31 Aug 2023
Creative New Zealand has increased its minimum fair remuneration guidance rate from $25/hour to $30/hour for artists and arts practitioners applying for contestable grants.
“$30/hour is now the minimum rate that we consider can be fair pay for artists and arts practitioners,” says Elizabeth Beale, Co-Manager, Policy and Performance at Creative New Zealand.
“We want to see artists applying to Creative New Zealand with budgets that reflect this rate – we want artists to pay themselves a realistic wage. At the same time, fair pay for more experienced artists and arts practitioners should be well above the minimum rate, reflecting both their experience and the nature of the work.” Says Elizabeth.
The guidelines are now in effect and will come into play for the first time in the next round of grants, the Festival Grants opening on the 4th of September.
Creative New Zealand will not be penalising applications for not including the updated rate but encourage applicants to pay themselves and their peers fair rates.
The original $25/hour rate was implemented in the 2019/20 financial year on the back of A Profile of Creative Professionals research that showed artists and creative practitioners are underpaid compared to the average New Zealander. The 2022 version of this research conducted by NZ on Air and Creative New Zealand found that the majority of creative professionals surveyed continue to have difficulty making a sustainable living from their principal artform or creative practice.
Increasing the minimum rate reflects Creative New Zealand’s commitment to helping make careers in the arts sector more sustainable, as set out in our Remuneration Policy for Artists and Arts Practitioners. Key factors in making this change included inflation and the increasing cost of living as well as the need to cover costs usually covered by employers, such as ACC levies, sick leave and public holidays. The new $30/hour ensures creatives are still paid more than minimum wage once these costs have been deducted.
“Our plea to practitioners is ‘pay yourself’ properly. We understand that there’s a limited amount of funding available for grants, and we know that even this modest increase in minimum rates likely means the likelihood of funding fewer applications. However, spreading the funding too thin does the arts sector or more precisely, the people in the sector, a disservice”, she says.
“New Zealanders have indicated time and time again through our New Zealanders in the Arts Ko Aotearoa me ōna Toi research that they value the arts. This new minimum is one small way we can help ensure that artists and creative practitioners can achieve more sustainable careers.” Says Elizabeth.