03 Feb 2021
Kia ora koutou, kia orana kotou katoatoa
As 2021 gets underway, I am thrilled to be starting the year by picking up the Arts Council (Acting) Chair’s baton from Michael Moynahan, who completed his term with us in December 2020. As the third woman to hold this role during the more than 55 years of the Arts Council, I’m also extremely proud to be the first person of Pacific (in my case Cook Islands Māori) descent in this space.
One of the key strategic focus areas for the Arts Council is looking at our organisational leadership and culture. In particular, we’re looking at how these can better enhance the public value that we seek to create from the work Creative New Zealand does; this is embodied in an approach we call Te Kaupapa o Toi Aotearoa. In thinking about how we can be a fit-for-purpose, 21st century, Aotearoa New Zealand arts development agency, we’re exploring how we can be more intentional in how we demonstrate the wairua of Te Tiriti o Waitangi in our work, and ultimately in how we provide better value for all New Zealanders.
Our work to date has included building on the expertise and experience of members of the Arts Council (particularly members of our Komiti Māori), that of Creative New Zealand staff, and others with deep knowledge of the role of Te Tiriti and its application. Ultimately, we want to take this information as a board and use it to develop our governance practices, so we can be confident that we’re applying a range of lenses to our decision-making. And as we further adjust and respond to life in a COVID-19 impacted environment, there will be an increased demand on our ability to make decisions that take account of the diverse contexts, situations, values and conditions of the people we serve.
So, as the Arts Council vaka continues this journey towards greater public value, we look forward to connecting with people and organisations across the broad arts sector, and to working with you all to strengthen the arts and culture experience for all New Zealanders.
Ei mua tatou!
Arts Council Acting Chair