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Creative NZ: Frequently Asked Questions


The Post-Election Briefing Paper can be downloaded from Creative New Zealand’s website ( For copies of Creative New Zealand’s press releases about the new funding, check out the news section.

How much money has Creative New Zealand been given from the Government?

In May 2000, as part of its cultural recovery package, the Government gave Creative New Zealand a one-off $20 million (incl. GST) funding injection. Creative New Zealand is committed to spending this money over the next three years.

What is Creative New Zealand going to do with the $20 million?

The first thing to note is that once GST is excluded from the Government’s $20 million funding to Creative New Zealand, the amount is actually $17.78 million. This equates to approximately $6 million per year over the next three years.

Council has clearly identified the following areas as priorities: stabilising the professional arts infrastructure; developing Maori arts; and encouraging local authorities to work together on larger, cross-boundary arts initiatives. Funding to each of these areas has been allocated for the first year. Further details will be made available in August.

What planning has been done?

Creative New Zealand has always championed increased funding for the arts. Its Post-Election Briefing Paper, prepared for the incoming Labour Government, along with its Budget Bid, form the basis of much of the planning underpinning the new funding priorities. Although the opportunities represented by the Government’s funding package are new, the issues are not.

Why is Creative New Zealand getting this money? Why can’t it go directly to artists?

This is public money and there has to be an accountable structure to distribute the funds. The Government remains committed to the arms-length principle. Creative New Zealand, which has always distributed its funding in consultation with arts practitioners, has been charged with developing initiatives and distributing the new money.

Who is going to decide where the extra money goes?

Creative New Zealand’s strategic priorities are set by its Arts Council. Decisions on the exact distribution of the new money will be made by the Arts Council, Arts Board (including the Pacific Islands Arts Committee) and Te Waka Toi, with advice from the artform committees and peer assessors.

How much of the new money is going to the professional arts infrastructure?

In the first year, $3.2 million will be used to fund the Future Strengths strategy. Putting “recurrently funded” organisations (ie organisations funded on an annual or multi-year basis) on a sound financial, artistic and organisational footing is crucial to ensuring a healthy arts sector. Creative New Zealand will be working with existing arts organisations, and providing opportunities for new and emerging organisations to become recurrently funded. However, additional funds alone are not sufficient to address the sector’s existing problems. Creative New Zealand is developing a wider strategy to work with the sector on issues such as marketing, governance, career development and recruitment.

A significant portion of the money ($1.7 million in the first year) will also support Maori arts, artists and iwi through the Seriously Maori strategy. $510,000 will be used to support the Regional Strengths strategy in the first year.

 How will Maori and Pacific Islands peoples benefit from the new money?

Two of the key priority areas identified in Creative New Zealand’s Post-Election Briefing Paper and Budget Bid are the development of Maori arts and Pacific arts. The Government has a clear expectation that the new money will benefit Maori and Pacific arts, and Creative New Zealand is committed to ensuring this happens.

Approximately $5 million over three years will go to the Seriously Maori strategy. Following consultation with Maori, Creative New Zealand has developed three main components to the strategy. These are the branding of Maori arts; assistance in developing iwi arts management plans; and the profiling of Maori arts nationwide.

 How much money do recurrently funded arts organisations get already?

In 1999/2000, 31 arts organisations received just over $8 million in funding from Creative New Zealand. This represents less than one-third of these organisations’ total revenue. These organisations span all artforms and include regional orchestras, theatre and opera companies, and experimental galleries. They also include several national service organisations that represent and support the arts sector: eg Booksellers New Zealand, Museums Aotearoa, Arts Access Aotearoa, DANZ and SOUNZ.

 Are we going to see more arts organisations funded on a recurrent basis?

Yes, certainly. The 31 organisations represent the backbone of New Zealand’s professional arts infrastructure. However, we need to recognise emerging arts organisations, and also reflect both the diversity of contemporary arts practice and cultures that make up New Zealand. For instance, there are no recurrently funded companies in contemporary dance; Pacific Islands arts; youth theatre; or contemporary music. Within Maori arts, a range of artforms are not supported by recurrent funding.

Increasing the number of organisations that receive recurrent funding will increase the long-term viability and health of the sector. It will also provide significant new opportunities for individual artists.

 How much of the money is going to be directly available to artists for projects?

A Fellowships scheme will be launched later in the year to acknowledge the role and contribution of individual artists. Along with Creative New Zealand’s international artist residency programme, the fellowships will provide opportunities for artists to practise their art over a sustained period of time. A limited amount of money will also be available to boost project funding.

 Is there going to be an extra funding round to distribute the new money?

No. Any additional project funding will be distributed through Creative New Zealand’s two funding rounds per year.

 Does the extra money mean there’s a better chance that my application for project funding will get a grant?

At this stage, it’s impossible to know. While a limited amount of the new money will boost project funding, we anticipate that both the number of applications and the amount of money asked for will increase.


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