07 Dec 2022

This content is tagged as Community arts .


Photo of Hāniko Te Kurapa speaking at Taituarā conference.
L-R: Haniko Te Kurapa (Creative New Zealand, standing), Jade Wikaira (Wikaira Consulting Ltd), Sonya Korohina (Supercut Projects), Geoff Cooper (New Zealand Infrastructure Commission, Te Waihanga) Image Supplied. 

As part of our work advocating the value of the arts to local government, we were proud to support the ‘Placemaking Now’ session at the recent Taituarā Conference Ko te heke mai ināianei: the future is now.  

Our session focused on the practical ways that local government and other government agencies, business and the creative sector can work together to shape the places we live, work and play.

The panel included:

Haniko Te Kurapa, Creative New Zealand
Geoff Cooper
, The New Zealand Infrastructure Commission, Te Waihanga
Sonya Korohina
, Supercut Projects
Jade Wikaira
, Wikaira Consulting Ltd

Haniko Te Kurapa opened the korero. His speech is captured below.

Imagine a future where our cities and towns sing of our place and our people. Where we step outside our door, and our built environment cloaks us with the stories of our place. Of where and who we are – in all our glorious diversity. Where everyone has access to creative experiences that nurture our individual potential, our wellbeing and sense of belonging within our communities, sparking joy and connection. 

Arts, culture & creativity bring communities together — they connect us, comfort us, entertain us and help us to find a sense of belonging.  

We see this in the work of the Matapopore Trust, appointed by hapū to provide the mana whenua voice responsible for ensuring Ngāi Tūāhuriri/Ngāi Tahuvalues, aspirations and narrativesarerealised within the recovery and rebuild of Christchurch Ōtautahi.  

By involving artists and designers in the rebuild, the spaces and infrastructure created are elevated from pure amenity to something that both grounds us in place and lifts our spirits.  

ranga, Christchurch Central Library is a stunning example of innovative community infrastructure. Set within the library, it’s transformed into a community hub: a ‘third space’ between home and work, a place to gather and be ‘alone together’.   

Great placemaking provides community anchors — increasing the use of public spaces as we navigate our experiences through these landmarks.

Be brave in our partnerships

Arts, culture and creativity play a key role in placemaking, and in building meaningful partnerships. The redevelopment of the Te Hono, New Plymouth Airport Terminal, is a fine example. 

Te Hono, “to connect”, is located on ancestral land historically confiscated from iwi. Now, the architecture of the terminal puts mana whenua stories at its heart, reinforces mana whenua status for Puketapu hapū and reminds the community and visitors about this history which saw the hapū lose the whenua.  

Rangi Kipa, lead artist reflects “The land of the previous airport came from us. This is the piece of land that Puketapu hapū takes its identity from. We reminded the New Plymouth District Council that we are tired of being invisible on our own landscape and that our tamariki deserve more.” 

The project is richer than the sum of parts: a story of love and longing is conceptualised within the literal architecture of the building and continues as you enter, take shelter and journey onward. 

It’s won awards nationally and internationally – and most significantly, has been a mechanism for partnership, community education and healing.  

Te Hono now embodies manaakitanga by using art, culture and creativity to connect us through stories, laying the foundation for future developments across Taranaki and Aotearoa.

The answers are in our communities

We want healthy, connected and thriving communities – where everyone has opportunities to experience the transformational impact of the arts.  

An example of community scale/community-led placemaking, the Wellington Vogelmorn Precinct was developed in partnership with Wellington City Council.   

The Vogelmorn Community Group transformed the old Bowling Green, organising and co-hosting events, and hiring its buildings for gigs, workshops, rehearsals, yoga classes, and book launches. Neighbour kids play on the community trampoline and bikes, and families host birthday parties with the community pizza oven.

It's our challenge together

We know local government are key partners in this work, and we want to support you.  

It’s timely for us to be talking about placemaking alongside the Future for Local Government Review’s report He mata whariki, he matawhanui which has chapters on placemaking and wellbeing — and councils’ crucial role as influencer.

Last year Creative New Zealand made a submission to Te Waihana New Zealand Infrastructure Commission’s consultation He Tūāpapa ki to Ora—Infrastructure for a Better Future. We talked about how creatives can help build welcoming infrastructure which reflects our unique cultural identities, with practical examples already happening across the motu: 

The % for arts policy in Rotorua Lakes Council, Nelson City Council’s new Arts and Creativity Strategy and Dunedin City Council’s Art and Creativity in Infrastructure Policy show that councils’ investment in arts, culture and creativity is investment in social infrastructure. 

How about you? What do you want your community to look, feel and sound like?   

We invite you to re-think how you position arts, culture and creativity in your town or city – as an essential tool for the future of your communities and essential to placemaking. Let's do this mahi together. 

He tangata, he tangata, he tangata. It is the people, it is the people, it is the people

Further information

For more information on our local government advocacy work go to our page.

For more information about the conference: Taituarā Conference Ko te heke mai ināianei: the future is now