The Council's work

The Arts Council meets four times a year and its meetings are guided by a formal agenda. Special meetings are held where there’s a need to advance particular work between the scheduled quarterly meetings.

Significant work in 2021

The agenda

The Council’s meeting agendas typically cover the following areas.

  • Procedural items – covering meeting minutes, matters arising from those minutes, conflicts of interest, reports from Council committees, and health and safety matters.
  • Council discussions – focusing on items relating to the four perspectives in Creative New Zealand’s strategic direction: the Sector perspective, the Outcomes and value perspective, the Mana and support perspective, and the Creative New Zealand perspective.
  • Stakeholder engagement – at most meetings, guests from the arts sector and other partners are invited to talk about their work.
  • Council as a team – where good practice governance matters are discussed.
  • Other business – an opportunity to cover any other business from members.
  • Consent agenda – including updates on programmes, specific initiatives and report-backs; legal compliance; and correspondence to and from the Council.

Creative New Zealand staff will usually prepare written papers or reports for the Council to consider, or provide presentations or updates in person.

Meeting dates in 2022

  • 1 & 2 March 2022 
  • 20 & 21 April 2022 
  • 28 & 29 June 2022 
  • 16 & 17 August 2022
  • 18 & 19 October 2022 
  • 7 & 8 December 2022 

Post-meeting summaries 2021

24 February 2021

  • Council continued exploring te ao Māori perspectives as part of its Te Kaupapa o Toi Aotearoa work, including working with iwi to advance arts kaupapa and engaging with mana whenua in Tāmaki Makaurau and Te Whanganui-a-Tara.
  • Council received a presentation on the top-line findings of New Zealanders and the arts 2020, the triennial survey of New Zealanders’ attitudes towards and engagement with the arts. Council noted the positive trends in the report, due for release in the coming weeks.
  • Council considered factors around management’s approach to developing the next COVID-19 Response Plan (‘Phase 3’) for 2021/22, noting the continuing disruption in the arts sector due to the pandemic.
  • Council received a presentation on Creative New Zealand’s advocacy work, including progress made during the past year and areas for consideration ahead.

Post-meeting summaries 2020

9 December 2020

  • Council began planning discussions for the 2021/22 performance year. Council looked at the external environment, priorities and other considerations through the lens of the four strategic perspectives of Creating value for New Zealanders.
  • Council continued its Treaty of Waitangi discussions, looking at the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi and the work of the Waitangi Tribunal. This session was held under the banner of Te Kaupapa o Toi Aotearoa / The Creative New Zealand Way, a work programme which aims to ensure Creative New Zealand has the organisational culture, competencies and practices that will enable us to meet our aspirations under Te Tiriti o Waitangi / The Treaty of Waitangi and deliver public value for all New Zealanders.
  • Council discussed how the digital capability of the arts sector might best be developed, and supported further work being done to look at a possible digital arts development agency.
  • Council considered a draft report looking at the diversity of those who access and benefit from Creative New Zealand’s services, the diversity of the organisation itself, and of those who contribute to funding decision-making.
  • Members thanked the out-going Arts Council Chair, Michael Moynahan, for his huge contribution to the board and the organisation since joining in 2014.

21 October 2020

  • Council had a positive discussion about what Te Tiriti o Waitangi means for Creative New Zealand as an organisation and its work with the arts sector. Creative New Zealand’s whakapapa and the perspectives of mana whenua were explored.
  • Council participated in online celebrations for the Arts Pasifika Awards 2020, which recognised talented Pasifika artists from across the Pacific arts community.
  • Council received presentations on two Creative New Zealand teams’ work – the Assessment Services team and the Business Services team – to help gain greater insight into how the organisation carries out its work.
  • Council discussed potential topics for the upcoming Briefing to the Incoming Minister, to be provided to the Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage following the 2020 General Election.

25 August 2020

  • Council acknowledged the recent resurgence of COVID-19 in Auckland and that they were due to meet there, and engage with the Auckland arts community, at this meeting. Council’s thoughts were with the community during this exceptionally hard time.
  • Council agreed Creative New Zealand’s final budget for the 2020/21 financial year and out-years. The Chief Executive’s plan to enhance capability and capacity within Creative New Zealand to deliver the Phase 2 COVID-19 Response was also discussed.
  • Council formally established the new Pasifika Festivals Initiative as a Creative New Zealand programme and endorsed the high-level settings for the Initiative’s first stages. Council indicated that it’s looking forward to supporting the Initiative’s roll-out and its future success.
  • Council agreed that the Chair’s Consultation Group, which had been convened to support the Chair’s delegated decision-making during the COVID-19 response, should continue and be established as a formal committee of Council. Scenario planning across programmes with respect to different COVID-19 alert levels was also discussed.

24 June 2020

  • Council discussed Creative New Zealand’s resources for 2020/21, including public money, people and expertise, and operational capacity and systems. The next iteration of Creative New Zealand’s budget for 2020/21 and out-years – the provisional budget – was also agreed.
  • Council met with Bernadette Cavanagh (Chief Executive, Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture & Heritage) to discuss the changing landscape for arts, culture and creativity post-COVID-19.
  • Council discussed results and delivery for Phase 1 of Creative New Zealand’s COVID-19 Emergency Response and agreed the high-level plan for Phase 2, along with the overarching annual plan for 2020/21 (the Statement of Performance Expectations).
  • Council discussed innovative shifts in delivery from the arts sector into the digital space, in response to COVID-19, and workshopped future areas of focus for strategic discussions.
  • Council acknowledged the enormous efforts of Creative New Zealand staff to support the COVID-19 response to date, which has been of huge value to the arts community of Aotearoa.

26 May 2020 (special meeting)

  • Council received an update from staff on Creative New Zealand’s COVID-19 emergency response, including progress and trends with grants and investment client support.
  • Council discussed Creative New Zealand’s draft budget for the 2020/21 financial year and out-years, and agreed changes to the organisation’s Equity Policy.
  • Council endorsed a high-level provisional COVID-19 Phase 2 Response Plan, to help guide the further development of Creative New Zealand’s Phase 2 support for the arts community.

29 April 2020

  • Council received an update on the organisation’s work since the March special meeting, including on the three programmes under the Emergency Response Fund: Emergency Relief Grants, Arts Continuity Grants and Short-term Relief for Investment Clients.
  • Council agreed that Creative New Zealand should continue to operate under emergency settings, to be reviewed again at the scheduled 26 May special meeting.
  • Council discussed planning that was underway around Creative New Zealand’s budget scenarios for 2020/21 and out-years.
  • Council approved the working draft Statement of Performance Expectations for 2020/21 (Creative New Zealand’s annual plan), to be forwarded to the Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage for comment.
  • Council endorsed a framework for developing the next phase of Creative New Zealand’s emergency response, including the purpose, context and principles that will guide this work.
  • Council offered its sincere thanks to Creative New Zealand staff for their hard work in developing and delivering the COVID-19 emergency response to date, for the benefit of the arts sector and all New Zealanders.

20 March 2020 (special meeting)

  • Council held this special meeting to determine Creative New Zealand’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic crisis.
  • Council determined that the COVID-19 pandemic constitutes an emergency situation for Creative New Zealand.
  • Council established an Emergency Response Fund to provide support to assist the arts sector, with an initial and immediate budget of $4.5 million (later raised to $16 million).
  • Council suspended a range of existing contestable funding programmes to enable Creative New Zealand to focus resources, including funding, on the emergency response.
  • Council established revised delegations to ensure efficient decision-making through the crisis for the emergency period.
  • Council agreed to re-determine whether Creative New Zealand should continue to operate under emergency settings at its scheduled 29 April and 29 July meetings.

28 February 2020

  • Five new members were welcomed to the Arts Council for their first meeting: Riria Hotere-Barnes, Robyn Hunt, Kura Moeahu, Janine Morrell-Gunn and John Ong.
  • Council discussed options around annual priorities for the upcoming Statement of Performance Expectations 2020/21 (Creative New Zealand’s annual plan).
  • Council received an update on arts sector feedback out of the recent consultation on sustainable careers for artists and arts practitioners.
  • Council endorsed the draft framework for the revised International Programme, following the programme’s review under the Investment Strategy Te Ara Whakamua 2018–2023.
  • Council noted a projected increase in funding from the New Zealand Lottery Grants Board in the current year, which was heartening given increases in demand for Creative New Zealand’s programmes.

Post-meeting summaries 2019

29 November 2019

  • Council met in Rotorua, timed with the Te Waka Toi Awards for 2019. Council noted the significance of the Awards in celebrating achievements and contributions to ngā toi Māori (Māori arts), and of Council hosting the awards and meeting in Te Arawa country.
  • This was Council’s initial planning meeting for the coming 2020/21 performance year, with discussion covering different strategic perspectives, overarching considerations for Creative New Zealand’s work, and potential priority areas for the year ahead.
  • Council farewelled departing Council members Andrew Caisley, Dame Jenny Gibbs and Wayne Marriott, and acknowledged and thanked them for their contribution to the board and the organisation.

16 October 2019

  • Council met for the first time in Creative New Zealand’s new Wellington whare, Toi Aotearoa.
  • Council took a deeper look at the Statement of Intent’s Outcomes and value perspective, particularly around the areas of innovation and resilience.
  • Council agreed the Te Hā o ngā Toi—Māori Arts Strategy 2019–2024 Implementation Plan for 2019 to 2022.
  • Council agreed the Annual Report for 2018/19 and recognised the enormous amount of work and huge efforts by staff in delivering for the arts sector across the year.

28 August 2019

  • Council met in Christchurch and heard from guests Mayor Lianne Dalziel and Mary Richardson from the Christchurch City Council, along with Arts Foundation Lead Jo Blair.
  • Council approved the final Creative New Zealand budget for 2019/20 through 2021/22.
  • Council endorsed the final draft of Toi Ōtautahi, the new five-year partnership arts strategy for Christchurch for 2019 to 2024.
  • Council approved the Te Waka Toi Awards and Arts Pasifika Awards recipients for 2019.

24 July 2019 (special meeting)

  • Council considered the analysis and context prepared for this special meeting, which focused on decisions around the Toi Tōtara Haemata and Toi Uru Kahikatea Investment programmes.
  • Council discussed and approved funding for organisations under the Tōtara and Kahikatea programmes.
  • Council also considered initial strengths and gaps in the portfolio and noted that further analysis would be provided at the next Council meeting.

26 June 2019

29 April 2019

  • Council approved the draft Statement of Intent 2019–2029 (medium-term strategy) and Statement of Performance Expectations 2019/20 (annual plan), which will be sent to the Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage for feedback. The first draft of the budget for 2019/20 and out-years was also agreed.
  • Council agreed changes to the Grants programme and the Creative Communities Scheme, following reviews against the Investment Strategy Te Ara Whakamua 2018–2023, and noted increasing demand across these programmes.
  • Council approved the delegation of Māori and New Zealand-based contemporary Pasifika artists and rangatahi leaders to represent Aotearoa, alongside 27 other Pacific nations, at the 13th Festival of Pacific Arts and Culture in Hawai’i in June 2020. Implementation progress against Te Hā o ngā Toi/Nga Toi Māori Strategy 2019–2024 and the Pacific Arts Strategy 2018–2023 was also noted.
  • Council approved a new three-year Arts in the Regions Initiative, which aims to increase opportunities and engagement for local and regional communities to experience high-quality arts; increase investment in the arts by local or regional partners; and develop high-quality arts within local and regional communities.
  • Council met with Hon Carmel Sepuloni, Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, who holds delegated responsibility for oversight and funding of Creative New Zealand.
  • Council presented a Fijian masi to Bernadette Cavanagh, Chief Executive of the Ministry for Culture & Heritage, as a symbol of the two organisations’ shared vision to strengthen and support Pasifika artists and communities in Aotearoa. The Arts Council was gifted this taonga by Fijian master artists hosted by Creative New Zealand in 2018 under the annual Pacific Cultural Exchange with Oceania.

27 February 2019

  • Council received the final version of Te Hā o Ngā Toi/Ngā Toi Māori Strategy, and complimented staff on their work on both the strategy and at Te Matatini.
  • Council had presentations from Momentum Waikato and Creative Waikato.
  • Council endorsed the work on the revised Creative New Zealand strategic framework to date, including the public value chain model.
  • Council discussed the results of the Creative Communities Scheme review and the direction of travel for the Grants review.

Post-meeting summaries 2018

5 December 2018

  • Council provided feedback on the new Te Ha o Ngā Toi–Māori Arts Strategy 2019–2024, and that the strategy was on track for finalising by the end of December 2018.
  • Council agreed on the first draft of the new strategic framework for Creative New Zealand, better reflecting the value the organisation’s work brings to New Zealanders and to Aotearoa; the draft framework will be consulted on in the first part of 2019.
  • Council heard from Dane Mitchell, New Zealand’s artist for the 58th Venice Biennale, about his work for the event.
  • Council discussed the results of the 2017/18 audit with Audit New Zealand, noting the very good audit grades given.

24 October 2018

  • Council agreed Creative New Zealand’s Annual Report for 2017/18 and noted the organisation’s achievements over the past year.
  • Council agreed to changes to the Tōtara and Kahikatea Investment programmes, following a review of these against the new Investment Strategy Te Ara Whakamua 2018-2023.
  • Council noted recent successes for New Zealand arts on the international stage; at the Edinburgh Festivals and with the opening of the Oceania exhibition in London.
  • Council received an update on the forthcoming Māori Arts Strategy, which is due to be agreed by Council in December 2018.            

29 August 2018

  • Council considered feedback from the first round of consultation on changes to the Tōtara and Kahikatea Investment programmes, and made in principle decisions as the basis for a second round of consultation in September 2018.
  • Council approved a new Pacific Arts Strategy which will help direct and prioritise Creative New Zealand’s investment in Pacific arts between 2018 and 2023, to better support the Pacific arts community.
  • Council set the final Creative New Zealand budget for the 2018/19 financial year and out-years.
  • Following its meeting, Council met with members of the Christchurch arts community and other stakeholders, funders and supporters, to network and update the sector on recent strategic work.

27 June 2018

  • Council ratified the new Mātauranga Māori Framework and received an update on the Toi Māori Strategy currently under development. The Mātauranga Māori Framework looks through a Māori lens at the potential for creativity and the potential for the arts.
  • Council agreed the draft five-year strategic direction and five-year priorities for action for the new Pacific Arts Strategy. These will form the basis for the text of the draft Strategy which will go out for consultation from late July.
  • Council noted the draft Creative New Zealand budget for 2018/19 through 2020/21. This is included in the Statement of Performance Expectations 2018/19 (Creative New Zealand’s annual plan) with a final budget to be agreed at Council’s August meeting.
  • Council approved the establishment of the Young New Zealanders in the Arts Toi Rangatahi Initiative. The Initiative will invest a further $1 million each year for five years from 2018/19 in support of young New Zealanders engagement with the arts.
  • Council noted and endorsed the recommendations for Creative New Zealand’s future support for professional theatre in Dunedin.
  • Council received an update on the 2018 Te Waka Toi Awards and agreed recipients of the Prime Minister’s Awards for Literary Achievement.

30 April 2018

  • Council discussed Creative New Zealand’s ‘value chain’ – the public value the organisation creates for New Zealand) – as part of the ongoing work across 2018 to update Creative New Zealand’s strategic and performance frameworks.
  • Council agreed the draft Statement of Performance Expectations 2018/19 (Creative New Zealand’s annual plan) for provision to the Minister, and approved the organisation’s draft Budget for 2018/19 and out-years.
  • Council welcomed a number of stakeholders to the meeting, to hear about their work: New Zealand’s presenting artist for Biennale Arte 2017 Lisa Reihana; staff from Oranga Tamariki–Ministry for Children; and Auckland Arts Festival’s leadership.
  • Council agreed significant revisions to the Governance Manual, including revised conflicts of interest guidance and updates to the Schedule of Delegations.

26 February 2018

  • Council received presentations on the results of Creative New Zealand’s major triennial research, New Zealanders and the arts and Audience Atlas, from research companies Colmar Brunton and Morris Hargreaves McIntyre.
  • Council welcomed the Asia New Zealand Foundation’s leadership to the meeting, noting the continued partnership between the Foundation and Creative New Zealand and the good work the Foundation is doing to advance the arts in the region.
  • Council noted the upcoming Ngā Toi Māori Roadshow and Pacific Arts Summit, both key opportunities to engage with the Māori and Pacific arts communities as work begins on new strategies for ngā toi Māori and Pacific arts.
  • Council welcomed the Prime Minister and Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern, to the meeting and spoke with her about the new Government’s priorities for the arts.
  • Council acknowledged and thanked Council member and Māori Komiti Chair Suzanne Ellison for her contribution to Council’s mahi, with her term set to finish on 30 April 2018.