31 Oct 2023

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Stephen Wainwright
Creative New Zealand Chief Executive Stephen Wainwright 

After more than three decades’ service with Creative New Zealand, Stephen Wainwright is to step down from his role as Chief Executive in mid-2024.

Stephen has served as Chief Executive since August 2006, having first joined Creative New Zealand in 1990.

“It’s been an immense privilege to lead Creative New Zealand, supporting artists, arts organisations and the wider arts community to create and deliver beautiful, inspiring and thought-provoking work”, Stephen says.

“After a long time at the helm, it’s now the right moment for me to move on. So many things have changed since I first joined Creative New Zealand, but the commitment of the arts community to its craft is a constant.

“While the challenges ahead are significant, I’m proud of the team – the work we’ve done and the work we’ll continue to do. Ngā mihi nunui ki a tātou katoa.”

Arts Council Chair Caren Rangi says, “It’s difficult to put into words the enormous contribution that Stephen’s made to Creative New Zealand, to the arts in Aotearoa and to the arts community internationally. His leadership and service, over many years and much of it behind the scenes, has steered Creative New Zealand through the hard times and through the good times too.

“I’m grateful too that Stephen has been discussing this decision with me openly for nearly two years. He has given us a significant notice period, to help ensure a smooth transition to a new Chief Executive.”

The recruitment process for the Chief Executive role will commence shortly, supported by an external recruitment firm. As the governing board of Creative New Zealand, the Arts Council will appoint the new Chief Executive. This is expected to be in the second quarter of 2024.

Māku te ra e tō ona; kei a koe te urunga ake o te rā
Let mine be the setting sun; yours is the new day


Dinah Vincent
Communications Manager
Email: dinah.vincent@creativenz.govt.nz
Mobile: +64 27 4635 835