300_ Auckland is home to a substantial number of professional artists. Through their work – in galleries, theatres and public places – they delight and entertain us, and make us think about the world we live in. Through public and street art they enrich our daily lives and make Auckland a vibrant and interesting place (see also Chapter 10: Urban Auckland). There is an opportunity for Auckland to further recognise our most talented artists through developing Arts Laureate schemes.
301_ In addition, community art encourages the expression of community values and identity. Such participation is an opportunity to engage socially and culturally, to explore feelings and attitudes, and to develop skills and appreciation. It is a way of bringing people together and building connectedness.
302_ The creative industries and our professional artists contribute to our economic future, by creating and showcasing our rich and diverse cultural identity to the world. Industries such as motion graphics, fashion, film, music and animation, generate revenue and create employment, while making Auckland an exciting and stimulating place to live and work. Our economic development depends on growing, attracting and retaining creative talent and innovative thinkers (see Chapter 6: Auckland’s Economy). More than 20,000 people work in the creative industries in central Auckland: they contributed 7% to GDP of central Auckland in 2006. The sector includes design, publishing, performing arts, visual arts, and music and screen production. Aucklanders in these industries are entrepreneurial, as the example of innovative computer game development shows (see right).
Computer game development
Fourteen of Auckland’s fledgling game development companies, which already employed 160 full-time workers, planned to create a further 135 full-time high-tech creative jobs in Auckland by April 2012. In addition, two international companies, French-owned Gameloft and Australian-owned Gameslab, have opened Auckland studios this year to tap into local talent. Gameloft is said to be hiring up to 60 people, making it New Zealand’s second-biggest game development company after Wellington-based Sidhe. The small local industry started by developing games for specially built consoles such as PlayStation and Xbox, but has been transformed by the arrival of much more accessible online platforms such as Facebook, mobile phones and iPhones. Barriers to entry in the sector are relatively low compared with other “screen” industries such as television and film. The market has an almost unique combination of characteristics. Anyone can sell into the market via open platforms such as Apple’s iPad and iPhone. Developers have access to the global market across the internet. The business model is based on selling cheaply in order to achieve high volumes. In combination, these elements make it easy for aspiring developers to create and sell applications in a sector not fettered by New Zealand’s remoteness.
303_ We will support our creative people and enterprises for the richness they add to our lives and to Auckland through their creations, and for the economic contribution they make, especially through exporting their ideas and products to the world. This support can be through access to performance and exhibition spaces, public art, residencies, and mentoring opportunities.
Support artists and creative enterprises which contribute to Auckland’s vibrancy, sense of community and its economy.
Foster and encourage the development of the creative sector.
304_ As a relatively small city by international standards, Auckland is fortunate to host a range of significant art and cultural institutions and collections. Some examples are the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, the Auckland War Memorial Museum Tāmaki Paenga Hira, the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, the heritage collections of Auckland Libraries Ngā Whare Mātauranga o Tāmaki Makaurau, the Auckland Zoo and the Auckland Theatre Company (see Map 3.1). Institutions such as these capture and sustain our history, creativity and identity. As well, they enrich Auckland’s place in the world, particularly through tourism. These institutions are a cornerstone in our cultural infrastructure; they instil confidence in us of our place in the world, and are crucial to competing in the international arena.
The generosity and foresight of Auckland’s founders such as Ngāti Whātua, Waiōhua, Tainui, and Hauraki iwi, Sir George Grey, James Tannock Mackelvie, Sir John Logan Campbell and Emilia Maud Nixon have resulted in a cultural heritage resource unequalled in New Zealand.
These art, object and documentary heritage taonga are housed in galleries, libraries, archives and museums, many of which are governed by Auckland Council, while others are part of the government and tertiary education sectors.
They have been gifted with the expectation they will be protected in perpetuity. Together they contribute significantly to the cultural and economic well-being of Auckland and New Zealand. All face common challenges, such as conservation storage, physical and digital access, preservation, marketing and access to specialist expertise. While these collections are of national and international significance, most of their funding is local. There are opportunities to work collaboratively and with central government on joint initiatives; for example shared storage, a documentary heritage centre to showcase rare books, archives and manuscripts, collective programming and national funding models.
Contemporary philanthropists, both individuals and organisations, continue this tradition of generosity and foresight. Strengthening and encouraging philanthropy is vital for arts, culture and heritage to flourish in Auckland and New Zealand.
305_ The Auckland War Memorial Museum Tāmaki Paenga Hira holds the largest Pacific collection globally. Through such collections and venues we can showcase our stories to the world. Agencies need to work together to expand the capacity of venues for showcasing, accessing, and preserving our arts and culture.
306_ We aim to strengthen and make sustainable the institutions that are of an international standard, thereby improving Auckland’s appeal as a tourism destination.
307_ Many of Auckland’s cultural institutions of international scale are located in the central city. It is not cost-effective to replicate large institutions across all of Auckland, and it is important to create a cluster of attractions for the visitor industry. We will generally locate any new major cultural institutions centrally. We will ensure entry to these institutions is affordable and accessible: public transport and outreach programmes to other parts of Auckland will aid accessibility.
308_ Auckland requires a diverse range of facilities at every level for diverse forms of cultural participation and performance. Needs range from large national and international institutions and performance venues to local galleries, performance venues and museums, community cultural centres and local halls. We will continue to support such venues and programmes currently in existence and, over time, fill any gaps there may be at a local or sub-regional level. While many institutions and venues receive public funding, a significant number are reliant on the private sector and individual support.
309_ Auckland’s libraries add a vital dimension to our cultural institutions. They hold a wealth of material that reflects the identity of local communities and the history and cultural heritage of Auckland. Our libraries have some of the earliest and most important printed material of both European and Māori culture. We will ensure that our libraries continue to contribute to the cultural life of Auckland, while remaining relevant as communities and technology change. (see Chapter 12: Auckland’s Physical and Social Infrastructure).
310_ Important cultural activity also occurs outside institutions: in streets, in open spaces, and through informal and spontaneous activity and interaction. We connect with and enjoy our surroundings and give diverse communities a sense of belonging through large- and small-scale public art and street art.
Promote the city centre as a focus for major cultural institutions and develop a diverse supporting network of cultural centres and programmes across Auckland.