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Bill to streamline Creative NZ passes first reading

A bill which will streamline the governance of Creative New Zealand, improving its effectiveness and freeing up resources, passed its first reading in the House last night by a unanimous vote.

The Arts Council of New Zealand Toi Aotearoa Bill addresses the current overly complex structure of Creative New Zealand, which consists of four governing boards with 28 members, and will create a single governance body with 13 members.

The single Arts Council will be responsible for policy, strategy and funding allocation, replacing the current more unwieldy division of responsibilities between the existing Arts Council, the Arts Board, Te Waka Toi and the Pacific Arts Committee.

"The new streamlined governance structure has very clear benefits," Minister Christopher Finlayson said. "The responsibility for policy, strategy direction, and the allocation of funds will be contained within one body for greater efficiency. Fewer resources will be required, and staff will be freed up to focus on artists, arts organisations, and arts development.

The new Council will have a minimum of four members with knowledge of Maori Arts, tea o Maori (a Maori world view) and tikanga Maori (Maori protocol and culture). These members will be appointed by the Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage in consultation with the Minister of Maori Affairs.

At least two members will be appointed with knowledge of Pacific Island people of New Zealand, in consultation with the Minister of Pacific Island Affairs.

 "This bill will guarantee that issues involving Maori and Pacific arts are represented at the top table for decision-making, which under the current cumbersome structure is not necessarily the case," Mr Finlayson said.

The Bill will now be considered by the Government Administration Committee, which will report back to the House by December.

Updated on 23rd July 2015