Council seeks feedback on arts and culture plan


16/01/2019 3:00:00 p.m.

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Whanganui District Council wants input from the community on its proposed Arts and Culture Strategic Plan, which aims to put creativity at the heart of the city’s identity.

Riah King-Wall, Arts Advisor, says this vision is supported by five goals which were developed with members of the local arts community: increasing mana whenua participation, championing arts and culture, connecting creative communities, creating a prosperous creative economy and ensuring better access and engagement in the arts for all.

Ms King-Wall says the proposed plan establishes the Council’s strategic direction for arts and culture over the next 10 years and focuses on “uniting the strategic direction and actions of our major arts and cultural institutions and the wider creative sector, enabling us all to work together to achieve maximum impact”.

“This is a great opportunity for people to give us feedback on their vision for arts and culture in Whanganui.”

Mayor Hamish McDouall says Whanganui has a long and distinct history of artistic practice and is recognised nationally and internationally for its arts and culture scene.

“We’ve already got a reputation as a place where artists can live and work easily and are supported by other creative people around them, and indeed the whole community. This strategy is the next step toward taking what we already have and making it better by asking people how the Council can work with the creative sector to continue to grow our arts community.

“We know that creative communities play a role in the wellbeing of individuals and our district as a whole. People are increasingly busy and feeling a little overwhelmed. Creating or experiencing art is an important way to get back in touch with imagination and culture and connect with other people and ideas.

“Our creative sector has also been a catalyst for generating employment and growing innovation in business. Whanganui, which I have boldly called New Zealand’s Capital of the Fine Arts, is showing how this can be done,” says Mayor McDouall.

The consultation period for the proposed Arts and Culture Strategic Plan begins on Wednesday, 16 January 2019, and ends at 5:00pm on Friday, 15 March 2019.

Over this eight week period, Ms King-Wall says the Council will be looking for feedback in a variety of ways, “including via stakeholder meetings, online, a market stall and public meetings.”

To submit your feedback online, complete the submission form at or email your thoughts to

Hard copies of the proposed plan and submission forms are available from the Council’s temporary Customer Services area at 179 St Hill Street, Davis Library, or Gonville Café Library. Please submit hard copy feedback to the Customer Services area at 179 St Hill Street.

All consultation information is available at

Submissions close at 5.00pm on Friday, 15 March 2019.

Page reviewed: 16 Jan 2019 3:00pm