REGIONAL STRENGTHS STRATEGY
Regional Strengths is a new strategy building on current ways that Creative New Zealand supports arts in the regions.
In the first year of the three-year strategy, $510,000 will be committed to support partnerships between local
authorities and communities that provide larger, regional arts projects spanning district boundaries: eg touring
projects, arts festivals, hui, wananga and arts marketing initiatives.
Creative New Zealand supports many initiatives and projects in the regions. The primary way it supports arts in
communities is through its Creative Communities Scheme, a partnership with all 74 local authorities in New Zealand. In
1998/1999, the Scheme allocated grants totalling $2.56 million to 2450 local arts projects.
The Regional Strengths pilot schemes will build on the Creative Communities Scheme by expanding access and participation
in the arts across district boundaries.
A 1998 review of the Creative Communities Scheme, plus consultation with communities, revealed a gap in this area.
“Currently, there is a gap in the funding of regional projects … There could be a separate mechanism for regional
funding … Different funding rounds [eg criteria, committees, closing dates] contribute to the difficulties experienced
by local authorities that might otherwise be able to co-operate in funding regional applications or applying to national
In 1999, Creative New Zealand established the Creative Places Award to recognise and celebrate the key role that local
authorities play in the arts. The 2000 Award will be announced at the Local Government New Zealand Conference in
Christchurch in July.
Community and regional arts projects are also supported through Creative New Zealand’s project funding rounds. Recent
examples include the Otago Festival of the Arts and its Fringe Festival, the New Zealand Society of Potters touring
potters’ workshops, singer/songwriter Mahinarangi Tocker’s creative workshops with youth and young Maori, and the Nelson
Wearable Art Awards.
A number of local authorities have signalled their interest in working co-operatively and Creative New Zealand will be
identifying regions that are already working in this way. Several regions will be approached to form the strategy’s
One of the aims of these initial pilots is to establish and implement a framework for Regional Strengths, enhancing
Creative New Zealand’s vital relationship with local government and communities.