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Review to improve arts philanthropy

Ministers’ release: 30 September 2009

A taskforce consisting of several of New Zealand's most high-profile supporters of the arts will investigate ways to improve levels of philanthropic giving in New Zealand, Minister of Arts Culture and Heritage Chris Finlayson announced today.

"This government promised to turbo-charge community and not-for-profit groups at the last election," Mr Finlayson said. "This taskforce will be given the freedom to look at how government and institutions can encourage charitable giving by individuals."

The chair is Peter Biggs, former chair of Creative New Zealand. The other members are Margaret Belich, Carolyn Henwood, James S Hill, Dame Jenny Gibbs, and Dayle Mace.

"This government strongly supports the arts," Mr Finlayson said, "increasing Budget funding for cultural organisations by $10.2 million over the next four years to mitigate the effects of the economic downturn on vulnerable institutions."

"The Cultural Philanthropy Taskforce is interested in finding out how to increase charitable giving by private individuals to arts and cultural institutions over and above - not instead of - government funding."

"The culture of private giving which adds so much to the resources of many overseas institutions is much less well entrenched here," Mr Finlayson said. "I have gathered together some of our most well known and dedicated supporters of the arts to work on ways in which government can help institutions, and that they can help themselves." 

The taskforce has a wide-ranging brief to examine how to increase charitable giving from private individuals - it is not focused on business partnerships or sponsorships, although these are also an important part of the funding mix, Mr Finlayson said. 

It would be looking at a wide range of areas from best practice in examples of philanthropic giving overseas, to ways to publicise existing tax incentives to benefit the cultural sector. 

Mr Finlayson said there were a range of initiatives underway relating to philanthropic support for the arts.

The Ministry for Culture and Heritage has a major survey called Charitable Giving and Sponsorship due to be released in October. Its findings will help inform the taskforce.

The taskforce held its first meeting in Auckland last Friday.

Members of philanthropy taskforce

Peter Biggs (Chair)

Peter Biggs is the Managing Director of Clemenger BBDO in Melbourne. He is a member of the Board of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Chunky Move Dance Company and the Centre for Books, Writing and Ideas. He also chairs the New Zealand Victoria Business Group.

Margaret Belich

Margaret Belich is a fundraiser favouring cultural enterprise, with nearly 30 years experience in the not-for-profit and public sectors. Margaret has raised funds for Indian Ink Theatre Company, the New Theatre Initiative/Q Theatre and the University of Auckland.

Carolyn Henwood

Carolyn Henwood has been a lawyer and a District Court Judge. She has recently retired from the bench to establish her own business. Carolyn helped establish, and is now a trustee, of the Theatre Artists Charitable Trust and liaises closely with the sponsors. She is a member of the Toi Whakaari NZ Drama School board. She was awarded a CNZM in 2002 for services to theatre and youth justice.

James S Hill

Jim Hill is the Director (Advancement) of External Relations at the University of Auckland. He has wide-ranging experience of fundraising through private philanthropy.

Dame Jenny Gibbs

Dame Jenny Gibbs' work has included helping to buy and redevelop the derelict telephone exchange now leased as the New Gallery, an adjunct to the Auckland Art Gallery; establishing the biennial $50,000 Walters Prize for contemporary art; supporting an internship at Artspace Gallery; and substantial patronage of the Auckland Writers and Readers Festival, the Opera NZ Foundation and the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra.

She is a board member of the Sea+City Projects and has served on the University of Auckland Council for 24 years.  She continues to work for the University Foundation and the Liggins Institute; and she is on the governing board and art purchasing committee of the university's Gus Fisher Gallery.

This year she was awarded the DNZM for her services to the arts.

Dayle Mace

Dayle Mace has a long history involvement in arts in Auckland, including time as chair of the Patrons of the Auckland Art Gallery. She is a noted philanthropist, donating several top prizes in the Walter's Prize. She is the Head of Patrons for New Zealand at the Venice Biennale and was recently awarded the MNZM for her services to the arts and the community.


Updated on 7th October 2019