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Investment in the sector

The Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Trust (the Appeal Trust) was launched by the Prime Minister on 27 February 2011. With other earthquake relief funds meeting the immediate needs of individuals, the Appeal Trust focussed on rebuilding the features at the heart of Christchurch communities, the places and services that make a city worth living in. 

A total of $20.82 million has been allocated to heritage/culture projects including:

  • Christchurch Arts Centre – $14.2 million to be used towards the rebuild and restoration of the Clock Tower and the Great Hall.  The Arts Centre Trust’s vision is to create a vibrant hub for arts, culture and education
  • Court Theatre – $2.5 million towards the new temporary theatre in Addington, The Shed, which opened on 7 December 2011
  • Isaac Theatre Royal – $2.5 million towards its re-opening in November 2014
  • Canterbury Cultural Collections Recovery Centre, Air Force Museum, Wigram – $1.5 million  to support community cultural institutions displaced by the earthquakes providing for the conservation, storage and recovery of heritage and cultural collections
  • Music Centre of Christchurch – $2.5 million towards a new Centre which will include a 300-350 seat concert hall; two 100 seat concert spaces; arts administration spaces; teaching studios; exam and rehearsal spaces
  • Christchurch Symphony Orchestra – up to $1.25 million to help CSO establish a permanent rehearsal and administrative space to replace its venue lost in the earthquakes.

A number of further arts and culture projects have received funding from the Vodafone Foundation Canterbury Fund which is 50/50 funded by the Vodafone Foundation and the Appeal Trust.

In March 2014 the Lottery Significant Projects Fund made a grant of $6 million to the Theatre Royal Charitable Foundation to aid the reconstruction of the Isaac Theatre Royal.

Creative New Zealand is the national arts development agency supporting artists and artistic content/product.  Of its two staff members based in Christchurch, one is specifically dedicated to assisting with earthquake recovery for the arts and co-ordinating streams of advice.   Through its Earthquake Recovery Grants, CNZ has dedicated funding for the recovery of the greater Christchurch arts sector.  To date it has provided over $2,093,634 in earthquake recovery grants. CNZ is committed to continuing the Fund through to the 2017/18 financial year.

Concrete Propositions; image courtesy of Gap Filler

Concrete Propositions
Source: image courtesy of Gap Filler

CNZ also provides advice and logistical support to artists, organisations and projects. It introduced a targeted plan to address capability building issues in Christchurch for some organisations and will continue to assess needs and support where it is able. 

In addition to its Recovery Grants, CNZ has also continued its ongoing support to Canterbury artists and organisations through its other funding streams. The following amounts quoted cover three financial years – 2011/12 – 2013/14:

Investment Programmes

Funding for continuous programmes of activity and ongoing infrastructure:Toi Uru Kahikatea (Arts Development) and Toi Tōtara Haemata (Arts Leadership).  Investment clients in Christchurch include the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra (CSO), Physics Room, Court Theatre, Arts on Tour, Christchurch Arts Festival, Arts and Industry Biennial Trust (SCAPE) and the Christchurch Book Festival Trust.  CNZ has provided $7,350,541 to Christchurch clients through its investment programmes.

Project funding

Provided through CNZ’s Arts Grants and Quick Response grants: since June 2011 grants have been made worth a total of $897,159.

Community Arts

Provided through the Creative Communities Scheme devolved to the CCC: the Community Arts Development Fund (CADF) is a special one-off fund provided by CNZ to the CCC.  The aim of the fund is to strengthen arts networks and support organisations and local professional artists to build skills and connections, undertake special research projects and develop community-based arts opportunities. In the last three financial years $736,353 has been allocated.

Capability Building Programme

This is in addition to its standard ongoing capability building programme for its investment clients: in 2014 CNZ introduced a targeted plan to address capability building issues in Christchurch.   $50,000 was allocated in 2013/14 for a series of bespoke interventions to ten Christchurch arts organisations

One-off Funding

In its 2013/14 budget CNZ allocated an additional one-off amount of $1 million towards Christchurch initiatives to support: the completion of ArtBox and BeatBox; matched funding for the CSO (to be delivered by the CCC); additional funding for community arts and a subsidy for the hire of the VBASE Arena for certain performing arts events.  CNZ has committed to further funding of $800,000 per annum for targeted initiatives up to 2018.

Since late 2010 the Christchurch City Council’s recovery initiatives have provided new, responsive and flexible support for experimental, emerging and established creative initiatives.  This support has included facilitation, advice, new cultural infrastructure around interim use, the establishment of two new funds which continue to evolve in response to changing needs, and complementary public works. In these projects CCC is supporting opportunities to integrate the Ngāi Tahu narrative, a commitment made in the Christchurch Central Recovery Plan. 

Fabriko: A successful Creative Industries Support Fund recipient The Fabriko Makercrate being installed on the Pallet Pavilion site

Fabriko: A successful Creative Industries Support Fund recipient The Fabriko Makercrate being installed on the Pallet Pavilion site; image courtesy of Carl Pavletich

The recovery initiatives are:

Creative Industries Support Fund (CISF) (launched in 2012)

CISF focuses on retaining the central city's creative talent and integrating the creative sector into the rebuild and recovery of the central city.  This funding model is designed as a fully integrated approach between urban regeneration and the economic development opportunities for the creative industries.  The ventures funded to date represent a broad cross-section of organisations and professional disciplines.  This has resulted in a number of vibrant creative business and arts hubs returning to the central city and actively demonstrating innovations in creative entrepreneurship, creative social enterprise models and financially viable collaborations across industries.  $820,000 has been allocated through the fund over the 2012/13 and 2013/14 financial years. $308,220 is allocated for the 2014/15 financial year.

Transitional City Projects Fund (launched in 2012)

The aim of this fund is to encourage the temporary use of vacant space for public benefit.  $100,000 has been made available for central city projects in 2013-14, with $145,000 granted in the previous financial year.  The fund supports a wide range of temporary vacant space projects led by individuals, groups and businesses and includes temporary artworks, installations, structures, gardens, events and festivals.  Projects require a partnership approach which has fostered new dialogue between artists, community groups and business.  The fund’s coverage continues to evolve and now includes recovering commercial centres as well as the central city.

Transitional City Work Programme (launched in July 2012)

This is a new programme of temporary public realm projects to support the recovery by testing ideas and commitments made in the Christchurch Central Recovery Plan. Investment in this programme has meant high-profile opportunities for artists in temporary public realm projects, including streetscapes and Cathedral Square.


The awesome team at Exchange Christchurch: A successful Creative Industries Support Fund recipient. XCHC provides affordable production and showcase space to emerging businesses in the creative industries.

Gap Filler, Greening the Rubble and Life in Vacant Spaces

CCC has awarded $780,000 funding support for these initiatives (between 2010 and 2014).

Events Production

In the 2013/14 financial year expenditure on projects from the CCC Events Production Team totalled $186,000: Summertimes $104,000, KidsFest $25,000 and $57,000 for other events.  During NZ IceFest 2014/15 CCC Events Production will spend approximately $170,000 on artists, musicians and designers.

Ever-Evolving Events

In 2012 the Events Production Team created a new partnership delivery model to provide opportunities for testing new events and cultural programming.

Strengthening Communities Fund and Discretionary Response Fund

Arts programmes and organisations received approximately $935,000 through this fund in the 2013/14 financial year. 

Updated on 23rd July 2015

Local government action plans – Ko Ngā Mahere Tukanga

Local government plays a lead role in developing strategies for the arts and culture sector within each region.  Councils own much of the core infrastructure and administer funding pools to support the sector.  

Christchurch City

The CCC Arts team is developing an Arts Action Plan which will set out key strategic directions for Council work in the arts and cultural sector of the city for the next 3-5 years, as well as defining key relationships across the sector with government and arts development agencies. 

CCC is also developing Master Plans for Christchurch suburban centres that suffered damage from the earthquakes.  The CCC’s Suburban Centres Programme provides co-ordinated planning and assistance to help with the rebuild and recovery of suburban commercial centres as focal points for the local community. A number of these Plans include cultural projects.  Master Plans for Lyttelton, Sydenham, Linwood Village, Selwyn Street Shops, Ferry Road, Sumner Village Centre, New Brighton Centre, Main Rd (Sumner Bays - Mt Pleasant, Redcliffs, Monks Bay, Sumner) and Edgeware Village have been adopted or are currently under development.

Waimakariri District

WDC has prioritised the repair and re-opening of three cultural facilities in the district (the Kaiapoi Library/Service Centre, the Rangiora Town Hall and the Oxford Town Hall).  Details of these projects are included in the Fit-for-purpose venues and facilities section.

Selwyn District

SDC is working with the Selwyn Arts Trust to develop an Action Plan for the arts in Selwyn.   The Council has recently secured Canterbury Community Trust funding for a District Arts Co-ordinator role to promote arts opportunities, particularly for the large numbers of new residents moving into the district who are looking for ways to connect and contribute to their new communities.  The Arts Co-ordinator will also support emerging and professional artists/arts organisations and help facilitate communication across the arts sector and raise awareness of funding and training opportunities.

The new part-time District Arts Co-ordinator will be housed and supported by the SDC.  A Memorandum of Understanding between the Selwyn Arts Trust and SDC will recognise this partnership.

Updated on 23rd July 2015

Some strategies for achieving our vision

The arts and cultural sector is defined by its independence and diversity.  While central government has a critical role in supporting cultural recovery, there is a strong place for regional leadership, both from the local arts, cultural and heritage collections sectors and from the greater Christchurch community.  This could include enhanced communication around investment and management of cultural assets across the greater Christchurch region, a better understanding of how funding might work across territorial boundaries, and sharing expertise in arts, culture and heritage policy and community arts development.

Gap filler book exchange

Gap filler book exchange
Source: image courtesy of Christchurch City Libraries

Successful cultural recovery initiatives will be achieved through co-ordinated planning and investment in projects that are community priorities.  The Joint Agency Group (JAG) will continue to:

  • actively engage with local stakeholders to discuss their priorities and to identify opportunities to collaborate, innovate and back new ideas
  • encourage collaboration and partnerships to make effective and efficient use of available resources and facilities, including possible co-location of some amenities and cultural hubs
  • support arts and cultural businesses in Christchurch to remain viable through co-ordinating investment in capability building and development projects
  • work with local government and property developers to incentivise the incorporation of art into the central city rebuild
  • encourage further mixed model developments, where appropriate – social investments that combine cultural facilities with private businesses (such as retail and hospitality) that can generate sufficient revenue to enable the operating costs for cultural organisation tenants to be kept affordable and sustainable.  The Arts Centre is a good example of this sort of development.

Updated on 23rd July 2015

Arts and culture programme

The Arts and Culture Recovery Programme contributes to the achievement of these goals with the following specific objectives:

  • restore and extend broad participation in arts and cultural activities and engagement with heritage collections in greater Christchurch
  • recover infrastructure and enhance the way arts, culture, and heritage collections contribute to the reinvigoration of greater Christchurch for present and future generations
  • commemorate the people lost as a result of the earthquakes and recognise the effects of the earthquakes on the wider community.

Ruataniwha Kaiapoi Civic Centre

Ruataniwha Kaiapoi Civic Centre
Source: image courtesy of Warren Mahoney Architects.

While MCH has led the development of the recovery programme, the programme draws on information and ideas from a wide range of cultural agencies, government and non-government bodies and sector groups.  It covers all of greater Christchurch as defined by the CER Act 2011 and represents a co-ordinated approach by Ngāi Tahu, Christchurch City Council (CCC), Waimakariri District Council (WDC), Selwyn District Council (SDC) and government agencies.

Joint Agency Group – Te Tira Tūhono

Set up by the Ministry for Culture and Heritage (MCH) in early 2013, the core Joint-Agency Group (JAG) comprises representatives from MCH, CNZ, CCC and CERA. 

This group meets every three to four weeks and regularly consults with other interested parties.  These include greater Christchurch recovery partners (Ngāi Tahu, WDC and SDC), local arts and cultural sector stakeholders and other funders, such as the Canterbury Community Trust. 

The role of JAG is to: share information on arts and cultural sector issues and needs; identify opportunities for joint funding and support; and help progress work on agreed recovery and rebuild priorities.  It also leads some joint projects.  All JAG agencies have extensive sector networks and JAG regularly invites briefings from key sector representatives such as Arts Voice and updates from teams leading specific projects, such as the Performing Arts Precinct and Art by the River (Arts Trail). 

The Group has no decision-making authority and the individual agencies have their own operating mandates and programmes to support the sector.  However, through its meetings, JAG ensures regular information-sharing between agencies and a consistent and collective message to project organisers and to funders. JAG has been instrumental in progressing the Arts and Culture Recovery Programme.

Updated on 23rd July 2015

Arts and Culture

Arts and culture have always been central to Christchurch’s unique character and sense of identity and a source of pride to the people of Christchurch.

Cultural recovery is a core part of greater Christchurch’s rebuild. It means both restoring what was there – where this is possible – and creating new opportunities that ensure a rich and diverse cultural offering, now and in the future.  

Gap filler, by Guy Jensen

Gap filler event

Credit: image by Guy Jensen courtesy of Creative New Zealand

Through experience we have learnt the scope and nature of the recovery is subject to constant change. Following initial efforts, it has become increasingly apparent that the transitional period, prior to the completion of more permanent infrastructure projects, will take considerably longer than first anticipated.

In the meantime the sector is getting on with it, with energy and determination. While central government can provide funding support and leadership in some areas, much of the momentum is coming from the grassroots, with new initiatives, adaptations and creative hubs growing from the rubble, in new or temporary spaces, and in a myriad of ways.

Immediately after the earthquakes, innovative people and organisations began seizing opportunities, adapting to new circumstances and creating original arts and cultural experiences wherever and however they could. Small and large institutions alike have created opportunity out of adversity, discovering new and sometimes better ways of doing things.

Alongside local activity, the joint agency group established by the Ministry for Culture and Heritage is working with local stakeholders to help foster collaboration, identify priorities and back new ideas.

This document sets out a vision for the arts and cultural sector and strategies for achieving that vision.  It details what has been achieved to date as well as current and planned projects for arts and cultural recovery.

These projects are about testing new ideas and finding the right solutions in a shifting environment.  The Programme does not attempt to impose a top-down strategy on a sector which continues to lead its own recovery. Instead, it follows that lead and reflects the flexibility necessary to respond to the emerging needs of the creative sector as the rebuild evolves.


Next steps

The Arts and Culture Recovery Programme for Greater Christchurch is not a static document.  It will continue to evolve as the rebuild takes shape, current projects are completed, new ideas are tested and refined and further opportunities emerge to create a truly exciting, flourishing arts and cultural sector.   

MCH will continue to work with the Joint Agency Group (JAG) and local stakeholder groups to assess the effectiveness of the strategies outlined in this programme, and will report publicly on the progress of current projects as well as new developments through periodic updates of this programme online.    

Updated on 31st July 2015

Treaty milestones

Visit's website for a timeline of Treaty events beginning with the preaching of the first sermon on Christmas Day 1814 by Reverend Samuel Marsden.

Russell Clark's reconstruction of Samuel Marsden's Christmas Day service at Oihi Bay in the Bay of Islands in 1814. Image is courtesy of the Alexander Turnbull Library,  reference: B-077-006.

Updated on 23rd July 2015

Current Treaty projects

Learn about Treaty projects currently being undertaken by Government agencies.

Treaty Settlement Histories Project

The Treaty Settlement Histories Project will produce a comprehensive account of the recent history of Treaty of Waitangi settlements from all perspectives. It will produce historical narratives that combine scholarly rigour with popular appeal. Manatū Taonga - the Ministry for Culture and Heritage will lead the project and commission research from leading historians to collaborate with its expert staff. We will also collaborate more widely with other Ministries, research institutions and universities. Iwi and hapū are important research partners for this project and collaboration will be vital to bring forth their stories. The Ministry of Justice has led with an initial contribution to the project, in keeping with its sector wide role in the Treaty Settlement process.

Māori women signatories to the Treaty

In total, 39 rangatira (chiefs) signed the English version and 540 rangatira – including 13 women signed the Māori version. This Ministry for Culture and Heritage scoping project seeks to offer more biographical information about these women.

Ngā Tohu – Treaty Signatories

In 1840 more than 500 rangatira (chiefs) signed the Treaty of Waitangi, New Zealand’s founding document, which was an agreement between Māori and the British Crown.

When complete, Ngā Tohu – Treaty Signatories will include biographical information on every signatory of the Treaty of Waitangi that can be identified. Some of those who signed are well-known, while about others we know almost nothing, other than that they signed the treaty.

We have based information on the probable identities of the signatories mainly on two sources, Miria Simpson’s 1990 book Ngā tohu o te Tiriti: making a mark and Claudia Orange’s books on the Treaty of Waitangi.

Much of the biographical information has come from utilising secondary sources, including online digitised sources.  In some cases information available is unclear or contradictory.  The biographical information will be amended and changed as we received corrections or additional information.

We are keen to expand the information about signatories of Ngā Tohu over time. So if you have further information about any of the signatories, especially those about whom we have little information, please get in touch by either leaving a comment on a biography page, or by emailing

Ngā Tohu – Treaty Signatories:

Updated on 23rd July 2015