Creative Governance - Te Taumata Toi-a-Iwi

Creative Governance


The arts, culture and creative sector is by nature a source of innovation. A current focus for innovation is in creative sector governance. The kōrero in the sector is addressing the need for those involved in governance to provide strategic direction to their organisations around issues such as honouring Te Tiriti o Waitangi, and equity and inclusion. In addition to these issues of content, there is interest in exploring how creative sector practices could be applied to governance.

The following resources provide an insight into emerging sector thinking on governance.

In this article Future models of governance for the creative sector, independent director Caren Rangi reviews what she is hearing and where she sees opportunities for creative sector governance innovation. Caren has extensive experience as an independent governor and helps facilitate governance conversations for Te Taumata.

Caren’s article helped inform the Future Models of Creative Governance webinar. Facilitated by Te Taumata CEO Alison Taylor, with Caren and Eynon Delamere, this webinar engaged a range of people involved in sector governance in exploring current governance issues, and potential directions for the future.

Future Models of Creative Sector Governance was also the focus of one of six initiatives, delivered in 2021 through the Tāmaki Makaurau Capability Network, to build creative sector capability in Tāmaki Makaurau. Through a series of co-design hui, creative sector practitioners explored what future-focused governance might look like for the sector. This report captures insights and learnings from these hui. Further information on the initiatives can be found here.

Supporting Creative Sector Governance Development:
Impact, learning and insight

Te Taumata is seeking to grow transformative leadership through deeper sector relationships, strengthened governance and leadership practice and models of governance and leadership that centre te ao Māori. Our report, Supporting Creative Sector Governance Development: Impact, learning and insights reflects on our creative sector governance work in 2022-23. This has focused on placing a creative lens on governance, and making space for developing, sharing and reshaping governance practices. The report outlines the development journey of our creative sector governance work; the establishment of a community of practice; reflections from two participants; and the outcomes, learning and implications arising from activating a community of practice.

Future Models of Creative
Governance webinar

The online webinar on Future Models of Creative Governance with Caren Rangi and Eynon Delamere explored opportunities for innovation in governance in the arts, culture and creative sector. Facilitated by Alison Taylor, the webinar draws on Caren’s and Eynon’s experience of the factors that influence effective governance and their thoughts on ways in which creative processes can be applied in the governance process.

Some of the observations and ideas discussed by Caren and Eynon included:

The need to consider non-Western governance approaches. “To participate in governance currently, you have to work within the dominant paradigm.”

  • The pressure to upskill Māori and Pasifika for governance needs to be matched by upskilling boards to receive them and draw on the knowledge they bring to the table. “It’s too easy to put Māori on a board and say ‘we’re Tiriti focused’, but then nothing else changes.”
  • While compliance is an important issue for governance, leadership is the greater challenge. “Perhaps we need to put the leadership visionary stuff up the front of the agenda when everyone is fresh and leave compliance to the end.”
  • Look to expand board membership beyond the “lawyer, accountant, funder’ to include people who can bring visionary leadership and high-level relationship skills and reflect the community. “It’s about and, AND.’
  • Ensure when you recruit, to select people who align to the organisation’s values and strategic intent.
  • Mentor and support emerging governance leadership.  A tuakana / teina model. “On one board I chair, each board member takes a turn at chairing as part of their professional development.’
  • Bring more creative thinking to the process of governance. “It’s not just about the leading lady, leading man.  It’s about the whole cast.’

As the hui closed, Eynon referenced a whakatauki from Tā James Hēnare;

“Kua tawhiti kē to haerenga mai, kia kore e haere tonu. He nui rawa o mahi, kia kore e mahi tonu."

You have come to far not to go further; you have done too much not to do more.