News | 14 April 2016
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Capital's arts community makes pitch for future

A plan to activate the Capital’s arts sector, introduce a new outdoor events series and changes to community grants were among proposals given a big tick of approval by members of the Capital’s arts community.

Last night, around 50 Wellington artists, performers, administrators and practitioners joined Mayor Celia Wade-Brown, Arts Portfolio Leader Ray Ahipene-Mercer and other councillors to discuss proposed initiatives for the Wellington City Annual Plan 2016/17 in a special arts sector workshop held at the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts.

As part of the workshop, attendees were asked to pick their five favourite proposals out of the eleven new initiatives being considered for inclusion in the Annual Plan 2016/17.

The most popular items were Arts Sector Activation Programme, Community Grants Changes and a New Outdoor Events Series, followed by support for the Living Wage, Placemaking and funding for Council’s arts collection.

Mayor Celia Wade-Brown says the positive feedback from the workshop shows the arts community in Wellington remains strong and committed to the Capital’s future.

“There was strong support for the suite of Arts sector proposals that Cr Ahipene-Mercer has brought forward being suggested for inclusion in this year’s Annual Plan,” said Mayor Wade-Brown.

“Also, support for the Living Wage and further investment in attractive public spaces show that our arts community sees the wider benefits of investing in Wellington’s quality of life.”

Cr Ahipene-Mercer, who is retiring from Council this year after serving since 2000 – 12 of those as Arts Portfolio leader, said he was pleased with the ‘enlightened engagement’ he saw during the workshop discussions.

“I sensed a great deal of passion and interest in the Capital’s future, and I thank the many arts practitioners who took time out of their busy lives to join in the discussions for the Council’s Annual Plan,” he says.

“Our arts community is engaged, united and committed to a better future for all Wellingtonians. Obviously there was significant support for arts-focused proposals, because people do appreciate how our strong arts sector in Wellington helps drive our quality of life and attracts talent and investment to Wellington,” he says.

Public consultation for the Annual Plan 2016/17 concludes April 29, and those wishing to have their say and find out more are encouraged to view the consultation document available at:

There are four remaining workshops for the Annual Plan process:

  • Young Wellington brings together Wellington's youth sector: 5.30pm - 7pm, 14 April, Sustainability Trust, 2 Forresters Lane, Te Aro
  • Inspiring Pasifika Leaders brings together Wellington's Pasifika community: 5.30pm - 7.30pm, 19 April, ASB Sports Centre, 72 Kemp Street, Kilbirnie
  • Accessibility Forum brings together Wellington's accessibility community: 6pm - 7.30pm, 21 April, Wellington City Council, 101 Wakefield Street, Wellington CBD
  • Sustainability and Resilience virtual forum online, 5pm 27 April, via Facebook event:

A submission form can be found on the Wellington City Council website, and the public is encouraged to provide feedback on the proposed Annual Plan 2016/17.

Submitters will also have the opportunity to speak to Wellington City Councillors at a hearing process in May 2016.

Following the hearings Councillors will make final decisions on content of the Annual Plan and agree the rate levels for 2016/17.