CCS assessment committees

How do we build a committee that reflects the make-up of our community?

Your committee needs to be familiar with the range and diversity of local arts activities. As well as bringing their knowledge to the assessment process, a diverse assessment committee can help promote the scheme, and provide support, to diverse applicants.

Note: providing support to an applicant does not automatically create a conflict of interest for an assessment committee member. Please refer to therules regarding conflicts of interest if you are not sure about this.

Sometimes it can seem difficult to find people to join your assessment committee. The process for appointing new members is outlined in your CCS Administrators Guide. Here are a few extra things you can do as well as making a public call for nominations.

  • Identify where the knowledge gaps are in your committee. Consider art form knowledge as well as knowledge of different communities – location, ethnicity, age, etc
  • Draft a ‘call for nominations’.
    • Include wording from ‘Call for CCS Assessors - Poster’.
    • Include an image from a previous successful local CCS project.
    • Based on the gaps you have identified, include details about the skills you are specifically looking for.
  • Distribute this call for nominations by
    • Emailing to all previous CCS recipients asking them to pass on
    • Asking local arts organisations to email out through their networks
    • Posting this on your Facebook page, website and through other social media that your council uses
  • Speak to people who might be able to help find members to address the knowledge gap – ask them if they are interested, can recommend people and/or pass information on. This might include your local youth council, arts teachers, local marae, multi-cultural committees/groups.

There are also a few things you might need to consider to make your meetings more accessible

  • Meeting times: it can be very difficult for some people to make daytime or evening meetings. Consider being flexible about meeting times so that it suits the majority of your committee.
  • Mentoring new members: there can often be a reluctance to ‘retire’ members who have sat on committees for more than two terms. They often have huge community knowledge and a good understanding of what arts projects have been funded previously. Sometimes getting them to mentor new members for one or two meetings can help ease the process as well as providing some continuity of information.
  • Meeting processes: Young (most?) people can find traditional meeting processes fairly tedious and alienating. Consider the tone of your meetings. Can they be informal while still following the necessary steps and capturing the necessary minutes. Perhaps at the start of the meeting you could do a round of what exciting arts projects people have seen since the last meeting, or what they think is exciting about what is happening in their area of knowledge.
  • Young people: Do you have young people on your committee? How can you include them? Do you have a youth council that you could approach or could you contact the local high schools? Remember young people sometimes travel best in pairs and may not be able to commit to more than one or two meetings - encourage your committee to work with this.

Travel costs and fees for assessors

Some councils, particularly those that cover a wide geographic region, choose to reimburse travel costs for their assessors. Some also pay a stipend to their assessors either to cover the committee day or a fixed amount per application assessed. We are often asked what other councils do and if this is a necessary cost.

The written agreement between Creative New Zealand and your council is that the council will cover administrative costs for the delivery of the scheme. This includes the costs of convening the assessment committee.

Creative New Zealand does not stipulate specific administrative costs that the council must cover to run the scheme but in many instances, particularly with councils that have a wide geographic area, councils choose to reimburse travel costs as a way of ensuring that they have a committee with good understanding of the diverse local arts taking place across the district.

So, under the contract you are not obliged to reimburse travel or to pay fees/stipends, however we would certainly encourage this if it is the best way to ensure participation by a committee with appropriate knowledge.