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Appointments to Creative New Zealand

Appointments to Creative New Zealand

Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Judith Tizard today announced the re-appointments of members to the Council and the arts boards of Creative New Zealand.

Peter Biggs, an advertising agency director of Wellington, currently Chair of the Arts Council, has been re-appointed to the position for further term of three years and Dr Paddy Austin, a Christchurch management consultant, is re-appointed as a Council member.

Elizabeth Ellis continues for a further one-year term as chair of the Maori Arts Board Te Waka Toi. Her term continues from the expiry of her previous term and ends 31 October 2004. Ms Ellis is a visual artist who has been involved with Mâori arts, education and community activities. She has been chair of Te Waka Toi since 1997.

Current members of the Arts Board of Creative New Zealand, Marilyn Kohlhase, a management consultant, and Helen Schamroth, an arts and design consultant, both of Auckland, and Lydia Wevers, a university lecturer and researcher of Wellington, have been re-appointed each for a further term of three years.

Judith Tizard expressed her confidence in the appointed members. “I am delighted that these people have all agreed to continue serving on Creative New Zealand boards. They bring an extremely impressive range of skills and experience to their positions and I am confident that Creative New Zealand will be well served by them.”

Creative New Zealand encourages, promotes and supports the arts in New Zealand. It has Arts Council and two boards, the Arts Board and Te Waka Toi each with seven members.

The Council sets policy and strategic direction and has a major role in promoting and advocating for the arts. The Arts Board and Te Waka Toi develop art-form policy, allocate grants and carry out initiatives that support the Council’s strategic direction. Te Waka Toi specifically supports and promotes Mâori arts, while the Arts Board supports the arts of all New Zealanders.


Peter Biggs – of Wellington. Mr Biggs is currently managing director of Clemenger BBDO advertising agency. He has more than twenty years experience in public relations and advertising and is a well-known public speaker. Mr Biggs was first appointed as Chair of the Council in 1999.

Paddy Austin - of Christchurch. Dr Austin is currently a management consultant. She has previously held positions as director of the Arts Centre in Christchurch and communications and promotions manager for the Christchurch City Council. A Christchurch City Councillor, Dr Austin is experienced in local government.

Elizabeth Ellis – of Auckland. Ms Ellis has been chair of Te Waka Toi since 1997 and a member since 1994. She is a visual artist with a high profile in Mäori arts education with extensive experience in Mäori arts, education and community activities. She has a Diploma of Fine Arts, Auckland University, and has taught secondary school art history. She has curated several exhibitions of Mäori art.

Marilyn Kohlhase – of Auckland. Ms Kohlhase is a Samoan management consultant and staff trainer for clients such as the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Finance Tonga, TVNZ, Air New Zealand and the Universities of Auckland and Wellington. She has done significant work on the career development of Pacific Island peoples and is a member of a number of community organisations' panels as their Pacific Islands representative.

Helen Schamroth – of Auckland. Ms Schamroth is a consultant, writer and lecturer on craft and design. She became chairperson of the Artists Alliance in 1999 and is a former councillor of the Designers Institute of New Zealand. She has been an arts advocate, curator, assessor and practising craftsperson and has studied Mäori and Polynesian art history.

Lydia Wevers – of Wellington. Dr Wevers is Director of the Stout Research Centre at Victoria University of Wellington. She has been Vice President of the New Zealand Book Council (1995-2000), and is chair of the Trustees of the National Library (2000-2005). She has edited and contributed to numerous literary works, and given literary conference presentations in New Zealand and overseas

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