20 Dec 2022

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The future is bright for New Zealand at the Venice Biennale as the Arts Council adopts recommendations from an external review of this culturally significant event.   

The legacy of New Zealand’s participation in the Venice Biennale is strong and the event has created pathways for some of our most influential visual artists to be key players on the international stage.  

Arts Council members unanimously agreed with findings from an external review of the Venice Biennale that the Venice Biennale creates an exceptional opportunity for New Zealand artists and the wider arts community, and that Creative New Zealand should continue to support the 2026, 2028, and 2030 Biennales.   

The external review was commissioned by Creative New Zealand in June this year and sought input from more than 30 leading industry stakeholders and groups including former Venice Biennale Commissioners, former New Zealand representative artists at Venice, patrons, arts leaders, project teams involved in the delivery of the Biennale, and members of a Ngā Toi Māori Think Tank. 

To honour the partnership approach that has been key to Creative New Zealand’s successful delivery of the Venice Biennale, and in line with review findings, the Arts Council has also recommended Creative New Zealand formally partner with another organisation or consortium to support New Zealand artists to participate in the next three Venice Biennales from 2026. 

“This is a really exciting time for the sector”, says Chair of the Arts Council Caren Rangi. “A lot has changed nationally and globally since Creative New Zealand commissioned its first artist to attend the Venice Biennale in 2001. It's fantastic that there are now so many highly skilled organisations to potentially partner with to deliver this important international event.” 

In 2023, Creative New Zealand will run an Expression of Interest process to identify a suitable organisation or consortium to co-deliver New Zealand’s presence at Venice. 

While this process is underway, New Zealand’s presence at the 2024 Venice Biennale will be maintained through a programme aimed at long-term strengthening of New Zealand’s contemporary visual arts sector.  

“On the basis of the review recommendations, the New Zealand presence at the 2024 Venice Biennale will be different to other years. Over the next six months we will work with a variety of individuals and groups in the arts community to determine the programme for 2024,” says Gretchen La Roche, Senior Manger Arts Development Services. 

“We recently signalled that we want to work more closely with the sector, and we’re really looking forward to hearing how they envisage not just the programme for 2024, but also a partnership model going forward. Our mandate is to encourage, promote and support the arts, and who better to guide us to do this than practitioners, arts organisations and supporters themselves?” says Gretchen.  

For any enquiries, please contact media@creativenz.govt.nz

Read the Executive Summary (PDF. 716KB)


  • In June 2022, Creative New Zealand announced that the Arts Council was commissioning an external review of Creative New Zealand’s participation in the Venice Biennale  
  • Creative New Zealand has not undertaken an external review of New Zealand’s participation in the Venice Biennale since 2006. 
  • The review considered:
    • the ongoing strategic alignment of Creative New Zealand’s support for New Zealand’s participation in the Venice Biennale
    • the value of the opportunity to the Government, Creative New Zealand and the arts sector
    • value for money of New Zealand’s participation
  • the resourcing and delivery model. The key recommendations of the review are:
    • it is important for there to be continued support for the Venice Biennale in 2026, 2028, and 2030
    • Creative New Zealand to identify a suitable organisation or consortium to co-deliver New Zealand’s presence at Venice 
    • to maintain a 2024 presence at Venice Biennale through a transitional programme. 

For more information on New Zealand’s participation in the Venice Biennale, please visit www.nzatvenice.com