Coromandel Arts and Creative Industries Strategy

The Coromandel is widely known for its great fishing, gorgeous beaches and colonial history, but it also has a vibrant and constantly evolving creative side.

The Coromandel, with its vast natural beauty, fresh air, clean seas and open spaces has long been thought of as a thriving creative environment and a place to develop creative expression and a sense of local identity.

An over-arching Arts Strategy will set our aspirations for the arts sector and will help us not only support the arts already established in the Coromandel, but help us to lure and nurture new and upcoming artists to our district.

Where we are

We have held a workshop, facilitated by Creative Waikato, to help us gain a better understanding of how our district will benefit from an Arts Strategy. For the Strategy to be effective, it needs to have involvement from the community and in particular the Arts Community.

The Arts Community may include:

  • toi Maori - traditional and contemporary Maori Arts
  • performing arts - music, dance, theatre, kapahaka, waiata
  • visual arts - painting, sculpture, ta moko
  • craft arts - spinning and weaving, wood turning, pottery, rarenga, tukutuku
  • literary and language arts - writing, poetry, oratory, whaikorero
  • media arts - photography, film making
  • creative industries - fashion, design, textiles, music, film
  • other activities with a component of creative expression - martial arts etc.

Where we aim to get to

We are aiming for a strategy that sets our aspirations for the arts sector, in the form of a vision and a strategic direction. (What we want to achieve, why it is important and what outcomes will help us know that we have achieved it).

Consistency and stability is achieved through setting a vision, principals and general strategic directions, whilst flexibility is maintained by enabling new initiatives to develop and be considered over time.

How we are going to get there

The first step to getting a strategy was getting the Arts community together to workshop how the Arts can benefit from a Strategy and how we can best go about developing one that suits everyone's needs.

The Workshop was held at the Thames Civic Centre on Tuesday 17 March 2016.

The draft strategy went to the Community Boards for endorsement and then to Council for formal adoption.

The next step

The next step in the strategy was the forming of the Coromandel Arts and Creative Industries Advisory Board. 

The Advisory Board is responsible for advancing the new Coromandel Arts and Creative Industries Strategy, which our Council adopted at the end of June 2016.

Key roles of the board include supporting the priorities from action plans between tangata whenua, arts communities and community boards, and leveraging funding from local, regional and national sources.

The Advisory Board is also responsible for distributing funding from Creative New Zealand under the Creative Communities Scheme.

The Board is made up of:

Mapuna Turner represents the Hauraki Maori Trust Board while our elected member representative is Diane Connors.

John Eaglan was endorsed by the Coromandel-Colville Community Board as the community representative for this area. John is active in the performing arts and has had various roles in the Friends of Opera, Opera Factory and WTS Coromandel as well as Theatrical Stage and Lighting Design, Visual and installation artist. Chris Stark has been appointed by the Coromandel Community Arts Council as their representative on the Advisory Board.

Sarah Holden and Emma Darragh have taken up the challenge with Tairua-Pauanui.

The Creative Arts Advisory Board appointments are Jan Wright and Jane Parsons for Mercury Bay.

In ThamesPaul Heffernan and Ray Neumann have taken up the challenge. Both are local artists who are active in the community with solid administrative experience.

Terry Walker is Whangamata's representative on the Advisory Board. Terry is involved with sculpture/structural art and enjoys all art mediums. 

Bernie Ross is the representative for the Whangamata/South Eastern Coromandel Art Council.

Advisory Board roles are voluntary and any expenses incurred in attending meetings will not be covered by the council.

As this is a new structure, it will be up to the Advisory Board to set its priorities and rules of operation, while complying with any funders' rules. The board's first meeting will be held on 9 December 2016 in order to make decisions on the December funding round of the Creative Communities Scheme.

If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to get in contact with Michelle Baker at our Council on 07 868 0335 or