Advocating for the arts in local authority planning
29 Jul 2020
Creative New Zealand has made submissions on the revised annual plans of three metropolitan councils. We encourage others to make submissions as councils undertake consultation on their long-term plans later this year.
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on arts communities across the motu (country) has been significant. Artists, arts practitioners and arts organisations are dealing with loss of employment, closure and significant reductions in revenue following the lockdown restrictions.
In light of COVID-19, a number of territorial authorities have chosen to revisit or extend consultation on their annual plans for the 2020/21 financial year.
Councils are now facing the challenge of delivering to their communities with reduced revenue. Each city, town and district requires its own response to address the specific needs and nurture the wellbeing of its people.
Creative New Zealand is advocating for councils to safeguard the creative and artistic capital of their communities by maintaining existing funding and support for arts and culture, and increasing it where possible.
So far, we have made submissions on three plans:
- Wellington City Council Draft Annual Plan
- Auckland Council Emergency Budget
- Christchurch City Council updated Draft Annual Plan
The submissions focus on specific proposals in each city’s plan or budget, and advocate for recognition of the vital role arts and culture can play in the recovery from COVID-19.
“The potential the arts have to revitalise and strengthen our communities in the wake of COVID-19 is really significant,” says David Pannett, Creative New Zealand’s Senior Manager for Strategy and Engagement.
“When there’s a strong offering of local arts experiences, it attracts residents as well as visitors from around the motu, and that in turn can boost local tourism, hospitality and retail.”
The submissions also note the importance of providing support across the arts ecosystem, to larger arts organisations as well as community arts groups and grass-roots initiatives. Both have been significantly impacted by COVID-19, and a range of support will promote the wellbeing of a wider range of residents, including Māori, Pasifika, Asian and other communities.
To tautoko (support) councils in their response to COVID-19, we recently released Supporting your arts community through COVID-19: He waka eke noa. The guide sets out ways that territorial authorities can strengthen their arts communities, and shows the benefits of involving artists in council decision and policy-making.
We also encourage the arts sector to use these submissions and guidance to support their own ongoing advocacy to critical local government partners.
For any queries regarding our submissions please contact email@example.com.