11 May 2016
Creative New Zealand has welcomed Wellington City Council proposals to increase investment in more arts experiences for the city’s residents and visitors.
In a submission on the council’s Draft Annual Plan for 2016/17, Creative New Zealand strongly supported proposals for increasing funding to the Toi Poneke Arts Centre and the annual arts, culture and community grants, and funding of a new outdoor event series.
The council is proposing a more than $500,000 increase in funding for new arts-related initiatives in 2016/17.
The Creative New Zealand submission said the increase in funding for the Toi Poneke Arts Centre showed the council’s commitment to increasing connections within the arts sector. “In addition the support of 12 exhibitions a year will further Wellingtonians’ ability to participate and experience the arts.”
The proposal for a new, free outdoor event series featuring music, dance, theatre, circus and digital art was described as an exciting proposition.
“The resounding success of the council-partnered LUX: A light festival for Wellington is just one example of the value outdoor arts events bring to the city.”
Also welcomed was the council’s continued investment in the New Zealand Festival, its contribution to the Wellington Regional Amenities Fund, and its role as a major financial supporter of Circa Theatre.
The submission noted the “hard work and tireless dedication” of the council’s Arts Portfolio Leader Ray Ahipene-Mercer who is standing down in October. “Ray has made an invaluable contribution to the promotion, development and advocacy of art and culture in Wellington.”
In 2014/15 Creative New Zealand invested more than $41.4 million in New Zealand’s arts sector of which $6.2 million was spent in the Wellington region.
Submissions on the Council’s Draft Annual Plan for 2016/17 closed on 29 April. The Annual Plan will be published on 30 July.