Letter from Hon Kris Faafoi: a turn-around on RNZ Concert?

After a couple of weeks silence from the Government and Radio NZ itself, this letter seemed to bring us the result that we’d hoped for. Or has it really?

Though the Prime Minister had announced earlier that an unused FM frequency was in fact available, which meant that Concert could continue to use its existing frequencies, while the proposed youth network would use the till-now unused ones, many other important aspects of the service that have been eroded over the past year or so, still look at risk.

What of the plans to fire all 18 existing Concert presenters and other support staff, to turn it into a juke-box broadcaster with no human being announcing the music; and the presumed disappearance of live broadcasts from our orchestras, and other musicians, of talks and documentaries, which have largely disappeared already? Will funding be restored to the level of, say, 10 years ago to allow the service to behave as such broadcasters do in all other civilised countries? And will we see the restoration of a less ‘personalised’, commercial-aping style with its endless, repetitive promotions of programmes whose ‘character’ is artificially generated as if each was competing for your personal attention. And the dominance by the playing of single movements of multi-movement music, as if Concert listeners had suddenly become unlettered, shallow simpletons with a very limited attention span.

The rather perfunctory comment covering these latter questions leaves us in doubt about the Government’s real commitment to a properly staffed, adequately funded and decently presented classical radio network.

This is the only reference in the letter to the above shortcomings:

“As you will be aware, RNZ has now withdrawn its proposal for changes to RNZ Concert. We are pleased that RNZ is taking this approach…”

If that suggests that the ultimate handling of these critically important issues simply remains in the hands of RNZ’s management, what then is the point of a Minister of Broadcasting at all?

The following is the Minister’s reply, presumably sent to all who wrote to him:

“Thank you for your correspondence about RNZ’s proposed changes to RNZ Concert.

I want to assure you that we are aware of the significance of RNZ Concert to New Zealand’s music sector and to its listeners. It is clear that this service plays an important role in the lives of a great many New Zealanders and has a loyal and committed following.

One of the key purposes of public media and a core Government priority for the arts is helping overcome barriers to access, and this is something RNZ Concert does very well for many New Zealanders. It has also been particularly heartening to hear from a diverse range of Kiwi musicians, composers and others in the industry about what RNZ Concert means to them.

At the Cabinet meeting on 10 February 2020, Government agreed it did not want RNZ Concert to lose its FM platform and agreed to explore what would be involved in allocating the currently unutilised 102FM frequency to RNZ’s proposed youth-focussed service. RNZ has publicly welcomed this step.

We support RNZ in seeking to increase its reach to more New Zealand youth and are happy that it now has the opportunity to pursue two goals – to continue broadcasting RNZ Concert on FM radio, while also looking to establish a new service targeted to audiences in the 18 to 34-year-old age range.

As you will be aware, RNZ has now withdrawn its proposal for changes to RNZ Concert. We are pleased that RNZ is taking this approach, and have asked our officials to stay in touch with RNZ on these matters.

Once again, thank you for writing and for taking the time to share your views. Please be assured that you have been heard.

Ngā mihi

Hon Kris Faafoi”


RNZ Chief plans to destroy RNZ Concert

Crisis in our intellectual and cultural life!

We reproduce below a report on Stuff website about the unbelievably barbaric plans of Radio New Zealand to sack all RNZ Concert staff, broadcast music without presenters, either live or recorded, transmit on only AM radio which is virtually defunct in New Zealand and throughout the world.

We know no country in the western world that does not have a classical music broadcaster of the kind New Zealand has had since 1950.

We find it extraordinary that a State-owned enterprise appears to be free to act in this way without the sanction of the relevant controlling body or the Minister.

There were warning signals last year with a report that there were plans to shift half of RNZ staff to Auckland.

That was hard to understand when it’s the State that should be leading the way in encouraging the dispersal of employment and the demand for housing to other parts of the country, from a city that seems unable to cater for the results of uncontrolled population growth.

And the ‘popularisation’ of the presentation in recent months, the incessant use of  ‘trailers’, encouraging presenters to exploit their personalities, and to ‘gush’ over what’s about to be played was prescient. It was a warning that management believed its listeners were either children or people without their own feelings about music, their long-cultivated tastes and generally a knowledge of classical music, just as of major literature and the visual arts.

We must wonder how someone so lacking in an understanding of the importance of maintaining fundamental elements of civilised life and culture. could have been appointed to a position in charge of the the nation’s public radio.

Is there any hope that RNZ’s board will reject this absurdity? Not likely, as there’s no one on the board with any sign of an interest in classical music, or indeed in any of the major arts.

When there were moves in the 1980s to undermine through commercial advertising, what was then the Concert Programme, it led to the formation of Friends of the Concert Programme. There were some 50,000 adherents and they stopped it. Unfortunately the record of those members has been lost.

We need to create immediately a new Friends of RNZ Concert, to raise the roof to show the strength of opinion about these unbelievable plans.

The report on Stuff: 

RNZ says new ‘youth oriented’ music brand will lift whole radio industry

Tom Pullar-Strecker 16:20, Feb 05 2020

RNZ has brushed off concerns that a radical overhaul of its music services will take it into a turf-fight with the country’s commercial radio stations.

The state-owned broadcaster began consulting staff on Wednesday on a proposal that would see it make 18 redundancies and axe almost all jobs at RNZ Concert.

It plans to create 17 new jobs at a new youth-oriented music channel based in Auckland that it plans to launch during the second half of this year.

But sources suggested that only a few existing staff were being given the opportunity to transfer.

“There will be a whole lot of new jobs doing some quite new things,” chief executive Paul Thompson said.

RNZ chief executive Paul Thompson says there will be different views on its new music strategy but it needs to connect with younger audiences.

Public Service Association national secretary Glenn Barclay said RNZ staff were “shocked and upset”.

“They knew change was coming, but nobody expected it would be this far reaching or aggressive in terms of timeframes.”

Concert FM had been part of New Zealand households for generations, and its “skilled and hardworking staff” did exemplary work every day, he said.

“PSA members will meet in the days ahead to discuss this proposal with colleagues, and they will decide on an appropriate response.”

RNZ head of music Willy Macalister said RNZ’s new music service would feature a higher proportion of New Zealand music and “talk content” than commercial radio stations.

But it would also play international hits in order to provide “something that is palatable to a broader audience”, he said.

RNZ’s support of the Rhythm and Vines music festival points to the direction it expects its new music service to take.

“You can’t ‘niche yourself’ out of relevance.”

The new commercial-free service, which has yet to be named, will be carried on FM and made available online, both in a streaming format and “on demand”.

RNZ Concert would lose its FM slot and all its presenters, but would broadcast classical music around the clock on AM, online and on Sky.

Staff whose jobs were on the line have criticised the moves as a step towards replacing RNZ’s music division with “Spotify”, sources said.

But Thompson said it needed to create the new brand and that decision had been signed off by its board.

“While RNZ is doing really well, we just don’t have enough connection with younger New Zealanders.

“The bit we are working with staff on is the impact of the new strategy on them.”

Commercial radio broadcasters NZME and MediaWorks are understood to have had discussions with the Radio Broadcasters Association about RNZ’s new direction.

Its chief executive Jana Rangooni gave a guarded response to RNZ’s plans.

“If the public service media principle of delivering content to New Zealand audiences that are not currently catered for is applied to RNZ’s youth music strategy, this could deliver benefits for all sectors of our industry and for New Zealanders,” she said.

But she said the association would have “serious concerns” if a taxpayer-funded broadcaster launched products and platforms that targeted audiences “already well served by commercial radio broadcasters”.

“We note that there are already many networks operating in New Zealand that service youth music audiences,” she said.

“While it’s true RNZ is non-commercial, the networks it operates with taxpayer funding compete for audiences which has an impact on New Zealand’s commercial networks.”

Macalister downplayed that concern saying a lot of thought had gone into avoiding a clash.

“A rising tide will float all boats. We are going to be offering something that is different.

“There is a section of the audience that is not consuming radio at the moment and we really do hope we can appeal to them.”

That would involve the new service supporting more “grass roots” music, emerging artists and live performances, he said.

Commercial radio businesses might “talk a bit loud at the start, but I think everybody will be okay and we will all get along”, he said.

Thompson said it would be “pointless” for RNZ to launch a service that replicated what the commercial market already did well, and said it would aim to offer any new content it created to other broadcasters.

“We have this strategy of ‘radical sharing’ because that is how we are growing our impact.”

RNZ would do “all it could” to support existing staff through the consultations, Thompson said.

But he said changes of the kind RNZ was considering were “always really difficult”.

“Of course there are going to be different views and opinions of this,” he said.


Chamber Music Hutt Valley to submit a winding-up motion at the 2019 AGM

Chamber Music in Hutt Valley at risk

Friday 15 March 2019

The agenda of Chamber Music Hutt Valley’s AGM on Wednesday 27 March includes a motion that would wind up the society and bring its history of forty years of chamber music concerts in Lower Hutt to an end.

The motion reads:

“That the Executive is given the authority by this AGM to make CMHV inactive after the end of the 2019 season: the decision being based on a lack of committee members available to achieve the objects of the Society as described in rule 3.1. In order to confirm a 2020 season this decision is to be made before the end of June 2019.”

That seems to imply that unless an adequate committee is elected the society will go out of business.

The committee explains that while it has been successful in organising chamber music concerts in the Hutt Valley for many years, through the work of a dedicated group of committee members, it has become increasingly difficult to replace retiring committee members. This, despite pleas to audience members at concerts, in newsletters and through general net-working, urging music lovers to come forward.

They believe that the number of committee members will drop to four at the end of this year, which is simply not enough to run the society.

Furthermore, the background note reports that there are few new audience members, in spite of the continued support of current society members and flexi-card holders, and that continued operations will have to rely increasingly on obtaining external grants, a task that puts additional demands on the committee.

Middle C is alarmed at this prospect, and we urge readers, particularly those in the Hutt Valley, to lend whatever support they can to the society, by attending the meeting, by offering their services to the committee, by making donations, and by attending concerts in increasing numbers this year.

Middle C attempts to cover concerts in all parts of Greater Wellington, and we see, specifically in the field of chamber music in Wellington, a very rich resource, with regular concert series from Waikanae and Paekakariki, through Upper and Lower Hutt to various series of chamber music concerts in Wellington City itself. The loss of the Hutt Valley’s chamber music organisation would leave a very regrettable hole in the region’s musical scene. After all, Hutt City with a population of around 100,000, and Upper Hutt’s 44,000, that is about 35% of Greater Wellington’s population.

The AGM will be held at the rooms of the Hutt Valley Art Society on the corner of Myrtle and Huia Streets, Lower Hutt, on Wednesday 27 March at 7:30 pm.   

Il Corsaro – a New Zealand premiere, but not the Australasian one

A post-script to the New Zealand School of Music’s production of Verdi’s Il Corsaro
In reference to the reviews published in this website on 26 July.

In the review I sent to Opera magazine (London) of the New Zealand School of Music’s production of Il Corsaro in July, I wrote not only that was it the New Zealand premiere but surmised that it was probably the Australian premiere too.

Browsing for something else I have come across a listing of earlier performances of Il Corsaro in Australia, by the small Melbourne City Opera – in November 2006. It took place in the Melba Hall of Melbourne University. The conductor was Erich Fackert; Joseph Talia was named director, though that did not mean ‘stage director’, as a review called it a concert performance. Talia is the general manager and artistic director of the company.

Wellington may well feel aggrieved at the way the so-called merger between its opera company, Wellington City Opera and the company that had been called Auckland Opera has turned out. Melbourne has long felt the same about the shared access it has to the Sydney-based Opera Australia. Melbourne sees only about half the number of performances that are presented in Sydney.

Things were different up to 1996 which was the year the professional, enterprising Victoria State Opera was driven to an accommodation with Opera Australia, the result, it has to be admitted, of extravagance and mismanagement on the part of the Melbourne company. The merger was supposed to entail some improvement in the attention paid to Melbourne by Opera Australia, but things have not really worked out like that.

A year later, 1997, Melbourne City Opera was founded, successor to the semi-professional Globe Opera which had been a highly successful company since 1978. The intention was to supplement what the Sydney-based company would deliver in Melbourne, and the company has staged two or three operas a year since then, including the occasional rarity like Verdi’s Ernani and Il Corsaro.

Then in 2003, a break-away company was formed, the result, evidently, of some kind of dispute. The name alone, Melbourne Opera, was an irritant to the older company.

However, both companies have successfully tilled their own fields and their activities can be seen through the Internet.

Other opera companies have sprung up too: Lyric Opera of Melbourne which has mounted lighter opera of an enterprising kind: Spanish zarzuela, Offenbach’s La belle Hélène, Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti.
Scheduled in September is Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride.

In the meantime, another Melbourne opera company with more serious intent was set up, in 2007: Victorian Opera which gets State government support; its artistic director is Richard Mills who recently made a rather spectacular exit from the musical direction of the Melbourne Ring cycle.

The company avoids the familiar, popular repertoire but aims to attract new audiences with pieces
such as Nixon in China, Sondheim’s Sunday in the Park with George, Piazzolla’s Maria de Buenos Aires, a tango opera. In an attempt to engage young audiences there’s Norman Lindsay’s tale The Magic Pudding – the opera written and composed by Calvin Bowman and Anna Goldsworthy, and Xavier
Montsalvatge’s Puss in Boots.

Melbourne is also home to Chamber Made Opera now in its 25th year. It’s run by Artistic Director David Young, about to step aside for Tim Stitz, It claims to be Australia’s most radical and experimental opera company. A look at its repertoire vividly supports that. Many new Australian operas plus significant contemporary works from abroad, such as Turnage’s Greek, Teorema by Battistelli, Philip Glass’s The Fall of the House of Usher.

In 2003 I had visited Melbourne and caught performances by both Melbourne City Opera (Il tabarro and Pagliacci)  and Melbourne Opera (The Magic Flute). I remember talking to both Talia (of the former) and whoever was the manager of Melbourne Opera and was surprised to find the level of animosity between the two, who had earlier worked together in one company.

The company website had a short review of its performance of Il Corsaro by a regular Melbourne critic, Clive O’Connell, which referred to it as a concert performance:

“From all accounts the recently quiescent Melbourne City Opera administration has finally decided to leave the usual fields that it tills of well-known if not mainstream opera.

“This concert performance of a rarely heard Verdi work served the excellent purpose of filling out part of those large gaps in one’s live performance experiences and also helped to lay to rest certain legends about Il Corsaro that have acquired the status of received truth simply because any opposing arguments could not be voiced with assurance.

“Not surprisingly, these three performances from MCO were the Australian premieres.

“Having little to do but stand and sing their contributions from behind the orchestra, the MCO chorus made a sterling impact; both the pirate men and the odalisques…

“Similarly Erich Fackert’s orchestra gave a brisk reading of the score, staying on the ball. The concentrated body of violins worked with a will in the opera’s demandingly active pages, particularly the storm music that accompanies Gulnara’s murder of the Pasha which was performed with Rossinian brio.”


(it appeared in the now defunct Opera-Opera monthly (previously called Opera Australia till the company changed its name to that, putting the magazine’s nose seriously out of joint); it had, till about 2007, covered the Australian opera field admirably, and even took some reviews from me in its later years).


Elizabeth Hudson steps down as director of the NZSM

The following is a press release from the New Zealand School of Music, dated 21 August, that has only just crossed our path. Professor Hudson has, reportedly, declined an offer to renew her contract as director of the school, but will return after a sabbatical, next July, as Professor of Musicology.

Thursday 29 August 2013 

Professor Elizabeth Hudson has stepped down from her role as the inaugural Director of Te Kōkī New Zealand School of Music.

The School was launched in 2006 as a joint venture between Massey University and Victoria University of Wellington, and has become a leader in tertiary music study. On behalf of the NZSM Board of Directors, the Hon Steve Maharey, Vice-Chancellor of Massey University, and Victoria Vice-Chancellor Professor Pat Walsh thanked Professor Hudson for her leadership, dedication, energy and commitment to achieving the goals and vision for the NZSM.

“Over the past seven years she has overseen a number of successful initiatives and significant advances to the school‘s academic programmes and its reputation. During that time, she led the School in an intensive development of its curriculum and an ambitious programme of public events, and greatly raised the profile of its staff and students, clearly establishing the NZSM as the pre-eminent provider of music education in New Zealand.”

Professor Hudson will continue to provide leadership at the school in her permanent role as a Professor of Musicology from July 2014, following a period of research and study leave. She is looking forward to further research as a Verdi scholar over the next few months and plans for a new book are on the horizon. “I have thoroughly enjoyed leading NZSM through its first seven years. I am very proud of all the School has  achieved across that time, and want to acknowledge the tremendous level of expertise, talent and integrity that the staff and students represent. I am especially pleased at the extent to which the School is on its way to achieve its potential as a world-leader in musical research, teaching and performance.”

Associate Professor Greer Garden-Harlick is Acting Director, New Zealand School of Music while the Board of Directors continue to work on longer term transition arrangements for the NZSM. She comments: “Professor Hudson has given the School the best possible platform for further development and we look forward to her return as a teaching colleague next year. She leaves the School in good heart and we are confident that we will go on from strength to strength.”

Old Saint Paul’s lunchtime concerts

Here is the just released list of Tuesday lunchtime concerts at Old St Paul’s.

May 29        Paul Rosoman – organ
June 5          NZSM Guitars
June 12        David Trott – organ
June 19        Megan Corby –  VoxBox vocal group
June 26        TBA
July 3          Capital Harmony Chorus
July 10        City Jazz
July 17        Carolyn Mills – Harp
July 24        Duo Tapas – guitar and violin
July 31        NZSM Woodwind
August 7    Valerie Rigg & Richard Mapp – violin & piano
August 14    Klezmer Rebs – Eastern Europe vocal group
August 21    NZ Guitar Quartet
August 28    Ktistina Zuelicke & Ingrid Cuilliford – piano/flute
September 4    Richard Apperley – organ
September 11    TBA
September 18    Judy Orgias & Janey Mackenzie – vocal duo
September 25    NZSM Saxophone choir

Singing for Children: Young Angel Voices at St Mary of the Angels

An invitation from Robert Oliver

We’re looking for children aged between 8 and 12 years old, who are looking for a group to sing in.

Young Angel Voices started a year ago, and is always welcoming new members.

It’s open to all comers, there is no audition.

The only qualification is the desire to sing.

Children learn all sorts of songs: folk songs, rounds, gospel songs, part-songs, some accompanied, some unaccompanied. They learn to read, and how to produce their voices from one of New Zealand’s most experienced singers and conductors.

Anybody who thinks they might be interested can just turn up at 4:30pm on any Thursday in the school term, at the

Parish Hall, St Mary of the Angels, Boulcott Street.

There is limited parking in the Church Car Park off O’Riely Avenue.

Robert Oliver ph 934 2296; mob 021 0257 4375

robert.oliver@paradise.net.nz                             www.smoa.org.nz

Christopher Doig

In the review of the second Brahms concert from the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Rosemary included a few paragraphs about Christopher Doig who had died that morning. The concert master had dedicated the concert to his memory.

Concertmaster Vessa-Matti Lepännen spoke to the audience before the conductor entered, dedicating the evening’s concert to the memory of Christopher Doig, who had died that morning. Among his many, many roles in the cultural and sporting life of the nation he was responsible over recent years for Sponsorship and Business Development for the orchestra, based in his beloved home city of Christhcurch. In the last week he had greeted the great tenor Placido Domingo in Christchurch, a trip organised by Doig to raise funds for earthquake victims there.

He announced only days ago a scholarship for young singers – as a superb tenor himself, one of the very best New Zealand has produced, he was always encouraging others musicians, as Lepännen attested.

In Wellington he will be remembered best as the Director of the 1990 New Zealand International Festival of the Arts, and the production in that Festival of Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, with Sir Donald McIntyre as the principal soloist. His loss to the cultural scene in this country is colossal; the fruits of his labours will live on for a long time.

How appropriate, then, for the concert to commence with the Tragic Overture, by a composer who spent most of his life in Vienna, a city where Chris Doig had been principal tenor at the opera house for a number of years.

A new element in the ‘Live in Cinemas’ phenomenon – orchestral concerts

The following note has just been posted in the first part of our Coming Events schedule.

Both the BBC Proms and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra have this year entered the ‘Live in Cinemas’ market.

In New Zealand we got three of the Proms concert – the first and last nights, plus one from the middle of the season that featured Emanuel Ax playing Brahms’s Second Piano Concert with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe under Bernard Haitink – they also played Brahms’s Fourth Symphony.

The Last Night of the Proms will screen from 6 October. Lang Lang will play the piano and Susan Bullock will sing; Edward Gardner conducts.

The Berlin Philharmonic’s series was of four concerts: the first, their ritual Europa Concert marking the orchestra’s founding in 1882. That took place this year in the Teatro Real (Royal Theatre) in Madrid, and included Rachmaninov’s Second Symphony. The second, taken from the orchestra’s home in the Phiharmonie in Berlin, consisted of one work – Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde: with Anne Sophie von Otter and Jonas Kaufmann, conducted by Claudio Abbado.

The third to be screened, like the others, at the Penthouse in Brooklyn, on 17, 18 and 21 September, will be at the Waldbühne, the famous open air arena in forest 10 km or so west of the city. There Riccardo Chailly will conduct a lightish programme including Nino Rota’s film score, La Strada, and music by Respighi and Shostakovich.

The fourth concert will be under Japanese cnductor Yutaka Sado and includes performances of Takemitsu and of Shostakovich’s 5th Symphony.

Over 60 cinemas across Europe are part of this historic live cinema event, courtesy of Rising Alternative.

Here is an excerpt from Musicweb International’s article about the Berlin Philharmonic’s venture in live transmissions in cinemas, and emergence of a phenomenon that could make a difference to the appreciation of classical music everywhere.

“…Digital cinema and satellite technology is providing cinema owners, distributors and the entertainment industry at large with new programming opportunities – the ability to show alternative content (non-movie entertainment). Cinemas are becoming vibrant entertainment centres, as well as movie houses.

“The technology is operated by Rising Alternative, a leading international distributor of special event entertainment into cinemas. Rising Alternative, based in New York, is a leading distributor/agent of special event entertainment (alternative content) for cinemas. Rising Alternative acquires, distributes and markets world-class live and pre-recorded cultural content, including opera, ballet and concerts to cinemas worldwide. The upcoming slate of events includes highly anticipated performances from La Scala, Milan; Berliner Philharmoniker; Wiener Philharmoniker, Vienna; the Salzburg Festival;  the Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona;  Teatro Real, Madrid;  San Francisco Opera and the Munich Opera Festival. The company was created by Giovanni Cozzi, a co-founder of Emerging Pictures, the U.S. digital art house cinema network.”

Wellington Orchestra’s funding secure through 2013

On 15 December 2010 we published an article about the Arts Council of New Zealand (Creative New Zealand)’s proposals to introduce changes to the criteria and the pattern of ‘multi-year’ funding provided to arts organizations.

On 1 September the council announced the results of its review and the consequent funding decisions.

For Wellington, the most critical matter was how the Vector Wellington Orchestra fared.

Happily, through what we gather were some pretty intense negotiating sessions, the orchestra’s funding has been left untouched for 2012 and 2013, at $365.000 per annum, the same as at present. The council has also agreed to a review of the entire orchestral sector to be carried out by the Ministry of Culture and Heritage, perhaps with the involvement of an overseas expert.

Here is the introductory part of the Council’s press release:

Creative New Zealand has committed funding through two new complementary programmes as it implements a major overhaul of its multi-year funding for the arts.

The funding was made by the Arts Board and Te Waka Toi as the new programmes replace the previous Recurrent Funding, Arts Investment, and Sector Investment programmes.

Over the next three years more than $50 million will be invested in 72 arts organisations, ranging from the Auckland Theatre Company to Dunedin’s Blue Oyster Gallery.  In 2012, overall investment in the same organisations will increase by approximately $2 million to $22 million, up from $19.7 million in 2011.

“The majority of funding will be delivered through long term contracts that will give arts organisations security to plan for the future.  These forward looking investments give confidence that pivotal art organisations are well placed to respond to contemporary New Zealand,” said Creative New Zealand Chief Executive Stephen Wainwright.

“Investment in Māori and Pacific arts organisations has increased by 20 percent.  This will enable organisations like Tautai Contemporary Pacific Arts Trust, Tawata Productions and Toi Māori Aotearoa to delight growing audiences for Māori and Pacific work.”

Creative New Zealand is also broadening access to the arts with funding for Arts Access Aotearoa which works to improve access to arts for all New Zealanders, including people with disabilities.  For the first time multi-year funding is also being provided to Touch Compass, a contemporary dance company that combines dancers with and without disabilities; and Massive Theatre Company which produces work from the stories of Aucklanders in their teens and early twenties.

“We’re also pleased to support the new New Zealand Dance Advancement Trust which is being funded over two years to deliver a programme of contemporary dance so New Zealanders can see work by some of the country’s best dancers and choreographers.

“In addition to supporting new and emerging arts organisations, Creative New Zealand is also funding those which have a strong record of arts delivery and are key to the arts in this country.  The majority of our investment continues to be in the critical network of theatres, contemporary art galleries, orchestras, service organisations, festivals, publishers and chamber music organisations throughout the country,” he said.

Creative New Zealand is offering $500,000 a year in incentive funding for initiatives where organisations are working together, for example to develop and present new New Zealand work or to provide internships for emerging artists and arts practitioners.

The schedule of grants

(the amounts are totals over, variously, one, two or three years and must thus be adjusted to see the annual figures)

Dance and performing arts

Toi Tōtara Haemata: All funding is for 2012-2014, unless noted otherwise.
Black Grace, $1.62 million;
DANZ Dance Aotearoa New Zealand, $973,500;
Touch Compass, $666,000, 2012-2013

Toi Uru Kahikatea: All funding is for 2012-2013, unless noted otherwise

Atamira Dance Collective Charitable Trust, $665,000;
Footnote Dance Company, $740,000;
Kahurangi New Zealand Māori Dance Trust, $599,280;
New Zealand Dance Advancement Trust $1 million;
Okareka Dance Company Limited, $200,000, 2012;
Pacific Dance New Zealand, $100,000, 2012;
Touch Compass, $25,000 (bridging until end of 2011)


Toi Tōtara Haemata:
New Zealand Book Council, $512,000, 2012-2013

Toi Uru Kahikatea: All funding is for 2012, unless noted otherwise
Auckland University Press, $47,000;
Auckland Writers and Readers Festival Charitable Trust,$88,339;
Bridget Williams Books Ltd, 23,000;
Michael King Writers Studio Trust, $69,000;
New Zealand Society of Authors, $66,385;
Penguin Group NZ, $17,500;
Random House NZ Limited, $36,000;
University of Otago College of Education, $18,428, 2013;
Victoria University Press, $26,000


All funding is for 2012-2013, unless noted otherwise

Toi Tōtara Haemata: Arts Access Aotearoa, $558,000;
Auckland Festival Trust, $700,000;
New Zealand International Arts Festival, $1.551 million, 2012-2014;
Toi Māori Aotearoa, $1.5525 million

Toi Uru Kahikatea: All funding is for 2012-2013, unless noted otherwise
Arts on Tour NZ Trust, $434,000;
Dunedin Fringe Arts Trust, $25,000, 2012;
Otago Festival of the Arts, $90,000;
Southern Lakes Arts Festival Trust, $96,000


Toi Tōtara Haemata: All funding is for 2012-2014, unless noted otherwise.
Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, $4.2 million, 2012-2013;
Chamber Music New Zealand, $2.304 million;
NBR New Zealand Opera,  $7.425 million;
New Zealand String Quartet,  $780,000

Toi Uru Kahikatea: All funding is for 2012-2013, unless noted otherwise
Audio Foundation, $ 103,600, 2012;
Centre for New Zealand Music (SOUNZ), $172,500, 2012;
Choirs Aotearoa New Zealand, $520,000;
Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, $1.5 million;
New Zealand Choral Federation, $300,000;
New Zealand Trio Foundation, $280,000;
Southern Sinfonia, $630,000;
Strike Percussion, $89,500, 2012;
Vector Wellington Orchestra, $730,000


Toi Tōtara Haemata: All funding is for 2012-2014, unless noted otherwise
Auckland Theatre Company, $2.79 million;
BATS Theatre, $885,000;
Capital E, $810,000, 2012-2013;
Centrepoint Theatre, $1.37 million;
Massive Company, $410,000, 2012-2013;
Playmarket, $996,000;
Taki Rua Productions, $1.26 million;
The Court Theatre, $1.784 million, 2012-2013

Toi Uru Kahikatea: All funding is for the period 2012-2013, unless noted otherwise
Circa + TACT, $1.186 million;
Downstage Theatre Trust, $650,000;
Fortune Theatre, $900,000;
Indian Ink Theatre Company, $206,992, 2012;
PROMPT Incorporated, $67,494;
Red Leap Charitable Trust, $178,927, 2012;
Silo Theatre Trust, 320,000, 2012;
Tawata Productions, $386,280;
The Shakespeare Globe Centre NZ, $100,000;
Young and Hungry Arts Trust, $172,500

Wider Visual Arts including craft/object, media arts and Inter-arts

Toi Tōtara Haemata: All funding is for 2012-2014, unless noted otherwise.
Artspace Aotearoa, $918,000;
Objectspace, $801,000;
Tautai Contemporary Pacific Arts Trust, $574,000, 2012-2013;
The Physics Room, $750,000

Toi Uru Kahikatea: All funding is for 2012-2013, unless noted otherwise
Art and Industry Biennial Trust, $217,990;
Artists Alliance, $89,920, 2012;
Asia New Zealand Foundation, $32,250;
Blue Oyster Arts Trust, $95,855, 2012;
Dunedin Public Art Gallery, $164,615;
Enjoy Public Art Gallery, $86,990, 2012;
eyeCONTACT, $50,000, 2012;
Intercreate Trust, $50,000, 2012;
McCahon House Trust, $54,000;
The Big Idea – Te Aria Nui Charitable Trust, $60,000

Comments by Wellington grant recipients

Wellington Orchestra

Vector Wellington Orchestra has escaped a threatened funding cut that would have trimmed more than $200,000 from its annual budget and reduced it to community orchestra status.

Creative New Zealand announced yesterday that the orchestra would continue to receive its current level of funding for the next two years.

The decision comes at the end of a review of arts sector funding initiated by Creative New Zealand in 2010.

The VWO raised questions about the review process amid concern that its major funding body was aiming for a predetermined result.

“If the cut had gone ahead there would have been devastating effects on the Wellington arts sector, and the orchestral sector in New Zealand”, said VWO General Manager Diana Marsh. “Besides presenting our own concerts, other Wellington arts bodies rely on us to provide a professional orchestra for opera, ballet and choir performances in Wellington,” Marsh says.

“This is a great win. Wellington got in behind the orchestra in a big way, and we are now in a stronger position for the future.”

There will be a review of the entire orchestral sector next year, but it will be carried out by the Ministry of Culture and Heritage.

VWO board chair, Alick Shaw said “We proposed this review to CNZ in our first meeting after they announced the new funding arrangements. It took far too long for them to accept that this type of investigation was needed and we all endured a year of needless conflict and compromised relationships within the sector. That should never have happened.

“This review is the critical element of our agreement with CNZ, not just for the VWO but for all of the regional orchestras as it secured our funding in the interim. Most importantly we will all be consulted in developing terms of reference and membership of the panel. This will ensure an open process and an informed outcome.

“Everyone should understand that our board and management did not over-react. The fight back was crucial in securing our future. Our continued funding has resulted from an agreement between the VWO and CNZ, not just a change of heart. We are grateful to all our members and friends for their support”.

Downstage acknowledges the result

Downstage Theatre Trust is pleased to have been offered on-going funding by Creative New Zealand (CNZ) as part of CNZ’s Arts Development Investment (Toi Uru Kahikatea) Programme.

CNZ is offering an increase in our funding and a return to a multi-year commitment. This is an endorsement of the significant operational changes we have undertaken since 2008, and the commitment shown by our core supporters. In that time Downstage has moved from a traditional producing company to a collaborative presenting partner, working with New Zealand’s talented independent theatre sector to bring high-quality New Zealand theatre to Wellington and national audiences. We aim to support the professional growth of local theatre practitioners through a commitment to providing paid employment, supporting audience development, and underwriting the financial risk involved in presenting New Zealand theatre works.

A specific allocation of funding for audience development initiatives will help Downstage to achieve our vision of building an appreciation and following for distinctive New Zealand work.

The funding offered does not enable Downstage to fulfil all our ambitions at present, however, we are actively seeking additional sponsors for our innovative programmes. We are also building support from regular donations; there’s more about our BackDownstage programme on our websitewww.downstage.co.nz

The offer of Toi Uru Kahikatea funding is a positive step in Downstage’s development as a 21st century arts organisation, as we move towards our 50th anniversary.