Making a complaint

Use our standard procedure if you want to make a complaint about unsatisfactory customer service or the procedures we followed in making a funding decision.

How do you make a complaint?

Our assurances

Making a complaint will not affect the level of service you receive or your chances of getting a grant. We will maintain confidentiality and respect your right to privacy.

Step 1: Initial complaint

  1. Contact the staff member you first dealt with.
  2. The staff member will try to resolve your complaint immediately.
  3. If this is not possible or you are still not satisfied, you make a formal complaint.

Step 2: Formal complaint

If you were not satisfied with the response you initially received:

  1. Make a formal complaint in writing in English or te reo or by audio recording (CD or USB stick).
  2. Include:
    • your name and postal or email address
    • briefly what the complaint is about
    • when it happened
    • who originally dealt with the matter
    • what action you expect to put things right.
  3. Submit your complaint to our compliance officer.
  4. We will acknowledge your complaint within three working days of receiving it.
  5. We will issue a full response within 20 working days. If we cannot give a full reply in this time, we will tell you why and when you are likely to receive it.
  6. If you are still not satisfied with the response,  you can refer your complaint to an independent complaints review.

Address for complaints
The Compliance Officer 
Creative New Zealand 
PO Box 3806 
Wellington 6140 
Ph: 04-4730193

Step 3: Independent complaints review

If you are not satisfied with our response, the Ombudsman may be able to assist. The Ombudsman can investigate complaints about the actions and decisions of central and local government agencies.

  1. Check the Make a complaint page on the Ombudsman website.
  2. If you need advice, phone the Ombudsman's office on free phone 0800 802 602.
  3. Make a complaint to the Ombudsman online, or by email, letter or fax.
  4. If you haven't already tried to resolve the issue with us directly, the Ombudsman will decide you need to try that first.

Contact details 
Free phone: 0800 802 602

Appeals against funding decisions

If your complaint is an appeal against a funding decision we've made, we can provide feedback about your application or proposal. We do not reconsider decisions where we have followed our decision-making process correctly.

If your complaint is an appeal about a Creative Communities Scheme funding decision, contact the administrative contacts for the Creative Communities Scheme  

Other complaints

If your complaint is about:

Monitoring complaints

To improve what we do, we: 

  • record all complaints and comments received about our services and procedures and the subsequent action taken
  • keep a record of all complaints for three years from the date on which the complaint was received
  • regularly monitor the number of complaints, their nature and the speed with which they are dealt with.


We follow these principles when responding to complaints: 

  • Commitment to improve
    We uphold the right of clients to complain. We see complaints as an opportunity to improve our service.
  • Visibility
    We make it clear how to complain and to whom.
  • Simple and helpful
    The steps in the complaints process are straightforward and easy to follow. Support and advice are available.
  • Fairness and confidentiality
    We respond to all complaints equally and with respect. Respect includes maintaining confidentiality and the complainant’s right to privacy.
  • Responsive
    We acknowledge all complaints promptly and give an approximate time frame for action.
  • Open communication
    We keep complainants and other affected parties informed of the progress of a complaint.