I’m currently looking at what the arts working group for the arts community in Auckland has come up with in response to the new “super city” legislation.

Why? Because of the following quote from the group on The Big Idea. I think this is a good concise description of how local government and the arts community interact:

The arts community is greatly affected by any changes to local government. Arts are classified under ‘well-beings’, along with sports, social, environment and heritage. Councils are charged with administering arts-related funding, as well as employing arts coordinators for their areas. They give partial or full operational funding to arts centres and organisations; run initiatives such as Creative Communities Scheme; provide resources such as community facilities, halls, parks, etc which are used by the arts sector, often at very accessible rates. Councils also conduct important research into arts economy, employ consultants and project staff, and create events, commissions and opportunities for the arts. Therefore councils are a vital part of any regional arts infrastructure.”

The 3rd Bill is still open for submissions on how a single council will work for the greater Auckland city area. The working group’s conclusions are available at the Creative People’s Centre for individuals and groups wanting to add their voice (due Friday, 12 February)

The working group suggests a Regional Arts Strategy to help ensure the arts are continued to be encouraged in local communities. There are also concerns that relationships with the new council and local community boards are not well enough defined for arts organisations, and it’s hard to say who will be considered regional or local in their reach.

If you are part of a community art organisation you may want to consider how your work would be affected by the change in local government and maybe stick your hand up for continued arts support.

If you’ve never made a submission before it’s very satisfying! It can be fun to think of it as getting up on your very own soap box for a little while, and the people who decide how things will work have to consider your opinion if you send it in.

Notes:

The Big Idea is an online community for the arts in New Zealand and has been going strong since 2002. You can post to it and upload CV’s and portfolio information, as well as find out what’s going on in the many arts and design sectors.

The Creative People’s Centre is new to me, it appears to have a lot resources for people in the arts industry. Worth checking out.

Written submissions can be made online at www.parliament.govt.nz or can be freeposted to the Clerk of the Committee, Auckland Governance Legislation Select Committee, Select Committee Office, Freepost Parliament, Wellington. If you are posting your submission, you’ll need to send two copies.

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