Good Fortune

Photo by Elena Koycheva
Photo by Clem Onojeghuo
We take a look at the long-awaited results of Creative New Zealand’s latest investment programmes.


What fortune?

Over the past few months, arts organisations around the country were dotting their i’s and crossing their t’s as they polished their applications for Creative New Zealand’s investment programmes. In a sector that is historically under-resourced, these programmes represent about 60% of Creative New Zealand’s investment in the arts sector. Point being, the stakes were incredibly high for all applicants. Finally, the nail-biting period ended as the funding results were publically announced yesterday.

Bittersweet celebrations

A whopping eighty arts organisations have been confirmed in the investment programmes with some organisations receiving a commitment of funding contracts for up to six years. The vast increase in funding for many of these organisations is a welcome change of tone following the dismal report from Creative NZ and NZ On Air earlier this year, addressing low pay in the sector.

Barbarian Productions is one of the 57 organisations that was confirmed in the Toi Uru Kahikatea programme from 2020. Following the good news, Communications and Marketing Manager, Thomas LaHood, told us that “the increased funding will mean a huge amount to the whole Barbarian team. We are grateful for the validation of our work over many years, and for the resources to create work in a more sustainable manner.
We work alongside and collaborate with so many great artists and organisations in this country, many of whom work without adequate resourcing.”

As Thomas points out, the results of this significant portion of Creative New Zealand’s funding is bittersweet. While the investment offers enormous potential for growth and exploration for those confirmed, there is still a huge number of under-resourced arts organisations carrying out important work every day. It’s difficult to pop the champagne when so many members of the community still struggle to survive despite the undeniable impact of their work.

A win for one, a win for all?

While not every arts organisation will receive a six-figure deposit into their bank account come 2020, the total amount of funding has increased significantly and this can only mean good things. In yesterday’s announcement, Creative New Zealand stated that following 2018’s funding decisions, funding will increase 39% for Māori-led organisations and 68% for Pasifika-led organisations. Beyond this, they said that ‘due to the number of high-quality proposals received, we have decided to draw from financial reserves (largely reserves from ‘windfall’ lottery funding) to create an arts investment portfolio fit for the future needs of the arts in New Zealand. This represents an increase of approximately $4.5 million into the arts sector each year over the next 3 years, and indicative funding of 4.5m each year for the three years after that.’ All in all, that is an increase of approximately $27 million over the total duration of the Toi Tōtara Haemata and Toi Uru Kahikatea investment programmes (6 years). This increase in funding shows that the value the arts bring to individuals, communities, and the country as a whole, is finally being recognised. 

In their words, the decisions ‘reflect our Council’s intention to position the Investment portfolio to deliver to Aotearoa’s changing arts sector and population in line with the direction set out in the Investment Strategy – particularly the three features of diversity and reach, dynamic arts and a resilient arts sector – and to reward great performance and solid plans.’

Christchurch’s literary festival WORD is another organisation that has successfully been confirmed as part of the Toi Uru Kahikatea programme. Executive Director, Marianne Hargreaves says, “It’s great to feel the recognition of the hard work and love that we have put into strengthening the festival and the organisation year on year. The level of funding allows us to make plans and continue to explore new concepts knowing that we have resources to be ambitious.” 

For some, these funding results are baby steps. For others, they’ll be taking strides. But the most important thing is that for the arts sector as a whole, it’s moving forward.

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo.

The List

Below are the 23 arts organisations confirmed in Creative New Zealand’s Toi Tōtara Haemata programme from 2020:

  • Arts Access Aotearoa Whakahauhau Katoa O Hanga Charitable Trust

  • Artspace Aotearoa Trust

  • Auckland Festival Trust

  • Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra

  • Auckland Theatre Company Limited

  • Capital E - Live

  • Chamber Music New Zealand Trust

  • Choirs Aotearoa New Zealand Trust

  • Christchurch Symphony Trust

  • Enjoy Public Art Gallery Trust

  • New Zealand Festival

  • NZ Choral Federation Inc

  • Objectspace Trust

  • Playmarket Incorporated

  • SOUNZ Centre for New Zealand Music

  • Taki Rua Productions Society Inc

  • Tautai Contemporary Pacific Arts Trust

  • Te Waka Taki Korero - Māori Literature Trust

  • The Basement Theatre Trust

  • The Black Grace Trust

  • The Performing Arts Network of NZ (PANNZ)

  • The Physics Room Trust

  • Toi Māori Aotearoa

And the 57 New Zealand arts organisations are confirmed in Creative New Zealand’s Toi Uru Kahikatea programme from 2020:

  • Arts Festival Dunedin

  • Arts On Tour NZ

  • Atamira Dance Collective

  • Auckland University Press

  • Auckland Writers and Readers Festival Charitable Trust

  • Barbarian Productions

  • Bats Theatre Limited

  • Blue Oyster Gallery

  • Bridget Williams Books

  • Christchurch Arts Festival

  • Circa Theatre

  • Circuit Artist Film and Video Aotearoa New Zealand

  • Dunedin Public Art Gallery

  • Dunedin Symphony Orchestra

  • Footnote Dance Trust

  • Gecko Press

  • Govett-Brewster Art Gallery

  • Indian Ink Theatre Company Ltd

  • International Institute of Modern Letters

  • Kahurangi NZ Māori Dance Trust

  • Makers 101 Ltd

  • McCahon House Trust

  • Michael King Writers' Studio Trust

  • New Zealand Dance Company

  • New Zealand Dance Festival Trust

  • New Zealand Opera Limited

  • New Zealand Opera School

  • New Zealand Society of Authors (PEN NZ Inc)

  • New Zealand String Quartet Trust

  • NZTrio Foundation

  • Orchestras Central

  • Otago University Press

  • Pacifica Mamas Arts and Cultural Trust (Pacifica Arts Centre)

  • Pacific Islands Dance Fono

  • Palmerston North Theatre Trust

  • Penguin Random House

  • Red Leap Theatre Charitable Trust

  • Sarjeant Gallery Te Whare o Rehua Whanganui

  • SCAPE Public Art

  • Shakespeare Globe Centre NZ Trust

  • Silo Theatre Trust

  • Southern Lakes Arts Festival Trust

  • Storylines Children's Literature Charitable Trust of NZ

  • Tawata Productions

  • Te Pou Theatre

  • Theatre Artists Charitable Trust TACT

  • The Audio Foundation

  • The Big Idea - Te Aria Nui Charitable Trust

  • The Conch Charitable Trust

  • The Court Theatre Trust

  • The Massive Company Trust

  • The NZ Book Council Inc

  • The Pantograph Punch

  • Touch Compass Dance Trust

  • Victoria University Press

  • Wellington Regional Orchestra Foundation Trust

  • WORD Christchurch

Written by

Georgie Bloomfield

9 Aug 2019

Relationships Manager - Georgie Bloomfield

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