30 Apr 2020

This content is tagged as Multi-Artform .


Arts Council lays framework for Phase 2 of Creative New Zealands COVID 19 response

As we move through the Government’s COVID-19 alert levels we’re continuing to ensure we plan as best we can for the future.

This was top-of-mind at the Arts Council meeting this week (29 April) and, after a further emergency meeting planned for 26 May, we will share our next steps in responding to COVID-19. By then we will also have more information to inform our plans, with an alert level decision due on 11 May and the Government’s Budget landing on 14 May.

The Arts Council is expected to consider the next phase of our approach (‘Phase 2’) when it meets again on 26 May and we’re aiming to announce the shape of Phase 2 by the end of June 2020. This may not include all programme details, but we expect to signal what we’ll be bringing on and broadly when. We will, however, need to continue to respond to the changing environment brought on by COVID-19.

In the meantime, we’ve summarised below the Arts Council’s 29 April meeting where, as well as receiving an update on Creative New Zealand’s emergency response to date, the Council endorsed a framework for developing Phase 2.

Strategic foundation

The Council agreed that Creative New Zealand’s existing strategic framework, to create value for New Zealanders (as set out in our Statement of Intent 2019-2029), remains relevant and should drive the planning process, with even greater focus on contributing to a stronger arts sector (integral to our Statement of Intent and Investment Strategy Te Ara Whakamua 2018–2023, with similar elements in Te Hā o ngā Toi—Māori Arts Strategy 2019–2024 and the Pacific Arts Strategy 2018–2023).

Proposed framework for developing Phase 2

Our strategies are still very real and relevant, but the context we are all operating in is dramatically different. Part of this context is the significant ongoing uncertainties in all aspects of life, which makes planning for the future challenging.

These uncertainties include:

  • moving through the alert levels­ – timing, length of time at each level and related constraints
  • being unable to predict demand for our Phase 1 Emergency Response Package opportunities
  • our funding budget for the next financial year (from 1 July 2020)
  • the impact of COVID-19 on other support for the arts sector (for example, business sponsorship, gaming and community trust funding, local authority funding, philanthropy, etc)
  • the arts sector’s ability to innovate and find new ways of engaging audiences and attracting paying customers/box office revenue
  • whether New Zealanders will respond and be willing to gather, even at lower alert levels when gathering is possible (which may have a further impact on box office revenue).

This means we will need to be agile and responsive as we develop the next phase of our COVID-19 response.

As part of developing Phase 2, we will consider the following:

  • Continuing or adapting Phase 1 programmes.
  • Re-purposing or re-instigating suspended ‘business as usual’ programmes across all eight of our investment categories:

- Toi Tōtara Haemata Investment programme
- Toi Uru Kahikatea Investment programme
- Grants: Arts Grants, Quick Response Grants and Special Opportunities
- Creative Communities Scheme
- International Programme
- Capability Building Programme
- Advocacy
- Initiatives and Pilots.

  • Any new initiatives or programmes required to address any gaps in provision to support the sector through the COVID-19 crisis.

Purpose and principles for Phase 2

We’ve defined the purpose for Phase 2 and the principles that will guide our decisions on what we can offer.

Purpose: Continue to support artists, arts practitioners and arts organisations to survive the COVID-19 crisis and adapt their practice and business to the dynamic environment in which the arts sector is operating, including seeking and promoting ways to engage the public and audiences with the arts.


  • Responsive – is it relevant to the arts sector in the short- to medium-term? How is the sector adapting and how can we best support those who are part of it?
  • Strategic – does it line up with our 10-year goals as set out in the Statement of Intent, as well as our key strategies? (ie, Investment Strategy, Te Hā o ngā Toi, Pacific Arts Strategy, Advocacy Strategy).
  • Outcomes focused – does it contribute to our outcomes with a focus on the Stronger arts sector outcome and increasing levels of support for the Stronger arts and Greater public engagement outcomes (including digitally) as part of Phase 2?
  • Creating value – what value does it create for New Zealanders within a changing context?
  • Aligned – does it align with or contribute to the Government’s wider COVID-19 response and the Government’s priorities, including communities of interest such as Māori, Pasifika and the regions?
  • Achievable – have we got the available resources (ie, money, people, and systems) and/or can we acquire them?
  • Agile – can it be delivered in the time-frame required?
  • Collaborative – are there any potential partners? How might the sector be involved?

Go to Creative New Zealand response to COVID-19 for information about our overall approach and updates.