Ngā Toi Advocacy Network - Te Taumata Toi-a-iwi

Kotahi te aho ka whati, ki te kāpuia e kore e whati | One strand of flax is easy to break, but many joined together stand strong. – Na Kingi Tāwhiao

Ngā Toi Advocacy Network

We are building a collective approach to advocacy on the value and impact of creativity, arts, and culture, to develop a stronger arts and culture ecosystem in Tāmaki Makaurau.

This advocacy will create the foundation for engaging and challenging the sector, and central and local government, to co-create a strategy to develop a stronger arts and culture ecosystem in Tāmaki Makaurau, and Aotearoa.  The Network’s most recent initiative is a letter to government leaders inviting them to consider a range of actions to provide the long-term support and investment needed to strategically strengthen ngā toi in Aotearoa.

This mahi sees us working alongside organisations and individuals already involved in sector advocacy, including The University of Auckland, Creative New Zealand, and arts sector leaders. Ngā Toi Advocacy Network is central to this. The rōpū was formed at a hui we hosted in April 2020 to address sector challenges from COVID-19.

A shared vision

A diverse range of organisations participate in network hui.  The network focuses on building sector strengths around six strategic priorities:

  • Connect and unite the sector
  • Evidence and research
  • Equity and inclusion
  • Visibility and profile
  • Recovery and rebuild
  • Resource base for advocacy.

The outcomes sought from the network include;

  • Strengthening sector connections
  • Creating a stronger sector voice, and developing a shared advocacy vision
  • Building an evidence base to inform advocacy
  • Achieving greater representation, access and inclusion
  • Greater visibility and understanding of the sector, and the central role culture, creativity and the arts can play in COVID-19 recovery and rebuild
  • Increased central and local government engagement and action on arts advocacy across the sector
  • Increased capacity, capability and resourcing for arts advocacy.
Shared vision
A living document

Ngā toi in Aotearoa

Ngā Toi in Aotearoa – 2020 and beyond outlines key issues affecting ngā toi | the arts culture and creative sector and offers policy guidance on potential responses.  This submission was produced to open a conversation on arts policy with political parties currently in Parliament, their arts and culture spokespeople and policy directors. It covers a range of issues, from sector leadership and governance, to Te Tiriti, to a national arts strategy, to infrastructure, and education.

The submission was developed through a collaboration between Te Taumata Toi-a-Iwi as Auckland’s regional arts trust, and the Ngā Toi Advocacy Network.  The network represents a diverse range of arts organisations, arts advocacy groups, festival directors, independent arts consultants and researchers, and arts administrators. It aims to identify how to strategically strengthen ngā toi in Tāmaki Makaurau, and in Aotearoa.  

The submission informed the pre-election forum Shaping the future of the arts, culture and creative sector with Hon Carmel Sepuloni (Associate Arts Culture and Heritage Minister), Jonathon Young MP (Arts Culture and Heritage spokesperson National Party), and Chlöe Swarbrick MP (Arts Culture and Heritage spokesperson Green Party). The forum identified a high degree of cross-party agreement on a number of issues covered in the submission. 

A number of individuals and organisations in the sector chose to endorse the submission. A list of those supporters is included at the end of this document.


Are the Arts Essential Debate - March 2021

On 16th March 2021, we held a debate as part of the Auckland Arts Festival, with our partners Auckland Live. The topic was ‘Are the Arts essential?’, facilitating discussion around the importance that the arts play in our lives. Hosted by Tanea Heke, it featured Amber Curren, Madeleine Chapman and Eli Matthewson for the affirmative team, and James Nokise, Alice Canton and Toby Manhire for the negative team. Below are a selection of highlights from the debate.

Host - Tanea Heke...

Affirmative Team...

Negative Team...

Election forum - September 2020

Election Forum
Ngā Toi Advocacy Network pre-election forum on arts policies, 20th August 2020.

Ngā Toi Advocacy Network Voices

Some of the Ngā Toi Advocacy Network members got together late 2020 to talk about priorities for the year ahead.  While we had them together, we did some vox pops with them. These brief videos cover how COVID-19 had affected network members work and their organisations, their impressions from the pre-election forum on the arts, and their messages for the incoming government.