15 May 2017
Creative New Zealand has congratulated Palmerston North and Hutt City Councils for their support of the arts while raising concerns about Christchurch City Council’s lack of “explicit support for arts and culture”.
Creative New Zealand has made submissions on Hutt City and Palmerston North City Councils’ Proposed Annual Budgets for 2017/18 and on Christchurch City Council’s Draft Annual Plan for 2017/18.
Palmerston North City Council was making steady progress on a review of its arts strategy with a well-defined process and early and meaningful engagement with the sector and the public, the submission said.
Creative New Zealand also welcomed the council’s funding contribution to the local Creative Communities Scheme (CCS), which at 32 percent of the programme’s total income, made it the highest contribution of any council in New Zealand.
Creative New Zealand provides CCS funding to city and district councils throughout New Zealand to distribute in support of local arts projects. The scheme supports more than 1,800 projects every year.
Hutt City Council’s CBD Making Places programme was commended by Creative New Zealand. “The commissioning of an artwork to cover a previous urban eyesore is a prime example of the way arts can rejuvenate communities,” the submission said.
The completion of the local Events Centre would provide new opportunities for arts and cultural events to be hosted in Lower Hutt for the benefit of the local people.
Creative New Zealand also welcomed the council’s review of arts and culture policy saying it comprehensively covered a range of issues which would enable the council to implement better arts and culture planning.
While welcoming its working relationship with Christchurch City Council, Creative New Zealand expressed concerned that arts and culture investment was not explicitly supported in the council’s Long Term Plan 2015-20 and recent annual plans.
“Of the $59 million budgeted for libraries, arts and culture less than 1% is allocated for non-library related work…If the council is committing money for festival sand events and other arts related activities it is important this is reported accurately,” the submission said.
Creative New Zealand also expressed concern at the slowing of progress on building the Performing Arts Precinct.
“We look forward to the council’s upcoming decisions on the project which we hope will truly embrace its potential to significantly enhance the lives of Christchurch residents,” the submission concluded.