1. Creative Ecology - Living Research Document (version 1)


    On Thursday 6th March we launched the first iteration of our research into Auckland’s creative ecology. This work outlines a new model for resilience in creative communities that we believe it is at the leading edge of thinking globally. 

    We intend to continue to develop this model, embracing feedback and ideas as people engage with it, and applying it to strengthen the resilience of Auckland’s creative community. 

    Download the first version of the document here, and comment below to share your thoughts (to comment please click on “read more” below), or contact us directly

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  2. What was shared in our conversation

    We held a public conversation on Thursday 6th March at The EDGE’s Limelight Room to launch our living research project and talk about creative ecology in Auckland.

    The workshop session had three distinct phases - an interactive exploration of the creative ecology research; an update from Maree Mills about Council’s Draft Strategic Action Plan for Arts & Culture; and an “open space”, which was an opportunity for people to share their reflections, what was on their minds from the day, and to canvass current issues affecting our community.


    Here’s what went on:

    Elise Sterback and Caroline Robinson presented a new model for creative ecology, developed after conducting research into Auckland’s arts and culture landscape (including creative industries). 

    The model provides an alternative way to group the activities of individuals, organisations and businesses; analyse the resource flows and relationships between them; and describe the value they contribute to the wider system. 

    Some of Creative Coalition’s board members (including Hinurewa te Hau, Anne Rodda, Peter Shand, Charlie McDermott and Elisabeth Vaneveld) shared their thoughts on the potential of the model’s application. 

    It was said that the model provides opportunities to: facilitate strategic planning at individual, organisational and regional levels; communicate the value of creative thinking and processes in a new and holistic way; bring cultural policy and planning to the leading edge of global thinking (on par with progress in other sectors); and more closely reflect the worldview of Maori and indigenous peoples. 

    Maree Mills from Auckland Council shared an update on progress for the development of the Strategic Action Plan for Arts & Culture, which is due to be released for public feedback within the month. 


    Others shared:
    (comments paraphrased - please comment below with any corrections or additions):

    • Reflections on the challenges with the deconstruction of meta-narratives around creativity - we need to find new ways to collectively speak, to unify in spite of our diversity, and bring the conversation into the 21st century. (Connected to the “transpersonal” layer of the creative ecology model).
    • That there is currently a need to simplify structures and processes within bodies that capture money. 
    • The creative ecology model provides a chance to create a new language and to expand the landscape - connecting multiple arts platforms. 

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  3. Event: Creative Ecology Research Project Launch

    Please join us on Thursday 6th March, from 1pm-4.30pm at a public meeting to launch our research project of the last 18 months. All are welcome to attend - so please spread the word…

    Maree Mills from Auckland Council will also be giving an update on progress with the Strategic Action Plan for Arts & Culture. 

    RSVP here >

  4. Radio NZ’s Arts on Sunday programme covered our recent public meeting which invited the local sector to help us co-create the creative ecology model we are developing. 

    Justin Gregory talks to key researcher Elise Sterback, as well as CC board members Candy Elsmore and Charlie McDermott, amongst other attendees at the meeting (Michael Hurst, Q theatre, etc.)

  5. We announce a major research project into Auckland’s Creative Ecology

    Read the full project proposal here >

    As a strong champion for Auckland’s arts, culture & creative sectors we are undertaking a project to chart Auckland’s creative ecology for the first time.

    This will provide an independent sector-led perspective and robust data - illustrating what our sector looks like, how we are connected, and what our needs and aspirations are.

    Senior officers at Auckland Council, ATEED and Creative New Zealand have acknowledged the project and shown support and encouragement for its approach.

    We also have good reason to believe this report will be used by Council and central government agencies to inform their policy and strategy development in the immediate future. 

  6. My work as part of Arts Regional Trust is primarily concerned with helping creative, entrepreneurial practitioners and producers to increase their capability and capacity, towards greater sustainability of their practice. I think it is important that Auckland’s decisionmakers understand the value of what our creative sector provides to the whole community through the social, economic and community development benefits and opportunities it provides. I really want the creative sector recognised as a significant driver and originator of the ingredients that makes living, working and playing in Auckland a great proposition. I think this is beginning to happen, and certainly the Auckland Plan espouses this vision. I also want the creative sector to be valued as an ‘intersector’ – that is a ‘home’ and originator of creative thinking and innovation that in turn drives innovation and makes change happen across all sectors. However, in order to unlock the potential and really deliver on the Auckland Plan vision, the creative ecology in Auckland needs more backing and greater resourcing for us to leverage off.


    Candy Elsmore is a member of the Creative Coalition Board. She is also the Project Director for Arts Regional Trust and previously held roles at Te Tuhi Centre and MOTAT. 

  7. Our 2012-2015 Strategic Plan

    After forming earlier this year, our leadership board has just released its first major piece of work - a strategic plan and advocacy strategy to guide the activities of Creative Coalition for the next three years. 

    Click to view the full plan here >

    With thanks to Studio Alexander for their design work on this document. 

  8. I think a group like Creative Coalition operates in a very interesting and very important space within the public sphere. The divide between government and the people it serves is getting increasingly wider due to its complexity. CC, in its conduit role between the two, can help to filter information from government through to those whose lives it affects, and report back to help government understand the needs of the sector in a more meaningful way. As a recent graduate, I am very aware of the pull overseas. Despite this, I feel strongly rooted in Auckland and I’m excited about how I can contribute to the creative sector here as it continues to evolve. Auckland seems to be in a unique position - its creative sector is relatively young, but there appears to be a strong appetite within the city to provide increasing support and exposure to creative activities and ideas. I look forward to working with CC to ensure these developments are carried out hand-in-hand with the sector at all the levels that make up its creative ecology.


    Elise Sterback is a member of the Creative Coalition Board. She is an arts policy researcher, cultural strategist, and creates immersive art experiences through her company Vibracorp

  9. Flavell (“anti-gaming”) Bill Update

    Creative Coalition has lodged a submission opposing the Flavell Bill
    (click here to view).

    The Commerce Committee is reporting back to Parliament on 9th November.  Should you wish to readdress any concerns, please contact the committee members (click to email):

    Our position:

    The Creative Coalition strongly supports efforts to reduce the far-reaching harm to the community that problem gambling creates. However, it is our view that the passage of this Bill in its current form puts at risk the availability and distribution mechanisms of a broad range of funding channels. The funds currently granted from gaming trusts to a large number of charitable organisations deliver valuable cultural services to the wider community that could suffer if interrupted without a plan for their replacement.  

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  10. There is concern that the proposal to replace the “four well-beings” (social, economic, environmental, and cultural) would remove key responsibilities from local government and threaten the maintenance of local government activities that foster community cohesion and welfare.


    Local Government & Environment Select Committee report back to Parliament after consulting with the public about the proposed amendments to the Local Government Act 2002

    See our full review of the report and related documents in this release on The Big Idea