Thursday 23 March at 2:54 pm


20 March 2023

Wayne Brown
c/o Office of the Mayor
Private Bag 92300
Victoria Street West
Auckland 1142


Kia ora Mayor Brown,

The New Zealand Dance Company (NZDC) does not support the proposed cost reductions of local board funded activities or a reduction in regional contestable grants and appeals to Auckland Council to proceed with an alternative solution to remedy the budget deficit. The cumulative outcome of the proposed cuts to funding will devastate the heart and soul of Tāmaki Makaurau - Auckland’s culture, art and community sectors with ruinous consequences to the local economy.

NZDC is an Auckland based dance company, which is home to a community of dancers, creative collaborators, arts administrators and technicians dedicated to producing and presenting inspiring new dance for Tāmaki Makaurau, Aotearoa and the world. NZDC is committed to fostering and supporting a world-class Auckland home for dance that tangibly contributes to the city's rich cultural fabric through performances and multi-generational community engagements.

Creative industries are the cornerstone and the beating heart of a forward-thinking city and post COVID-19, more than ever, arts events and cultural activities are key to reinvigorating the city. A vital cultural city not only allows for direct creation of employment opportunities for artists but ensures the legacy of artistic excellence is continued. An investment reduction of this size will send our city backwards and see a mass exodus of local talent depart Aotearoa for job opportunities overseas.

The New Zealand Dance Company is in the fortunate position of receiving funding from other sources but the breadth of scope of the Company’s output in the Auckland community and our ability to collaborate with other companies and independent practitioners, creating regular employment opportunities, is reliant on local board funds and regional contestable grants.

These funding sources also contribute to our ability to hire and present in a range of Auckland venues, from which the economy benefits through increased visitation and spend in hospitality, advertising, technology and tourism on top of the essential social benefits that the arts provide to the community, underlining the importance of continuing to grow the arts to grow the vibrancy of the city.

World class contemporary dance performances, community engagements and classes/workshops across our city ensure an evermore connected and healthy community. Auckland Council’s local board funds and regional contestable grants play a significant part in the rich cultural experiences and developments NZDC and companies like us commission and present each year in the city.

Post COVID-19, we need to design effective strategies that will allow our arts and cultural industries to contribute to the resurgence of the local economy – to invest in skills, industry and audience development through a variety of strategic initiatives and position Tāmaki Makaurau as a flourishing creative city now and into the future.

This is not a time to cut back these funding sources. This is a time to invest in the essential arts and creative sectors. Should the decision be made to reduce funding in these areas, the loss will be both tangible and permanent and the ripples of consequence will be felt for generations. Tāmaki Makaurau is a brilliant city and it is imperative that the city is nourished and that arts and culture are areas of priority for Auckland Council to invest in. To countenance otherwise is untenable.

Ngā mihi nui

Greg Innes
Interim Board Chair
The New Zealand Dance Company