Membership and make-up of assessment committees

Council committee, sub-committee or community committee?

The CCS assessment committee can be established as a committee of council, a sub-committee or a community committee.

Decisions made by this committee do not need to be approved or confirmed by your council.

Whatever form the committee takes, it must meet the following guidelines for membership and decision-making.

Size of the committee

There is no specific requirement for the number of members an assessment committee must have. However, Creative New Zealand strongly recommends that there be at least seven, and not more than 11 members. A committee of nine members works well; having an odd number also assists with voting.

Who sits on the committee

Each assessment committee consists of:

Representation from local councils and community arts councils

  • Local councils may appoint up to two representatives to the assessment committee. These may be elected councillors or community board members with an arts and culture focus or knowledge. Elected councillors and local board members must not make up more than half of an assessment committee.

  • Each community arts council in the local area has the right to have a representative on the assessment committee. Community arts councils are organisations that have been formally gazetted under the Arts Council of New Zealand Toi Aotearoa Act 2014 or previous versions of this Act.

Community representatives

Community representatives on the assessment committee must be familiar with the range and diversity of local arts activities.  Ideally membership of the committee should also reflect the make-up of the local community, eg young people, recent migrants, Asian residents, and local Māori and Pasifika peoples.

At least one member must be of Māori descent and have local knowledge of Māori arts activity. It is recommended that CCS administrators consult with local iwi regarding Māori appointments.

Youth councils, ethnic councils or other community groups do not have an automatic right to be represented on the committee, but they may nominate community representatives for election.

Community representatives can’t include elected council members or community board members.

If council staff wish to stand as community representatives they must be there independently of their role in council.

Community representatives must be elected in a public and open way by the existing assessment committee after a public nomination process. Options for doing this include:

  • calling for written nominations through newspapers, community noticeboards, direct mail-outs and websites, with representatives being elected by the committee from these nominees

  • convening a public meeting where nominations are received from the floor with community representatives then being elected by the committee.

However, if there’s a limited response to a call for nominations or a public election process or the committee lacks specific knowledge, the committee (via the CCS administrator) may approach individuals directly and invite them to become members.

Having past members mentor new members can be a great way to support new or younger members as they join the committee.

Term of membership

Community representatives may be appointed or elected for a specified term of up to three years and can serve a maximum of two consecutive terms.

This term limitation does not apply to council or community arts council representatives however we do recommend rotation of council and community arts council representatives to keep the committee fresh.

It’s a good idea to have a combination of new and experienced members. To keep this balance we recommend that committee members be replaced over time.


Each year the assessment committee should elect a chairperson.

A person may serve a maximum of three consecutive years as chair.

Management of committee meetings

To be able to make the best funding decisions, committee members must be free to discuss all aspects of an application. For this reason we recommend that assessment committees consider applications in accordance with the public excluded provisions of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 or, if they are a community committee, in private.

Individual councils are responsible for ensuring that meetings of the assessment committees operate in accordance with the relevant council standing orders, including the taking of minutes.