Part B: Our work in detail

4 Cultural wellbeing
Oranga ahurea

The Council funds city events and festivals; supports attractions such as Te Papa, Great War Exhibition, Space Place, and the city’s galleries and museums; and supports community art and cultural activities.

The strength of Wellington’s creative culture depends on people; the output of artists, writers, musicians, and dancers; and on the expressiveness of Wellington’s communities.

We fund these activities because they matter to the lives of individual Wellingtonians and to the community as a whole. They contribute to a diverse economy and build on Wellington’s reputation as New Zealand’s arts and culture capital. They also make the city a more vibrant place to live, help develop healthy and connected communities, and improve residents’ quality of life.

Key projects

Cultural grant funding

The Council will continue to encourage and celebrate diversity by supporting arts and cultural events and small arts organisations. We have increased our cultural grants fund starting from 2016/17, which will increase our level of support to the capital’s arts and cultural institutions.

For more information go to:

Outdoor Events

A new flagship Outdoor Events series will be launched in 2016/17. The events to be organised focus on the city and will be free and accessible to all. The content will range across a number of creative fields – music, dance, theatre, circus and digital art.

Pukeahu National War Museum Park

This project was a key part of New Zealand’s commemoration of the centenary of the First World War. The new park and Arras Tunnel – which are fantastic additions to the city – were largely funded by the Government. The Council supported the project and worked in partnership with the Ministry of Culture and Heritage and the New Zealand Transport Agency throughout their development.

The park has significantly improved the setting around the war memorial and provides space for the increasing number of people attending major ceremonial occasions such as Anzac Day every year. Year-round, it provides another great park and public space for everyone to enjoy as well as good walking and cycling connections. With assistance from the Government, we will maintain and look after the park from now on.

Circa Theatre

We have budgeted for a grant of $250,000 over the next 3 years to support Circa Theatre and $15,000 per annum over the next 3 years for technical support of external groups using the theatre.

Toi Pōneke

Toi Pōneke Arts Centre and Gallery is a creative space for artists, arts businesses and arts organisations to meet, work, rehearse and exhibit in the heart of the city. For 2016/17, operational funding from the Council will be increased to pay for temporary professional and sector development programmes across different art disciplines, as well as fund the gallery operation. Improvements will also be made to Toi Pōneke’s external signage and artworks.

Cultural wellbeing – group of activitiesTop

4.1 Arts and cultural activities

4.1.1 City galleries and museums

4.1.2 Visitor attractions (Te Papa/Space Place/Movie Museum)

4.1.3 Arts and cultural festivals

4.1.4 Cultural grants

4.1.5 Access and support for community arts

4.1.6 Arts partnerships

4.1.7 Regional Amenities Fund
The arts:
  • contribute to a vibrant central city and provide opportunities for cultural expression
  • build a sense of place and identity
  • grow visitation and exposure to creativity and innovation
  • Funding to Te Papa, Wellington Museum, City Gallery, Capital E, the Cable Car Museum, Space Place, Movie Museum and Nairn Street Historic Cottage
  • Support major events and festivals that generate economic returns
  • Provide fund grants to arts organisations
  • Manage the Toi Pōneke Arts Centre and the City Art Collection
  • Te Aro o Nga Tupuna Heritage Trail and Te Motu Kairangi Plan
We do not anticipate any significant negative effects associated with our role in these services.

Cultural wellbeing – performance measuresTop

Objectives Sense of place and identity

Diversity and openness


Exposure to creativity and innovation
Outcome indicators Residents’ frequency of engagement in cultural and arts activities

New Zealanders' and residents' perceptions that “Wellington has a culturally rich and diverse arts scene”

Resident perceptions that Wellington's local identity (sense of place) is appropriately valued and protected

Events held at key city venues

New Zealanders' and residents' perceptions that "Wellington is the arts capital of New Zealand"

Residents' (%) agreement with the statement that "Wellington is an easy place to get involved in the arts”

Te Papa visitors – total visitors, overseas visitors and NZ visitors from outside the region

Customer (%) satisfaction with the New Zealand Festival

Total tickets sold to the New Zealand Festival and the proportion sold to customers outside the region

Total visits to museums and galleries (including Space Place)
4.1 Arts and Culture Activities

4.1.1 City Galleries and Museums

4.1.2 Visitor attractions (Te Papa/Space Place)

4.1.3 Arts and cultural festivals

4.1.4 Cultural grants

4.1.5 Access and support for community arts

4.1.6 Arts partnerships

4.1.7 Regional Amenities Fund
To measure the quality and usage of our arts and culture support activities Attendee satisfaction with Council-supported arts and cultural festivals 90% 90% 90%
User (%) satisfaction with Toi Pōneke facilities and services 90% 90% 90%
The proportion of grants funds successfully allocated (through milestones being met) 95% 95% 95%
Proportion of outcomes delivered (previous projects – weighted by $ value) 90% 90% 90%
Venues Subsidy – total number of performers and attendees at supported events Increase on previous year Increase on previous year Increase on previous year
Economic contribution ($) the New Zealand Festival makes to the city’s economy (direct new spend)   $40m every second year  
Cultural grants – % first-time applicants who are successful 50% 50% 50%

Cultural wellbeing – activity budgetTop

Operating expenditure ($000) ($000)
4.1.1 - Galleries and museums (Wellington Museums Trust) 9,208 9,585
4.1.2 - Visitor attractions (Te Papa/Space Place/Movie Museum) 2,840 2,917
4.1.3 - Arts and cultural festivals 2,692 3,233
4.1.4 - Cultural grants 858 1,161
4.1.5 - Access and support for community arts 659 767
4.1.6 - Arts partnerships 2,277 2,481
4.1.7 - Regional Amenities Fund 609 609
Total operating expenditure 19,142 20,754
Capital expenditure ($000) ($000)
4.1.1 - Galleries and museums (WMT) 1,914 -
4.1.2 - Visitor attractions (Te Papa/ Space Place /Movie Museum) 180 9,248
4.1.3 - Arts and cultural festivals - -
4.1.4 - Cultural grants 100 -
4.1.5 - Access and support for community arts 26 27
4.1.6 - Arts partnerships - -
4.1.7 - Regional Amenities Fund - -
Total capital expenditure 2,220 9,275