13 Jun 2024

This content is tagged as Creative NZ .


Kent Gardner
Kent Gardner. (Image supplied)

Kent Gardner has been appointed as Chair of the Arts Council of New Zealand Toi Aotearoa.

Kent has a wide range of governance experience both in the UK and in NZ, in business and in the creative, education and sporting sectors.  He is currently Co-Chair of the Arts Foundation and has a long history of governance and advocacy in the arts sector. In 2012, Kent was named UK New Zealander of the Year, and has been recognised as a Kea World Class New Zealander. 

“My appointment to the Arts Council comes as Creative New Zealand marks its 60th year of encouraging, promoting, and supporting the arts,” Kent says.  

“I’m excited to be joining as Creative New Zealand goes through a period of change, and as a new CEO is to be appointed.” 

“I look forward to contributing to the success of Creative New Zealand in achieving great impact for the arts sector. That means ensuring the arts thrive and can be enjoyed by all New Zealanders, that they reflect the unique diversity and creativity of our nation, and that our arts and culture are shared with the world,” Kent says. 

Council member Hilary Poole has been Acting Chair as Mr Gardner’s appointment was finalised. 

“The Council and staff are delighted to welcome Kent to the Creative New Zealand whānau and are pleased to have him in this key role,” Hilary says.  

“Kent is highly intelligent, has wonderful relationship and listening skills, and is highly respected by those around him.”  

“Kent’s established connections through his work as co-Chair of the Arts Foundation Te Tumu Toi and his proven experience in governance of arts organisations will be a real asset to the Council. I believe he’ll be fantastic chair,” Hilary says. 

Hon Paul Goldsmith, Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, announced the appointment on 13 June, along with that of Carmel Walsh as Chair of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, and former Arts Council member Andrew Caisley as Chair of NZ On Air.