If you liked this article share it with your friends. They will thank you later.


No Cuts to Arts, Creativity and Culture Proposed in the Draft Long-Term Plan


Christchurch City Council acknowledges the important role of the arts, creativity and cultural sector in making our city a great place to live and work – one that is essential to wellbeing, to healthy communities and contributes to a strong economy.

As our strategy makes clear, one of our stated four community outcomes for 2024 – 2034 is to ensure Ōtautahi is a ‘a Cultural Powerhouse: where our diverse communities are supported to understand and protect their heritage, pursue their arts, cultural and sporting interests, and contribute to making our city a creative, cultural and events powerhouse.’

Despite challenging fiscal times – times that are not unique to Christchurch – the current draft of the Long-Term Plan or LTP, does not propose to cut funding which supports the arts, creative and cultural sector.

Many arts organisations within Ōtautahi are funded through the Strengthening Communities Fund and this contestable fund will continue to have modest increased funding year on year, should the draft plan be adopted.

City libraries and the Christchurch Art Gallery budgets are proposed to grow incrementally over the next ten years, as will Recreation, Sports, Events and Arts budgets, which are responsible for Council produced events and a range of arts and creativity programmes.

Where there is a proposed shift is in the special events funding that was allocated in the last financial year. That special events funding included a modest fund, which was established to support a number of targeted arts and cultural events. This special fund helped support events such as Dig The Gig, Port Noise and the Little Street Art Festival, but is not proposed to continue beyond this financial year. However, festival organisers can continue to make applications to existing Council funding, if they’re not already doing so.

In recent days, there have been a number of questions raised about Te Matatiki Toi Ora the Arts Centre.

During consultation on the 2021-2031 LTP you may recall a question for citizens in relation to a specific one-off targeted rates increase to help fund the heritage restoration capital programme at Te Matatiki Toi Ora the Arts Centre.

Submitters generally supported this and over the past three years, Council provided a total of $5.5 million to the Arts Centre as a heritage restoration grant.

Council provides ongoing financial support to the Arts Centre via a multi-year grant from the Strengthening Communities Fund of $110,000 per annum that began in the 2023 fiscal year and continues through until the year ending 2026.  The Arts Centre has also received grants from the Events and Festivals and Place Partnership funds.

It is an important time for the arts, creative and cultural sector, and others, amidst the rising cost of living. I encourage you to take a closer look at the LTP, to consider where there might be opportunities for new ways of raising funds and how council might grow investment in the arts, creative and cultural sector over the next decade.

Furthermore, if you support the current proposal and levels of investment proposed over the next ten years, make a submission saying so.

Over the next four years, we will see some major creative infrastructure open to the public and become available for use in the arts, creative and cultural sector; including dance and movement studios at Parakiore, the new theatre soon to be home to the Court, and Te Kaha, a venue for the big events, including concerts and festivals.

As a city we want to ensure the sector is in a great place to activate these new spaces and to continue the great work they do now. We want to ensure that there are ongoing opportunities for artists and communities across the sector and across the city.

Visit https://letstalk.ccc.govt.nz/draft-ltp-2024-2034 to read the draft LTP and to make a submission.


Mā te pohewa mā te auaha hoki, ka whakapuaki ngā kura e huna ana

With imagination and creativity, a hidden jewel can be revealed

Kiri Jarden, Principal Arts Advisor, Christchurch City Council.

To learn more about our work in the arts, creative and cultural sector visit www.toiotautahi.org.nz

Want to know more?

Arts and Cultural Levels of Service Targets found on pages 47-59 of the full draft LTP. This is what council proposes to deliver and how we will measure that delivery.

Yearly operation/capital budgets for the Christchurch Art Gallery, Libraries, Recreation, Sports, Events and Arts can be found from page 64 of the full draft LTP. This includes revenue streams.

See page 15 of the draft LTP Consultation document for Community Outcomes and Strategic Priorities information.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Fill in your details below.