Palmerston North named New Zealand’s best creative place

17 Jul 2018

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NEWS

Palmerston North
Karaka Grove Sculpture by Israel Birch and Clayton Tansley - Palmerston North.

Palmerston North’s public art programme Framing the Big Picture has won the city an EXCELLENCE Award for being New Zealand’s Best Creative Place in 2018.

Creative New Zealand sponsored the award, which is one of five annual EXCELLENCE awards offered by Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) to recognise and celebrate the important role local government plays in the lives of New Zealanders. 

Award winners were announced at the LGNZ conference dinner in Christchurch on 16 July.

Framing the Big Picture reflected the council’s integrated approach, since 2006, which enabled public art to contribute to the quality of life in Palmerston North. The programme had resulted in widespread accolades, with the city now promoting its status for contemporary and public art as one of its key distinctions.

Judges said the integration of art into city planning and its public spaces was changing the perception of the city to one that supports the creative sector and improves the accessibility of art.

Other finalists for the award this year where Horowhenua District Council for Foxton’s Te Awahou Nieuwe Stroom, a community space combining a library, exhibition space and museum, and Kāpiti Coast District for the Kāpiti Arts Trail.

“We are pleased to continue our support for this award because we know the crucial role local authorities have in supporting arts and culture in their communities,” said Creative New Zealand senior manager for advocacy David Pannett.

“Access to arts and cultural experiences makes our communities more welcoming, prosperous and inclusive. We would encourage others to consider how the arts can contribute to their communities as evidenced by the award finalists.”