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Creative New Zealand head to take up new role

12 April 2006

Creative New Zealand head to take up new role

Elizabeth Kerr, Chief Executive of the Government's arts development organisation, Creative New Zealand, announced today that she will leave the organisation in August to take up a new role as Manager of the New Zealand String Quartet Trust.

Miss Kerr, who was appointed Chief Executive of Creative New Zealand in 2000, has had a long career in the cultural sector. This includes a role as senior lecturer in music at Victoria University of Wellington, Manager of Concert FM, and Chief Executive of the New Zealand Historic Places Trust. She has also held governance positions with a number of cultural organisations, including the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, the Centre for New Zealand Music and the Vector Wellington Orchestra.

"With this move, I am returning to my musical roots," Miss Kerr said. "The New Zealand String Quartet is one of New Zealand's most outstanding musical ensembles and I'm very excited about the chance to contribute to its ongoing success, both in this country and internationally."

Peter Biggs, outgoing Chair of Creative New Zealand's governing body, the Arts Council, today paid tribute to Miss Kerr.

"Elizabeth has led the organisation with inspiration, purpose and intelligence," Mr Biggs said. "Her superb leadership skills and ability to excite people around a vision, plus her wonderful skill at making things happen, mean that Creative New Zealand has become a much more strategic organisation focussed on arts development.

"It is fortunate indeed that the sector will still benefit from her many skills. On behalf of Creative New Zealand, I wish her well as she follows her heart and takes up a role in music."

Helene Pohl, leader of the New Zealand String Quartet, said the group is delighted at the appointment. "We couldn't be more thrilled that Elizabeth is joining us to help us fulfil our mission of bringing great music to as many New Zealanders as possible and taking New Zealand music overseas.

"We've known and respected Elizabeth for years and we highly value her ability and experience, as well as her great passion for music."

Looking back on her six years as Chief Executive of Creative New Zealand, Miss Kerr said the Government's ongoing commitment to the sector and Prime Minister Helen Clark's role in championing the arts had enabled Creative New Zealand to take a more strategic approach, develop a number of exciting initiatives, and build audiences and markets for New Zealand work.

"It's clear from the research report, New Zealanders and the Arts, launched last week by Creative New Zealand, that we're a society that values the arts hugely," Miss Kerr said. "I'm delighted that I've been able to play a role in arts development in New Zealand and I can continue to be a part of such a vibrant sector."


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