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Creative NZ Releases Remuneration Policy for Artists and Art Practitioners

image Marcus Spiske. Courtesy Creative NZ

Creative New Zealand today released its first Remuneration Policy for Artists and Arts Practitioners, following extensive sector consultation, as it works to advance more sustainable creative careers.

The remuneration policy, endorsed by the Arts Council, states Creative New Zealand’s commitment to supporting and promoting the rights of artists and arts practitioners to fair remuneration for their work, recognising the value of the arts, creative and cultural practice to the social, cultural, economic, and environmental wellbeing of Aotearoa New Zealand.

Creative New Zealand Chief Executive Stephen Wainwright says, “We intend that this Remuneration Policy for Artists and Arts Practitioners will be a catalyst for change – so that we can look forward to a future in which our artists are recognised and celebrated for the contribution they make to the wellbeing of all New Zealanders and that the arts can be a viable career option.”

“The impact of COVID-19 on the arts sector is significant and is being felt keenly by our artists and practitioners. It has also highlighted issues of sector resilience, sustainability and the lack of viable arts sector careers.”

The policy sets out principles and practice guidelines that can be used by artists and practitioners, arts organisations and those engaging artists.

The intent of the policy is to make arts sector careers more sustainable by:

  • modelling good practice for the engagement of artists and arts practitioners
  • setting expectations of the individuals, groups, collectives, and organisations that Creative New Zealand funds
  • supporting advocacy for fair payment for all aspects of employment in the sector by central and local government and the private sector
  • supporting collaboration with other agencies on initiatives that contribute to the building of sustainable careers.

The policy builds on earlier research into the working lives of creative professionals undertaken in conjunction with NZ On Air in 2018, and work through 2019 to develop a set of sustainable careers principles. The policy has been informed by extensive consultation with the arts sector, Māori and Pasifika practitioners, unions and representative bodies as well as interest groups representing diverse communities.

“This is our stake in the ground as we continue to work with the sector, central and local government, and other funders to advance more sustainable careers for artists and arts practitioners.”

The challenges of maintaining a sustainable career in the arts and creative sector include low rates of pay, a lack of job continuity, limited ‘safety nets’ and the thin margins many arts organisations operate on, and therefore a lack of resilience in response to shocks across New Zealand’s arts ecosystem.

“Current practices are long entrenched, and it will take time to shift these. It will also require the collective efforts of the sector, funders and those that engage artists.”

Creative New Zealand will implement the policy in stages, recognising that the sector is under significant stress due to COVID-19, with limited ability to implement significant change.

The organisation will also develop an advocacy plan, to encourage uptake of the policy by others and consider what needs to be done to increase recognition of the value of creative work to New Zealand and New Zealanders.

As a first step in helping artists and arts practitioners develop the business skills needed to support a creative career, Creative New Zealand will offer a new funding programme. The Building Business Capability for Individual Practitioners Fund opens for applications on 28 March, with more information available now on Creative New Zealand’s website.

Read more here.

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