Modelling a creative ecology

Creative Coalition has initiated an independent research project, which will use a creative ecology model to produce a living picture of Auckland’s creative sector.


Big changes have gone on in Auckland’s identity over the last few years, and 2013 will see the shape and taste of the fruit that these changes will bear. 

The merging of eight cities into one metropolitan region has prompted the arrival of the Auckland Plan and Mayor Len Brown’s vision to be the ‘most liveable city’, setting a new course for the city and its inhabitants.  

Creative Coalition, an advocacy group and umbrella network for the arts, culture and creative sectors in Auckland, has been working hard over this period to ensure that its sector has had a voice throughout these changes. 

While the group is pleased with the recognition the creative sector received in the Auckland Plan for its contribution to liveability, community wellbeing, and economic development, the proof will be in the strategies that flow from the Plan over the coming year. 

In 2013, Council is set to release a Regional Arts & Culture Strategy (see Auckland Plan Implementation Addendum, Chapter 3, Priority 2, Action 14), the first of its kind in the country. This work presents many opportunities: to unify what is a diverse range of sectors and provide a powerful tool to enable their growth and flourishing. 

To support and inform the work going into this strategy, Creative Coalition has initiated an independent research project, which will use a creative ecology model to produce a living picture of Auckland’s creative sector and its aspirations and challenges.

The research will encourage a high level of engagement across the all levels of Auckland’s creative community and invite their feedback and ideas through a series of public meetings, surveys, and interviews. 

Creative Coalition board member and arts policy researcher, Elise Sterback, will lead the project to completion in time to inform the Regional Strategy in early 2013.

What is a creative ecology?

The use of the word ecology suggests a dynamic system, one where particular attention is given to the relationships and activities of its members, and their relationship to their environment. 

Applying this understanding to the creative sector will identify important interdependencies between its members, for example: between small, amateur producers and large professional institutions; commercial industries and community educators; mentors and students; and so on. 

If I’m not in Auckland, why should I care?

While this model will be specifically applied to Auckland’s creative sector, it could be used by other areas and cities, nationally and internationally, to increase understanding of who makes up their local creative sector and how it operates. 

It appears likely that other areas could follow in Auckland’s amalgamation footsteps, meaning it will be increasingly important that groups with common regional interests, like creative sectors, learn how to articulate who they are and they need in order to best contribute to regional visions and development. 

How do I get involved?

Creative Coalition is currently running a survey to gather data on all who operate in Auckland’s creative sector. If you are a business owner, individual practitioner, or organisation leader in the creative community in Auckland, support this project by taking the survey now >>

Survey closes on January 18th, 2013.

If you are outside Auckland but would like to build connections between Auckland’s creative community and your own, get in contact with Elise Sterback at Creative Coalition and share your story.

Written by

Creative Coalition

20 Dec 2012