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Creative New Zealand welcomes return of a formal wellbeing focus for local government

Creative New Zealand welcomes return of a formal wellbeing focus for local government
May 19, 2019

New Zealand Government agency Creative NZ has welcomed the return of a formal well-being focus for local government, through the Local Government (Community Wellbeing) Amendment Bill which became law this week.

The new law has seen the four aspects of community well-being - cultural, social, environmental and economic - brought back into the Local Government Act and includes recognition of the importance of arts and culture to communities.

Advising that the well-beings will mean councils have a legislative responsibility to promote the cultural well-being of their communities - and that arts, culture and creative activity have a huge contribution to make to this - David Pannett, Creative NZ's Senior Manager for Advocacy stated "local councils play a really key role in providing opportunities for all New Zealanders to engage with the arts, wherever they live.”

Pannett’s comments reinforced Local Government New Zealand President Dave Cull’s recent statement that “the reinstatement of the four well-beings is formal recognition that councils have a significant role to play in lifting the quality of life of our people, and the health of our environment.”

Pannett added “there is strong alignment between the kaupapa of councils and that of Creative New Zealand. Our new strategic direction for the next 10 years will focus on creating value for New Zealanders through our support for the arts.

“Healthier people, improved education outcomes, greater social cohesion and an increase in job opportunities are all examples of how engaging with the arts improves the lives and well-being of New Zealanders.”

Creative New Zealand’s Creative Communities Scheme (CCS) is delivered in partnership with all 67 territorial authorities around Aotearoa. CCS supports cultural well-being in communities by funding projects that encourage participation, support diversity and enable young people.

To better align CCS with Creative New Zealand’s Investment Strategy Te Ara Whakamua 2018-2023, changes are being made to the funding formula for the scheme.

Creative New Zealand plans to increase its total investment into CCS from approximately $3.4 million to $4 million per annum. Increases will be targeted towards rural and provincial territorial authorities, resulting in more funding for smaller communities outside of the main centres.

Pannett concluded “we look forward to continuing to build our relationship with local government, to enhance the cultural well-being of people and communities across Aotearoa.”

Image: Wellington's CubaDupa 2018 festival. Courtesy of Oliver Crawford.

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31st December 2018 - New Zealand arts, sport and tourism achievers recognised in New Year Honours list

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