09/2014 CCS September Newsletter

Welcome to your September Creative Communities Scheme Quarterly Newsletter 

Kia ora - here's your Creative Communities Scheme newsletter.

New forms and guides coming soon!

We have  improved and updated the Application Form and Application Guide for the Creative Communities Scheme. The new form and guide will be sent out in September with instructions on what to do with them. New Administrators and Assessors Guides will follow.

Your feedback

Thank you all for the effort you have put into completing and returning reports through June/July. Your thoughts and feedback in the Annual Evaluation Reports are of great value and, combined with the information from the Grants Tracking Tools, give us a good steer for some improvements. Here is a summary of the key points:

The facts
  • In 2013/14 CCS funded 1699 projects to a total of $3,292,662
  • Grants ranged in size from $16,232 to $100 with an average grant size of $1,938
  • Over 113 council staff were involved in distributing these funds along with seven third party organisations, over 570 assessors and approximately 120 city or district councillors
  • On average the requested amount of funds is two-and-a-half times the amount available to allocate
  • In centres such as Gisborne, Auckland Central and Gore the request is as high as four times the available funds
Across the councils
  • 26% of councils have dedicated arts staff and/or fund local arts bodies directly to carry out arts development.
  • 40% of councils have local and/or regional arts strategies and/or policies, although it was noted by a number of you that these are out of date and due for review.
  • anecdotally there seems to be an increasing awareness of the wider value of the arts and what they can contribute to the well-being of the community. But at the same time some of you have noted a strong swing away from arts support to other costs such as community infrastructure and sporting events.

The successes
Most of you spoke about the great value of CCS to your communities – creating access to art activity and development that people would not otherwise have. You also noted your assessment committees as being a key strength – their knowledge, how they promote the scheme, attending funded events and their professional and robust decision-making. Many of you said the scoring process added to the robustness. A number of you were getting new groups making applications and an increase in applications from Māori, other ethnic communities and young people.

The challenges
At the same time many of you are experiencing some challenges attracting a greater diversity of applications and the stats bear this out with 10% of successful applicants being Māori, compared with 14% of our population.  There are even more pronounced differences for Pasifika and Asian applicants/populations. If you have success stories around specific things you have done that have increased applications from these communities please let us know and we can share these in the  next newsletter. You can find stats for your area on the Statistics New Zealand website

Smaller and more isolated communities spoke about challenges getting new people, especially young people or iwi representatives, to put themselves forward for nomination. Please let us know if you have specific success stories in this area that we can share.

Promoting the scheme

A big challenge for many of you was attracting applications for high quality projects and finding ways to use those projects to promote CCS further. In our new Administrators Guide we have included some additional tips on promoting CCS and later in the year we hope to produce a simple resource for successful applicants on how to promote their projects.

Regional hui – what they are and how they happen

Over the past year we have had regional hui in the Waikato, the Lower North Island, Wairarapa and on the West Coast. We tailor these to the needs/desires of the administrators/committees and they can include; training for administrators, training for assessors, public funding workshops (both on CCS and other Creative New Zealand funding programmes), networking and discussions around best practice.

If you would like a regional hui in your area you need to:
  1. contact the other administrators in your region
  2. decide what your collective needs are
  3. decide who can host the meeting and a couple of dates that would suit
  4. email Briar Monro

Focus on Gisborne

Gisborne is attracting the highest levels of CCS funding requests per head of population and from communities which are amongst the most isolated in New Zealand. Successful projects include an inter-generational project where elders from Arohaina (a local seniors centre), kaumatua from a marae and children from a primary school worked together to produce colourful tie-dyed blankets for hand woven wahakura and also a weekend pottery workshop with renowned ceramic artist Baye Riddell, run by Gisborne Ceramic Artists and Potters Group.

Julie Conder, Gisborne CCS administrator has this to share:

“I am always amazed by the diversity of arts here in Tairawhiti. It is a pleasure to be a part of a scheme that does so much to involve our whole community in the arts. As with all funding schemes our committee often has to make difficult decisions. This being said very few organisations are turned down completely. The committee often chooses to make a partial grant where this will not compromise the project. However it’s really about quality rather than quantity. Sometimes all an applicant needs is additional support in developing the proposal for re-application at a later date.  This is where the administrator’s role is crucial in being the interface between the committee and the community. We find that through running information days we are getting more quality applications coming through and this really helps our process.”

Julie is committed to building an assessment committee that reflects the make-up of the community and has recently produced an assessor’s nomination form in Te Reo. She is very happy to share this resource with any other administrators. Julie is also providing general funding information days to rural communities and making use of Māori communication networks such as Radio Ngati Parou. Ka mau te wehi!


Thank you for the positive and constructive feedback that you gave on our service to you.  Ninety-five percent of you were either very satisfied or satisfied with our service. Many of you have suggested potential improvements to the scheme and as soon as we have the updated resources out to you we will begin implementing these.

Ngā mihi,
Briar and Natalie