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The Auckland Philharmonia will play on…

Media Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
1 July 2005

The Auckland Philharmonia will play on…

The Chairman of the Auckland Philharmonia, Rosanne Meo, today expressed determination and cautious optimism on the progress it was making in securing an improved and sustainable funding basis. “There is no question that we will continue operating over the near future, but we are ultimately at the mercy of the region’s councils,” she said.

“We now realise that the only long term sustainable future for the Philharmonia is to be community owned, as is the Auckland Museum and Motat, and we must gain local and central government support for this critical next step. This is of course in addition to our current round of securing more funding from the local councils and Creative New Zealand for the 2005-06 year.”

The proposal put to the region’s seven Local Authorities was that they should, combined, match the level of funding provided by Creative New Zealand. There are obviously extreme inadequacies in the Auckland Philharmonia’s public funding. The Auckland Philharmonia currently receives 21% of its revenue from central government through Creative New Zealand, and a further 3% from local government. Comparable Australian orchestras receive combined central and local government funding of 46% in Sydney, 79% in Queensland, and 62% in Adelaide; the NZSO receives over 70%. The Auckland Philharmonia’s level of box office and sponsorship funding consistently outstrips all Australian and New Zealand orchestras.

Auckland City has shown leadership with an increase of $200,000 bringing the total annual funding of its orchestra to $500,000. To date, commitments have been made to the Auckland Philharmonia of $1,000 from Franklin District Council, $4,000 from Papakura District Council, $5,000 from Rodney District Council, and $20,000 from Waitakere City Council. The orchestra awaits results from the remaining councils.

Rosanne Meo said: “Having pleaded again with both our local councils and central government sources for immediate support and for some sustainable long term solution, we at the Auckland Philharmonia are feeling that we are still inevitably caught in the ‘crossfire’. Creative New Zealand, as our major funder and conduit for central government monies, has provided resources to help us during our restructuring, but they too are financially constrained.”

Creative New Zealand has advised the Auckland Philharmonia that it has confidence in progress made in key aspects of the restructuring plan. Creative New Zealand will therefore continue to provide substantial funding to the orchestra through the remainder of 2005 and beyond. Creative New Zealand also supports the Auckland Philharmonia’s continuing efforts to form new long term partnerships with the region's Local Authorities.

Alastair Carruthers, Chair of Creative New Zealand’s Arts Board, said: “I congratulate the Auckland Philharmonia on significant progress in its complex governance restructuring. The new structure provides a more robust platform for the future. The orchestra is also playing magnificently and providing a range of wonderful concert experiences to 1.4 million people in the Auckland region. The best thing Aucklanders could do right now is to buy tickets and enjoy these very fine musicians.”

Rosanne Meo concluded: “We urgently need leadership and buy-in from our local councils for sustainable longer term funding for the Philharmonia through a legislative framework. In the short term we need emergency help from both the Councils and Creative New Zealand. We deserve it and we will continue to make Auckland proud of its orchestra.”

ENDS

The Auckland Philharmonia receives major funding from Creative New Zealand and a major grant from Auckland City.

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