One of the problems in the arts sector for many years has been the waste of resources connected with the governance of Creative New Zealand. The organisation has four boards; The Arts Council which sets policy, The Arts Board which allocates funds, Te Wake Toi or the Maori Arts Board which allocates funding to Maori art forms as well as The Pacific Arts Committee which provides funding for Pacific art forms.
The organisation is hampered in its ability to deliver by the complex board structure and the time wasting associated with servicing the boards
Those four governing bodies will be given the chop under a proposal announced today by Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Christopher Finlayson. The long awaited review shows the government is keen to do something about cleaning up the delivery of money and resources into the hands of practitioners in a simpler and more efficient manner and Mr. Finlayson is to be congratulated on his enthusiasm and commitment.
A review of Creative New Zealand’s governing legislation was promised in the National Party’s arts culture and heritage policy in the 2008 election, which was informed partly by Mr. Finlayson’s first hand experience as Chair of the Arts Board from 1998 to 2001.
“A streamlined unitary board requires fewer resources, and frees staff to focus on what is important – artists, arts organisations and arts development,” Mr. Finlayson said.
The review of Creative New Zealand has recommended the creation of a single board responsible for policy, strategy and funding allocation, replacing the current more unwieldy division of responsibilities between four separate councils and committees.
The Ministry for Culture and Heritage, working with Creative New Zealand, Te Puni Kōkiri and the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs, carried out the review, as well as targeted consultation with the arts sector.
The proposed streamlined board would have up to thirteen members, including a minimum of four members with knowledge of Maori arts and at least two with knowledge of Pacific arts.
“The new arrangement guarantees that issues involving Maori and Pacific arts are represented at the top table for decision-making, which under the current cumbersome structure is not the case,” Mr Finlayson said.
“Along with the arts sector, which has voiced concerns for years about Creative New Zealand’s governance structure, I am looking forward to the improvements in service, focus and efficiency these changes will allow,” Mr Finlayson said.
It is estimated that the governance reforms will reduce the number of board and committee members from 28 to 13, and will result in direct cost savings of approximately $200,000 per annum. Mr Finlayson said the benefits of freeing staff up to concentrate on core responsibilities to the arts sector, rather than servicing bureaucracy, would be even more significant.
Mr Finlayson said he hoped legislation would be introduced this year to enact the changes.
Tue, 16 Feb 2010