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Creative Spaces – impact of cultural recovery funding

The Creative Spaces initiative was designed to increase participation in creative activities for people experiencing barriers to participation and create employment for creative professionals. This report assesses the impact of the $18 million investment in 54 creative spaces through the Creative Arts Recovery and Employment Fund. Also available to download as a PDF.

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This report assesses the impact of the $18 million investment in 54 creative spaces through the Creative Arts Recovery and Employment Fund (CARE), specifically its impact on:

  • sector resilience and sustainability
  • employment in the sector
  • access and participation
  • skill development in the sector.

It expands on the findings of the COVID-19 Cultural Recovery Programme Impact Report 2021/22. This document reported on outcomes in relation to economic recovery, better access and participation, and innovative sectors across a number of programmes, including creative spaces, between July 2021 and June 2022. 


What are Creative Spaces?

Creative spaces provide access to art-making activities and creative expression for people who face barriers to accessing creative opportunities. Activities offered by creative spaces include visual arts, Toi Māori, performing arts, music, film, and creative writing. These spaces serve people with intellectual or physical disabilities, neurodiversity, poor mental health, age related vulnerability, or experience of cultural or social isolation. 

Manatū Taonga investment

The CARE Fund included a proposal to invest $18 million in the network of creative spaces. The purpose was to fund the creation of new jobs, a more stable and skilled work force, and broader access and reach, with a strong focus on reaching Māori and Pacific communities. This recognised that the sector was particularly vulnerable to the impacts of COVID-19 due to the vulnerability of its participant base and workforce, and its reliance on unstable funding streams.

The investment in creative spaces aligned with the overarching outcomes of the CARE Fund, which were to increase access to and participation in the cultural sector, and to create employment and skill development opportunities.

Investment in creative spaces also closely aligns to the Manatū Taonga strategic intentions 2021-2040 (Te Rautaki). It particularly aligns with the commitments to ensure:

  • People can access and are participating in cultural activities and experiences
  • Cultural activity is valued, supported and nurtured
  • The cultural system is resilient and sustainable.

A creative space could receive multi-year funding of up to $150,000 per year, up to a maximum of $450,000 over three years. There were 54 spaces across New Zealand that received funding. The majority (38) were based in Auckland, Wellington, and Canterbury, however there was also widespread regional representation (Figure 1).

Figure 1: Geographical representation of funded creative spaces

Map showing distribution of funded creative spaces

Figure 1 description

Figure 1 displays the geographical representation of the 54 creative spaces that received funding. Of the funded spaces, the majority were based in Auckland (21), Wellington (9) and Canterbury (8). Waikato and Manawatū-Whanganui each had four creative spaces that received funding. Nelson and Otago had two. Northland, Hawke’s Bay, Marlborough and the West Coast each had one. Bay of Plenty, Gisborne, Taranaki, Tasman and Southland had zero.  Note: Some creative spaces deliver their programmes across regional council areas. The spaces’ locations are based on the primary location of the creative space.

Funding was distributed in two rounds, with 18 spaces receiving funding through the first round (July 2021–June 2024) and 36 in the second round (January 2022–December 2024). A full list of recipients is provided in Appendix 1.

Role of Arts Access Aotearoa

Arts Access Aotearoa was identified as a key partner to support Manatū Taonga to deliver on the goals for its investment in creative spaces. It was chosen because of its knowledge of the spaces and well-established relationships with organisations in the sector.

Arts Access Aotearoa was contracted by Manatū Taonga in late 2020 to support creative spaces to apply for funding, manage the performance of those that did receive funding for the duration of their agreements, and to assist with sourcing other longer-term funding to help build a sustainable future for the creative spaces sector. Arts Access Aotearoa was provided $891,442 in late 2021 to design and deliver a training and development programme alongside their monitoring role by 31 January 2025. 


Over the reporting period (July 2021–December 2022), a number of external events have impacted creative spaces’ ability to deliver on the intended outcomes. National and regional lockdowns through 2021 prevented creative spaces from delivering any in-person programmes. The impact of these lockdowns was felt strongest by creative spaces in the Auckland and Waikato regions, which were in varying stages of lockdown for four months.

Many creative spaces also struggled when the Government moved from the COVID-19 Alert Level System to the COVID-19 Protection Framework (traffic lights). As creative spaces cater predominantly for people who are reliant on the health system and are immunocompromised, standard protection measures (e.g. masks and capacity limits) were often not enough to alleviate hesitancy from participants and their carers to attend the spaces’ activities. This meant many spaces were operating well below capacity for an extended period. This impact was further exacerbated by many spaces being classified as ‘Health and Disability’ social service providers under the COVID-19 Protection Framework, so they could not insist on the Vaccine Pass for people accessing their services, which sometimes led to hesitancy from participants to return.

COVID-19 did not just impact creative spaces’ participant bases. Programme delivery was impacted by staff catching the virus, and cases of long-COVID among key personnel negatively impacted some spaces’ ability to provide programmes on a longer-term basis.

The ability for some spaces to operate effectively during 2021 and 2022 was also affected by local states of emergency due to flooding in the West Coast, Gisborne, Canterbury, Nelson, Tasman, and Marlborough regions.


To assess the impact of Manatū Taonga investment on creative spaces, reporting data relating to employment, skill development, participation and programme delivery has been analysed. This report compares baseline data, taken at the start of the reporting period, with reporting results at 12 months in June 2022 and 18 months in December 2022. This data includes changes in the number and type of paid staff, the number of programmes and their participants, and geographical reach. This data is supplemented by intelligence from relationship meetings between the creative spaces and Arts Access Aotearoa, and case studies that spaces provided over the reporting period.

Sector resilience

Many creative spaces have reported that the impact of COVID-19 and other external challenges in 2021/22 may have shut their doors permanently were it not for Manatū Taonga funding. Challenges included a disrupted job market with difficulties in recruiting suitability skilled personnel and retaining staff, a discontinuation or reduction in alternative funding sources, and heavily disrupted programming and delivery.

'The funding has been instrumental in providing sustainability to our work' - Te Kāhui

Analysis by Arts Access Aotearoa showed that 19 of the 54 funded spaces were particularly financially vulnerable during this period because of their small size and lack of multi-year funding. For 14 of these spaces, Manatū Taonga funding was a vital source of revenue through the pandemic, representing over 50% of total funding over the reporting period.

Some creative spaces have also used their funding to enhance their long-term financial sustainability. For example, Creative Collaborative developed an entrepreneurial initiative (now funded by the Regeneration Fund) to make monthly art boxes and the profits from these sales will fund the future of the creative space. Toi Ōtautahi Creative Space enhanced its financial sustainability by using the funding to leverage its networks and media, and has been sourcing other revenue via crowd funding.

In addition to ensuring the ongoing viability of a number of creative spaces, funding stability has also enabled spaces to:

  • strengthen their processes and policies to build longevity, with time to focus on the infrastructure behind programmes and develop resources and templates to support growth
  • come together in regional and national hui that Arts Access Aotearoa has facilitated, which in turn has increased their support of one another
  • undertake planning, training and development for both staff and volunteers
  • increase organisational and administrative capacity and capability
  • explore how they could better leverage and diversify their funding streams[1].

'MCH funding has allowed us to create a role within our organisation for someone to focus on community outreach and administrative tasks so we can solidify our processes and a strong foundation for growth, while still maintaining meaningful engagement and outcomes with our artists [participants].' - Artsenta

Employment outcomes

The majority of creative spaces staff work part-time, and the sector is heavily reliant on volunteers to deliver its services. Manatū Taonga funding sought to create new roles in the sector and more stable employment through increased hours for part-time and casual staff. It also sought to provide pathways for volunteers to become paid members of staff, and to increase the number of Māori and Pacific staff employed in the creative spaces.

It was estimated through joint Manatū Taonga/Arts Access Aotearoa analysis that the investment would create an additional 100 art tutor outreach roles and fund 50 existing part-time staff to increase their hours and their incomes.

Increase in the number of paid staff

The number of paid staff working across the 54 creative spaces increased from 451 to 651 during the reporting period (Figure 2). Paid staff weekly hours increased from 7,495 to 10,170. This equated to an average of 1.24 additional new FTEs per organisation.

Figure 2: Increase in employment for individuals during the first 18 months of funding

Measure >Baseline 12 months 18 months
Total current paid staff individuals 451 576 651
Paid staff individuals that used to be volunteers 85 75 90
Paid staff individuals that used to be participants 83 84 100

Figure 2 description

Figure 2 displays the increase in employment across the 18 month reporting period for creative spaces funding. It compares 2021 baseline figures to 18 month reporting figures.  The total number of individual paid staff increased from 451 to 651, the number of individual paid staff that used to be volunteers increased from 85 to 90, and the number of individual paid staff that used to be participants increased from 83 to 100.

'Being able to support our staff with additional hours through the MCH funding has been a success. Generally happy staff – they feel so good that they haven’t got seven jobs. They feel well supported now – they have the mental capacity and space now to focus here on their role. And it really shows here – their output, their own mana.' - Arts for Health

The increased staff hours enabled by the funding were largely used to support project work for creative spaces. Other common applications of the additional hours were networking and collaboration, planning and strategy, and increasing the number of programmes available.

Across the reporting period, there were also increases in the number of paid staff that used to be volunteers of a space, and paid staff that used to be participants. For example, Creative Sounds Society Inc. employed a Community Outreach Coordinator who started off as a musician who rehearsed at the venue. They later became a volunteer, joined the management committee as a youth member, became secretary for the society and then accepted employment in the outreach role. Another employment example is Home Ground, which has employed one of their participants as a Creative Advisor as she works towards a Bachelor of Arts at Massey University.

Increase in Māori and Pacific paid staff

The overall number of Māori and Pacific paid staff also increased across the reporting period.  Māori paid staff increased from 87 to 136, and Pacific paid staff increased from 39 to 60 (Figure 3). For some spaces, (Pablos Art Studios) having Māori staff take the lead in their studio led to an increase in Māori participating in programmes and toi Māori being produced by participants.

Figure 3: Number of Creative Space paid staff by ethnicity

Bar graph of number of paid staff by ethnic group

Figure 3 description

Figure 3 displays the number of creative spaces paid staff by ethnicity. It compares 2021 baseline figures to 18 month reporting figures.  All ethnicity groups reported against experienced an increase in staff:

  • Pākeha paid staff increased from 258 to 354
  • Māori paid staff increased from 87 to 136
  • Pacific paid staff increased from 39 to 60

Other paid staff increased from 74 to 116

Note: The data reflects that staff can identify as multiple ethnicities.

Types of paid roles

A key aim of the funding was to improve outreach of creative spaces. This involves providing more arts programmes and arts tutors to run them, which is reflected in the final data collection period where art tutors were the predominant role (53%) (Figure 4). This was followed by managers/administration (21%) and other roles, such as social workers, theatre directors, technicians, designers, marketing, cleaners, writers and educator coordinators (21%). Art therapists accounted for 4% of the paid roles.

Figure 4: Types of paid roles the funding supported

Bar graph of types of paid roles

Figure 4 description

Figure 4 displays the number of paid staff by their role type, noting that some individuals will be represented twice where an individual is contributing to multiple part-time roles within an organisation. 409 paid staff were Art Tutors, 32 were Art Therapists, 161 were Managers or Administrators, and 166 were Other. 

The most consistently identified benefit of these new roles was that they allowed spaces to expand delivery to their participant base, either through an increased number of programmes or through additional programme hours. The funding also opened up staff capacity for more strategic work, such as organisational planning and networking, which led to improved programme delivery.

Employment outcomes for participants

A further employment benefit of the funding was how it enabled creative spaces participants to generate income from their work. Creative spaces could more actively support and promote the work of their participants, including through exhibitions and performances of their participants’ works.

One of the most successful examples of this was Kāpiti Arts Studio. The studio supported one of its participants to create an artistic product that would sell, and to develop a viable business plan to market the product. The space also helped the participant connect with businesses in the local community and find sources for sales. The participant has now developed a successful business selling a range of earrings inspired by the feathers of native birds and made from recycled bicycle tyres.  She was awarded third place in the 2023 IHC Art Awards and her work can be found in shops and galleries across the Kāpiti Coast.

'I feel like I'm a whole different person than I was before. I'm loving making people's lives different and my own different,' - Participant of Kāpiti Art Studio

Summary of employment outcomes

In summary, Manatū Taonga funding for creative spaces:

  • provided more sustainable, stable employment across the sector
  • provided employment opportunities for local artists as participants or staff
  • increased the ability of spaces to retain high-quality staff (during this reporting period, staff turnover reduced from 14% to 9%)
  • provided an employment pathway into the creative sector for volunteers and participants, and an opportunity for many to secure paid work in the sector.

'Our participant has expanded her expertise by acquiring further experience, new knowledge, purposeful learning, skills in teamwork, communication, and the arts her employment options have increased. Their journey with Fareham Creative Space has created a clear return to work path for them in a sector they are passionate about, with potential for further growth.' - Fareham Creative Space

Access and participation outcomes

Investment in creative spaces was intended to enhance access to and participation in the cultural sector for groups experiencing barriers to participation, particularly underserved communities[2]. Data on outreach, access, participation, and programmes delivered help to understand the extent to which this outcome has been achieved.  

Improving outreach and access

Creative spaces used their funding to further enhance outreach and increase access both geographically and demographically.

Geographic expansion

75% of the funded creative spaces aimed to use the funding to expand their programmes into new regions.  Within 18 months, 53% of spaces had expanded to varying extents. Appendix 1 shows the locations these spaces expanded to. Drivers of geographic expansion included expanding to lower socio-economic communities, targeting isolated or at-risk individuals, using existing relationships to leverage expansion, addressing transport or distance as barriers to participation, and to meet the spaces’ strategic expansion goals.

'The Creative Space funding allowed [us] to expand our number of wellbeing programmes delivered across Marlborough comprising of both artistic and music therapy into new and existing schools to support young people with needs. We are building relationships with schools and pre-schools that have higher ethnicity in Māori and Pacific people to support those in our community most in need.' - Creative Kids Trust

'Creative Spaces funding enabled The Raukatauri Music Therapy Trust to open our Bay of Plenty Regional Centre' - The Raukatauri Music Therapy Trust

Some creative spaces added online delivery to expand geographically during COVID-19 restrictions, which strengthened their national presence, increased collaboration across the motu and provided greater flexibility for participants. For example, funding allowed Home Ground to hire a facilitator to develop an online classroom for engaging new participants nationwide and adapt its programme during COVID-19. While online delivery has its benefits, many spaces noted that participants were often more engaged in-person, and this was also preferred for building trust and connection with participants.

Demographic expansion

Funding supported creative spaces to expand their reach to new population groups, including the rainbow community, people with dementia, people experiencing homelessness, Māori and Pacific communities, the Muslim community and other ethnic minority communities, and people experiencing blindness.

'We're more explicitly targeting Māori, Pacific, Muslim, and Rainbow communities and have systems to prioritise referrals. We are reaching more people, [particularly] people with high needs and no access to creativity elsewhere. We have opened up the world of creativity for Muslim women, and also provided opportunities for their families and children to be creative.'  - Ōtautahi Creative Spaces

'The funding has enabled us to expand what we do into other sectors of the community. To bring into a performance environment to adults who may never have had the opportunity … We have created three new community groups: Introductory Group for adults with learning/intellectual disabilities, Blind/Low Vision group and a Physical Disability group.' - Many Hats

Building or strengthening relationships with local Māori and Pacific organisations and community groups helped creative spaces to reach these communities.

'We first made connection with a local group – I AM Māngere – who proved to be invaluable in opening up cultural and community opportunities for us. We had struggled for a number of years to grow our programmes in the South Auckland area with very little success. This small group of local Māori and Pacific women were instrumental in our being able to connect with the poor and marginalised community in the area.' - Māpura Studios

Increasing participation in Creative Spaces programmes

As a result of additional staff, operating hours and outreach activities enabled by the funding, a key outcome for almost all spaces (42 out of 54) was an increase in participation[3]. Notably, participation among Māori and Pacific Peoples increased by 27% and 34% respectively (Figure 5).

Figure 5: Number of participants in creative spaces programmes by ethnicity

Bar graph of types of programmes by ethnicity

Figure 5 description

Figure 5 displays the number of participants in creative spaces programmes by ethnicity. It compares 2021 baseline figures to 18 month reporting figures.  All ethnicity groups reported against experienced an increase in participation:

  • Pākeha participants increased from 7555 to 9930
  • Māori participants increased from 4942 to 6772
  • Pacific participants increased from 2198 to 3306
  • Other participants increased from 3154 to 3589

'We are reaching double the participants each month with that figure growing every month. Being able to remove the barrier of cost has had a huge impact on the uptake of our programmes and has allowed us to support charitable trusts working with our target demographics.' - Connect the Dots

While the easing of COVID-19 restrictions supported programme delivery and participation for many spaces, others still experienced challenges in getting participation numbers up again due to the Omicron outbreaks in 2022 and hesitancy to return to in-person classes. Focussing on maintaining participation, rather than growing it, was the priority and more important outcome for some spaces.

Programme delivery

Funding for creative spaces also contributed to positive outcomes for the number of programmes that could be delivered. Compared to 2021 baseline figures, the number of programmes had increased by 87% at 18 months (Figure 6). 

Figure 6: Number of creative space programmes delivered across the reporting period

Bar graph of types of paid roles

Figure 6 description

Figure 6 displays the number of creative space programmes delivered across the 18 month reporting period. Compared to 2021 baseline figures, 764 programmes were delivered after 12 months of funding, and this increased to 1,255 after 18 months of funding.

'We now offer a broader suite of programmes with a focus on performing arts, more opportunities for our local people to exhibit art, toi Māori and art therapy' - Te Whare Toi o Ngaaruawaahia Inc.

Across all spaces, 764 programmes were delivered per week between January and June 2022 (six months). This increased to 1255 per week for the following six-month period (July to December 2022). COVID-19 restrictions eased significantly over this period, which would have helped to increase programme delivery and participation for some spaces. Investment in staff is another driver of this positive outcome as it enabled longer operating hours and enough resources to deliver a greater number of programmes.

Summary of access and participation outcomes

Overall, Manatū Taonga funding for creative spaces contributed to positive outcomes for access and participation. The most notable outcomes include:

  • A greater number and variety of arts programmes available
  • Creative spaces had enough capacity to engage with new geographical and demographic groups—this provided more opportunities for previously hard to reach groups to participate in creative spaces programmes
  • Funding for new staff and additional hours for existing staff contributed to achieving previously identified outreach objectives, with some spaces hiring long planned Outreach Coordinator roles with the funding
  • A significant increase in the number of participants in creative space programmes.

Skill development outcomes

Types of professional development offered to creative spaces

The ability of creative spaces to offer professional development to staff has traditionally been limited by a lack of funding and stretched staffing resources which make it difficult to deliver professional development without compromising programme delivery.

'The usual barriers to professional development are allocation of time and training costs. There are good training opportunities available. However, time away from work to attend these puts pressure on our organisation and affects our capacity to provide our regular services.' - Creative Spaces funding recipient

Manatū Taonga funding for creative spaces sought to grow a more skilled workforce and enhance the professionalism of the sector, for example through improved financial literacy and stronger governance. Of the $18 million for creative spaces, $891,442 was ringfenced to provide a training and development programme for the spaces through Arts Access Aotearoa. Generally, the additional staffing and financial stability provided by the funding helped spaces to fund increased training and development.

The Arts Access Aotearoa Training and Development programme included training in leadership and management, governance, financial literacy, sustainable funding and networking. Fifteen spaces with the highest need received immediate training, with training rolled out to a further 12 over the reporting period. Some examples of the success of this training include Fareham Creative space, which after undergoing governance training, refined its governance and management policies and procedures, and now has a much clearer understanding of the role of those on the board compared to those managing the space. Another example of success was Connect the Dots, which through professional development training was supported to build deeper strategic relationships with its primary funder Ryman Healthcare and as a result, is being funded by Ryman to increase its capacity across the motu.

In addition, a conference was held in November 2022, which provided an opportunity for spaces to network and share best practice. Regional hui[4] were held to allow creative spaces to meet for peer support and share knowledge and make connections. In addition to this programme, creative spaces provided their own professional development to support staff.

Greater staffing within spaces also brought a greater range of art mediums and experience into the spaces, increasing the variety of skills and techniques that participants could learn. Artists were supported to share techniques and styles and work much more collaboratively.

'Artists are getting to the point where they are practicing artists in their own right – staff at Arts for Health did not see this prior to the MCH funding being implemented.' – Arts for Health

'The quality of work is increasing (there is a higher level of technical skill, care, and thinking behind individual and collective art works).' - Arts for Health

Summary of skill development outcomes

Key outcomes of this investment in skill development for the sector were:

  • greater professional skills for staff (for example, a number of existing staff have increased their leadership and strategic planning capabilities)
  • more participants developing the skills to take on paid roles within the organisation 
  • an increase in the technical skill and quality of work (there were a number of examples of participants developing their skills to a point where they were able to practice as an artist and make a living from their work)
  • greater board diversity, in terms of skills, demographics and improvements in strategic leadership
  • improved financial reporting
  • new policies and procedures to enhance organisational stability and develop sustainable funding models
  • an increase in Te Reo capability through hosting workshops with the support of cultural advisors and Māori artists.

There are also plans for creative spaces to deliver comprehensive cultural competency training over the next 12 months. When visiting each region, Arts Access Aotearoa collected stories and evidence of where spaces felt they were at in their cultural competency journey, which will inform this training.

Despite the funding, the creative spaces sector has still faced some ongoing challenges. The availability of relevant courses in the right location has been an issue with spaces in rural areas finding it particularly difficult to access and undertake professional development training. Other ongoing barriers are staff availability, particularly the need to find cover for staff attending training and the cost of some training.

Outcomes for Māori and Pacific Peoples

Many creative spaces used their Manatū Taonga funding to build or strengthen their relationships with local Māori and Pacific organisations and community groups. This included hiring Māori or Pacific staff for both general and outreach roles and making changes to the location of programmes to remove barriers such as transport and the associated financial costs. Many spaces are also addressing financial barriers to participation by offering programmes at low or no cost.

'We work to remove barriers to participation so it is easy for all rangatahi to access our programmes. In particular, we address: the problems of logistics by offering classes in local communities (e.g. rangatahi and their whanau no longer need to travel across the congested city to attend classes) financial barriers to participation by offering classes in local communities (i.e. many families cannot afford the petrol required to get drive across a congested city) and financial barriers to participation by offering classes at very low cost (and often no cost at all)' - Glass Ceiling Arts Collective

Creative spaces have also actively built Te Reo capability through hosting workshops with the support of cultural advisors and Māori artists. Many spaces have adopted tikanga such as karakia to open and close the sessions, incorporated waiata into programmes to further encourage Te Reo use, and educated staff and participants on Te Tiriti o Waitangi and how its principles can be maintained when delivering programmes.

More specific examples include:

  • Ngā Rangatahi Toa, which works closely with whānau, schools and social services to loop rangatahi into creative programmes that explore their identity and provide them with a sense of purpose.
  • Magenta, which introduced its services to a Māori primary health provider and Māori mental health assessment team, and is currently building relationships with these agencies to support its participants
  • Ōtautahi Creative Space, which created a Māori Liaison role, and appointed a new Māori board member, helping them to forge relationships with local Māori communities and increasing the cultural competency of the creative space
  • Māpura, which expanded into South Auckland to engage with more Māori and Pacific participants. Local community connections and networks have been forged, as well as a continuous refinement of teaching approach to adapt to the needs of the communities in Māngere.
  • Creative Kids Trust, which is building relationships with schools and pre-schools that have high populations of Māori and Pacific, so support is readily available for communities most in need.

Alongside these success stories, a few spaces have struggled to connect with Māori and Pacific communities due to challenges with recruiting Māori and Pacific staff.


Evidence of the impact of the $18 million Manatū Taonga investment indicates that the funding allowed the creative spaces sector to weather the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and in some cases prevent spaces from having to close their doors permanently. However, the funding did more than just this. For the first time, many staff were not relying on additional jobs for income due to their role at the creative spaces alone not being sufficient. Staff also had more time and resources to develop new, or enhance existing, programmes, providing better support to participants.

The reach of the sector also increased through new programmes and locations for delivery, including an increase in Māori and Pacific participants. While the overall success of this was tempered by the disruption of COVID-19 restrictions, the funding has significantly enhanced the impact of the sector and benefits for its participant base. It has also helped upskill and better connect creative spaces with one another, offering them ongoing opportunities to share knowledge and best practice and provide support.

The majority of Manatū Taonga Creative Spaces funding ends in December 2024, with a small amount of funding for professional development and sector support from Arts Access Aotearoa continuing until January 2025.

The ending of this funding likely to put pressure on the delivery of programmes and the broader sustainability of the sector. While there are already examples of spaces diversifying their funding streams to prepare for a future without this cultural recovery funding, some spaces have already expressed concerns about their ability to sustain the outcomes achieved over the funding period once their agreements end.

Between now and then, Manatū Taonga and Arts Access Aotearoa will work with creative spaces to help them broker conversations with other Crown funding providers, and source alternative funding outside the Crown, such as corporate or other philanthropic funding.

This will allow Manatū Taonga to continue to deliver on its Te Rautaki commitments to support New Zealanders to access and participate in cultural activities and experiences, and help ensure this very important part of the cultural system is resilient and sustainable.

Appendix 1: Creative Spaces funding recipents

The list of 54 creative spaces that received funding from Manatū Taonga includes the amount of funding each space received over three years, the region they are based in, and the locations they expanded to, if any, using the funding. A total of $17,108,558 was approved over three years across the 54 creative spaces.

Creative Spaces initiative funding recipients


[1] The remaining sections of this report include a number of examples of these resilience and sustainability outcomes.

[2] Underserved communities were defined as Māori and Pacific peoples and communities who face specific barriers to access and participate in the cultural sector, including people with mental and physical disabilities, people in poverty, those who are socially isolated and those in the criminal justice system.

[3] Participation data is recorded differently across all creative spaces and activities. Some record numbers attending exhibitions and performances, and others record attendees for intensive workshops. The participation data collated in this report includes all figures noted by each creative space.

[4] Hui were held in Nelson, Christchurch, Dunedin, Wellington, Auckland, Whanganui, Palmerston North, and Hamilton and were attended by managers, art tutors and art representatives.

Updated on 25th September 2023