Councils across the motu are currently developing their Long-Term Plans for 2024-34.  A Long-Term Plan (LTP) sets out what councils plan to do over a 10-year period, and how that will support community wellbeing. Councils must review their LTP every three years – and part of this process includes asking the community for feedback on their draft plans.

These consultations are an important opportunity for all of us. As LTPs are being developed, we need Mayors and Councillors to hear how important arts, culture, creativity and ngā toi Māori are to you and your community.

Investment in arts and culture is investment in community wellbeing.

Art, culture, and creative activity make our cities more vibrant and safer, attract economic investment, and can help us find innovative solutions to climate challenges, upgrading infrastructure, and place-making. It’s vital infrastructure for strong, prosperous, connected, and healthy communities. Like other community infrastructure, it needs support.

“Local government is an important partner in our work to ensure all New Zealanders can benefit from the value of art, culture, creativity and ngā toi Māori,” says Tracey Monastra, Advocacy Manager at Creative New Zealand Toi Aotearoa. “Many councils understand the immense benefits of supporting vibrant and creative communities. We want to make sure they hear from as many people as possible about the value these activities provide at a local level. We’re making submissions and encourage you to do the same.”

Arts, culture and creativity: part of your community’s future—Nga taonga toi: he hapori mauroa shines a light on work councils already do, the far-reaching benefits of investment, and suggests ways that they can work more closely with arts and creative communities.

The guide outlines what to look for in an LTP, why submissions are important and how to make a strong submission.

We’re also working with a network of regional arts organisations in supporting Arts Action Now – a hub that provides you with all you need to know to get involved in your local long-term plan submission.

Use the hub to see when your local council’s long-term plan consultation opens and closes. There you’ll also find links to submission templates, guides, and any specific resources from your region to support your submission.

To further support the LTP process, we also published guidance for local government – Arts and culture: part of your community’s future —   which details the cultural, social, economic, and environmental benefits of investing in arts, culture and creativity, and ways councils can further support arts and culture through their planning processes.