Breakthrough: Creative New Zealand take new stance to support their Venice Biennale exhibition attendants

Francis McWhannell
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After his public appeal to CNZ, Francis McWhannell is happy to share that his effort has -quite literally- paid off.


You may recall the open letter that Francis McWhannell wrote to Creative New Zealand requesting them to consider remuneration for attendants for working at the Biennale. After kicking off quite the wildfire of both encouragement and heated debate on social media, and further outlining his argument in an open letter, Francis also joined host Mark Amery for a discussion with Arts Council chair Michael Moynahan on RNZ’s Standing Room Only.
It looks like Francis’ well argued case has found open ears - he has shared this good news with The Big Idea today. It was a courageous stance, and it is great to hear that Creative New Zealand have listened. Let’s hope that this will mean a step towards fair remuneration across the arts.

"I recently met with representatives of Creative New Zealand to discuss the payment of exhibition attendants at the Biennale Arte in Venice. They stressed their dedication to ensuring that all involved in the Aotearoa projects are adequately supported and agreed that it would be preferable to pay attendants (in addition to covering flights and accommodation).

Creative New Zealand will canvass the issue with the Arts Council as part of the budget-setting process for the next financial year. Any new budget provision by the Council would come into effect in 2021.

I am grateful to Creative New Zealand for meeting with me and for clearly demonstrating a desire to see attendants more adequately compensated for their work. I am excited by the prospect of a greater number and variety of candidates being able to apply for this sought-after position."

Francis McWhannell, 27 Nov 2018

Thank you Francis, and well done!

Written by

The Big Idea Editor

27 Nov 2018

The Big Idea Editor

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