dance company.

Sue was a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit and was named Metlifecare Senior New Zealander of the Year in 2017, recognising her service to arts and culture. 

Our thoughts are with Sue’s family and friends.

Other tributes:

Stuff

Wellington Mayor Justin Lester