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Waitakere wins premier Creative Places Award 2002

30 July, 4pm
Waitakere wins premier Creative Places Award 2002
Other winners: Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington,
Dunedin and Nelson

Waitakere City Council today won the premier Creative Places Award 2002 for its Massey Leisure Centre and Library, a building that integrates 17 artworks by local artists, the history of the area and the environment.

The announcement was made at the Local Government New Zealand conference in Rotorua today where Prime Minister Helen Clark presented the Award to Bob Harvey, Mayor of Waitakere City.

Creative New Zealand established the annual Creative Places Award in 1999 with the endorsement of Local Government New Zealand. Open to all local authorities that have actively supported arts projects, the 2002 Award received 32 entries across its seven categories.

“The Creative Places Award celebrates all the wonderful, innovative arts projects happening in communities throughout New Zealand,” says Elizabeth Kerr, Chief Executive of Creative New Zealand. “We value our partnership with local government and this Award acknowledges its huge investment and commitment to the arts of this country.”

Waitakere City Council’s project, selected from the seven category winners, was the judges’ unanimous choice to win the premier Award. The prize is a work of art, chosen by the local authority for public display and especially commissioned by Creative New Zealand. Waitakere City also won the Enhancing the Built Environment Category.

This year’s judging panel was Frana Cardno, Mayor of Southland District Council; Roger King, Director of the Taranaki and Tauranga Arts Festivals; and Bernard Makoare, Ngäti Whatua artist and former local government manager.

“Waitakere’s holistic approach to town centre design is an outstanding model of what can be achieved when artists are involved in every step of the process,” the judges said. “Locals feel a tremendous sense of pride in having a quality facility that celebrates them in its design and construction. It is their place and an inspiration for further creativity in the community.”

The project is the culmination of several years’ commitment to ensure that arts/design collaboration became an integral part in the creation of Waitakere City’s public buildings and spaces. Artistic collaboration was incorporated from the outset of the planning and design of the Massey Leisure Centre and Library.

One thousand children were also involved in making feather tiles for Moa Mountain, an artwork featured outside the centre.

Each of the seven category winners, also announced today, received a specially commissioned carved wooden bowl by Auckland wood artist John Mackinven.

1. Arts Support & Development Category
Winning Project: Artstation
Winning Council: Auckland City Council

Artstation is an Auckland City arts facility offering courses, workshops, open studios and an annual programme of curated, community-focussed exhibitions. It enables all sectors of the Auckland community to participate in many aspects of the visual arts and provides a space for personal expression. A total of 240 courses are available, ranging from painting and drawing to flax weaving and cast glass.

“Artstation is a magical and extraordinary place,” the judges said. “The facility has a significant place in Auckland and looks like it’s going from strength to strength.” The judges also commended the high numbers of children able to access Artstation’s facilities through scholarship assistance.
Further information: John Eaden, Manager, Artstation
Tel: 09-376 3221 Email:

2. Celebrating Cultural Identity & Diversity Category
Winning Project: 2002 TV2 Night Parade
Winning Council: Wellington City Council

Winning Project: Asia 2000 Lantern Festival 2002
Winning Council: Auckland City Council

Two winners were awarded in this category because the judges could not choose between the two outstanding projects. Both events were seen to celebrate cultural difference and identity in extremely positive ways, involving the lives of thousands of people. The 2002 TV2 Night Parade provided an opportunity for many of Wellington’s different cultures, including Mäori, Pacific Islands, Chinese, Indian and Middle Eastern communities, and a range of arts groups, drag queens and motorbike stunt riders.

The Asia 2000 Lantern Festival 2002 celebrated the end of the Chinese New Year and involved 3000 children and a large percentage of Auckland’s Chinese community. It attracted more than 100,000 people to Auckland’s Albert Park.

“How could we chose between two hugely successful but very different projects?” the judges said. “Both involved a large number and wide range of people, and recognised a range of cultures and communities in New Zealand.”
Further information: Andy Gifford, Manager, Programmes and Creation Centres, Recreation Wellington
Tel: 04-801 3427 Email:

Further information: Barbara Strong-MacKinnon, Recreation and Community Services, Auckland City Council
Tel: 09-353 9584 Email:

3. Community Participation Initiatives Category
Winning Project: Christchurch Community Artists – Christchurch City Council Legal Art Programme
Winning Council: Christchurch City Council

Christchurch Community Artists – Christchurch City Council Legal Art Programme aims to clean up the streets of Christchurch after the Council introduced a zero-tolerance policy on graffiti in 2000. Legal art is an artform that can be placed on open public sites such as walls and buildings or on privately owned sites with approval of the property owners and after consultation with the local community. The programme, launched in March 2001, has reduced the Council’s vandalism clean-up bill, and changed attitudes and behaviour around graffiti vandalism. Since the launch, 29 projects have been completed involving more than 150 youths, who have been involved in every step of the process.

“A really negative experience of graffiti has been completely turned around into something very positive,” the judges said. “The acceptance of this work by the community is great and this project is one that other councils can learn from.”
Further information: Sharon Williamson, Legal Art Co-ordinator, Community Relations, Christchurch City Council
Tel: 03-941 6327 Email:

4. Cultural Tourism/Economic Development Category
Winning Project: Otago Arts Guide
Winning Council: Dunedin City Council

The Otago Arts Guide, launched in March 2002, profiles and maps 250 artists working throughout the Otago region. It aims to develop the economic base of the region’s art community and position it as a region with a strong and vibrant arts community placed for growth in cultural tourism. A strong working group, including representatives from Dunedin, Central Otago, Queenstown Lakes, Waitaki and Clutha districts, along with artists and iwi representatives, was formed to reflect the diversity of a large region. Arts communities in six districts were consulted and endorsed the publication of an arts guide as a strategic initiative for the region, its artists and communities. Five local authorities, Creative New Zealand, the Community Employment Group, the Community Trust of Otago and many artists also supported the Guide’s production. It was supported through Creative New Zealand’s Regional Strengths strategy.

“An enormous amount of work has gone into this project,” the judges said. “Artists based in small rural communities have been included, along with city artists, and it promotes economic development across a region.”
Further information: Cara Paterson, Dunedin City Council
Tel: 03-474 3792 Email:
5. Enhancing the Built Environment Category
Winning Project: Massey Leisure Centre and Library
Winning Council: Waitakere City Council

“This project is a perfect example of arts/design collaboration,” the judges said. “Waitakere City deserves recognition for its dedication and commitment to permeating its public landscape with artistic expression.”

Further information: Naomi McCleary, Arts Advisor, Waitakere City Council
Tel: 09-836 8000 Email:

6. Major Arts Activities Category
Winning Project: Nelson Arts Festival 2001
Winning Council: Nelson City Council

The Nelson Arts Festival 2001 offered a colourful array of activities to celebrate Nelson’s unique artistic community and is testament to a strong commitment to the arts from the Nelson City Council. The Festival supported the renowned Montana Wearable Art Awards and included floor talks, workshops, exhibitions, performances, street theatre and a children’s art programme. The Masked Parade attracted more than 4000 participants, representing schools and community groups.

“This amazing, exciting festival reflects and celebrates the creative talent of the Nelson community,” the judges said. “These festivals inspire local artists to be diverse and help them to build new audiences.” The judges also applauded the high level of children’s involvement in the project.
Further information: Jill Taylor, Festival Co-ordinator or Annabel Norman Festival Director, Nelson Arts Festival
Tel: 03-546 0212 or 03-546 0254 Email:

7. Youth Initiatives Category
Winning Project: MERV and VERA
Winning Council: Wellington City Council

This is the first year the Creative Places Award has offered a category for youth initiatives. MERV and VERA are funky vans, used to support arts events and activities for Wellington’s youth. The vans are set up with stereo equipment, PA systems, breakdancing mats, and sports and recreation gear. MERV (Mobile Events and Recreation Vehicle) and VERA (Vehicles for Events, Recreation and Art) make it easier for the Council’s Youth Services team to work with young people in the city and suburbs, and are a tool to help create a vibrant and safe city for young people. Since October 2000, the vans’ mobile equipment and Youth Services staff have been involved in more than 200 free events and activities.

“This is a leading-edge, innovative project with a very high impact for youth,” the judges said. “Community spirit and generosity is staggering. More than 12,500 hours of community volunteer time has gone into this project.”
Further information: Andrew Dalziel, Wellington City Council
Tel: 04-801 3791 Email:

Judges’ Citation

This year, the judges also offered formal recognition to New Plymouth District Council for the Foreshore Coastal and Len Lye Wind Wand; Taupo District Council for Te Puna o te Taniwha; and the Waikato District Council for Whaingaroa Creative Sculptures.


All the category winners know they have won an award and you may contact them in advance to prepare your story. However, Waitakere City does not know it’s won the premier Award so please do not contact them about this.

Profiles of the winning projects will be available on the Creative New Zealand website ( at 4pm. Visit the What’s New section and click on the link provided in the story entitled Waitakere City wins premier Creative Places Award 2002. This will take you to the resources section (

For further information and photographs, please contact:
Anna Dean
Communications and Advocacy Co-ordinator
Creative New Zealand
Tel: 04-498 0722

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