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Gallery in the far south scoops the Creative Places Award

Gore District Council today won the Premier Creative Places Award 2004 for its new John Money Wing and refurbishment of the Eastern Southland Gallery, which opened in December last year. The John…


Gore District Council today won the Premier Creative Places Award 2004 for its new John Money Wing and refurbishment of the Eastern Southland Gallery, which opened in December last year. The John Money Wing houses major art collections gifted to the gallery by expatriate New Zealander Dr John Money and New Zealand artist Ralph Hotere.

Gore District Council wins
Premier Creative Places Award 2004

Gore District Council today won the Premier Creative Places Award 2004 for its new John Money Wing and refurbishment of the Eastern Southland Gallery, which opened in December last year. The John Money Wing houses major art collections gifted to the gallery by expatriate New Zealander Dr John Money and New Zealand artist Ralph Hotere.

Gore District Council wins
Premier Creative Places Award 2004

Other winners: Wellington City, Far North District,
Auckland City, Whakatane District, Tauranga District, Christchurch City

In addition, the refurbished gallery features two temporary exhibition spaces that provide an ongoing programme of exhibitions. The redevelopment has resulted in significant cultural tourism opportunities and economic benefits for the Southland town.

The Creative Places Awards, presented annually by Creative New Zealand, recognise district and city councils that have enhanced the social, economic and cultural wellbeing of their communities through the arts. The announcement was made at the Local Government New Zealand conference in Auckland today where Creative New Zealand's Chief Executive Elizabeth Kerr announced the winner of the Premier Award and the category award winners.

"Creative New Zealand values its partnership with local government and these awards acknowledge its huge investment and commitment to the arts," Miss Kerr said. "They're also a way in which we can celebrate the wonderful and innovative arts projects happening in communities throughout New Zealand with local government support.

"All of these projects are inspirational because they show the way in which people have worked together to provide creative places, spaces and activities for their communities."

For the first time this year, the Creative Places Awards also recognised an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the arts within the local government environment. The inaugural award was presented to Naomi McCleary, Arts Adviser for Waitakere City Council since 1992.
"Thanks in large part to Naomi's vision, passion and determination, artists are now an integral part of the design team for all new building projects in Waitakere City," Miss Kerr said. "Her vision has helped transform the city's public spaces and thereby enriched the lives of its citizens. She has also provided inspiration for other regions throughout New Zealand."

The judges of the Creative Places Awards 2004 were artist Kate Wells, Maori cultural heritage specialist Gerard O'Regan and Deputy Mayor of Hastings District Council Cynthia Bowers. They described Gore District's winning entry as "a bold and innovative project", demonstrating a "huge commitment" from a small community.

"This community seized an opportunity and in so doing created a point of difference for itself," the judges said.

The Creative Places Awards include five categories: Strategic Arts Initiatives; Arts Provision; Celebrating Cultural Diversity; Youth Arts Initiatives; and Built Environment Initiatives. In each of these categories a prize is awarded to the outstanding entry from both a city council and a district council.

An overall Premier Creative Places Award is selected from the district and city council winners in these five categories. Gore District Council also won the Strategic Arts Initiatives: District Councils Category. The prize for the Premier Award is a $6000 contribution from Creative New Zealand towards the commissioning of a new public artwork, to be chosen by the winner.


Six other district councils or city councils won category awards today. Naomi McCleary and each of the councils received a certificate and an artwork by Auckland glass artist Nicole Lucas.

1. Strategic Arts Initiatives: District Councils Category Winner 2004
Winning project: John Money Wing and Eastern Southland Gallery redevelopment
Winning district council: Gore District

In December 2003, the Eastern Southland Gallery officially opened its refurbished temporary exhibition spaces, along with the new John Money Wing to house the John Money and Ralph Hotere Collections.

The project began in 1999 with the gifting of a major collection of international art to the Eastern Southland Gallery by expatriate New Zealander Dr John Money of Baltimore. New Zealand artist Ralph Hotere also gifted 36 works spanning 30 years of his career, which were augmented by four additional Hotere paintings from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

The project is a partnership between the Arts and Heritage Department of Gore District Council, the Eastern Southland Gallery Inc, key benefactors and the community. It is a flagship for regional cultural development and is part of a wider strategy for arts and heritage development within Southland.

By engaging significant artists and key stakeholders in a small and unlikely corner of New Zealand, this project can provide valuable stimulus to their own regions as well as to Southland.

Further information: Jim Geddes, Eastern Southland Gallery
Tel: 03-208 9907 Email:
Strategic Arts Initiatives: City Councils Category Winner 2004
Winning project: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
World Premiere
Winning city council: Wellington City

The Council's Creative Wellington - Innovation Capital vision, promoting Wellington as New Zealand's centre of creativity and innovation, guided its objectives for this event.

Wellington's Embassy Theatre, host venue for the world premiere of The Return of the King, was refurbished and earthquake-strengthened. The city was dressed with imagery from the movie while local artists performed at gala dinners, cafes and restaurants throughout the region. Large outdoor public celebrations were staged in the build-up to the premiere and on the day. The world premiere parade and red-carpet festivities were shown live on a big screen and beamed around the world.

To stage the event, alliances were formed between the Council, arts groups, film companies, corporate partners and the Government. The event was a phenomenal success with an estimated 120,000 people lining the parade route. Many were international visitors in Wellington for the first time and the event attracted approximately 500 media representatives from throughout the world.

Further information: John Dawson, Wellington City Council
Tel: 04-801 3393 Email:


2. Arts Provision: City Councils Category Winner 2004
Winning project: Drive By Art
Winning city council: Wellington City

In July 2003, Wellington City Council decided that its 180 c-bracket banner sites - usually located on street lights and utility poles in the city - could be used by Wellington's school students and practising artists to paint new works of art on vinyl c-bracket banners. The basic ingredients were already at hand: vacant sites and utility poles; low-cost vinyl materials and paint test pots; and a creative and culturally active community.

The resulting banner designs by students and artists offer residents and visitors to Wellington an opportunity to pause in the urban surroundings and experience colourful, complex or engaging new works of art. On another level, the banners also reflect a sense of place and cultural awareness.

Drive By Art has been advanced through small-scale but important public-private partnerships, the involvement of many creative people, and a pervading sense of economy and sound management. The total budget to date is less than the cost of many single mural projects and yet its impact has been widespread.

Further information: Nicole Medcalf/Eric Holowacz, Wellington City Council
Tel: 04-801 3626 or 04-385 1929
Email: or

No award was made to a district council in this category because there were no entries.


3. Celebrating Cultural Diversity: District Councils Category Winner 2003
Winning project: Proctor Library Te Kete Matauranga o Kerikeri
Winning district council: Far North District

Encapsulating the multicultural character and heritage of Kerikeri within a bicultural context were principles that provided the springboard for constructing the Procter Library Te Kete Matauranga o Kerikeri.

The design approach for this project was underpinned by the principle that it should involve three key components: the functional, the aesthetic and the spiritual. The architect, Diana Sandifer, was inspired by the story of Tane and his endeavours to gain the three baskets of knowledge.

The Procter Library is a community facility. The building's form is expressed as a sculpture within the landscape and draws on the artistic heritage of a traditional Maori wharenui. Overlaying this is the notion of the community sharing a journey: that is, a cultural heritage involving the sea, voyaging and exploration.

The local iwi, Ngati Reihia, were consulted from the inception of the project and endorsed the design concepts. They were crucial in ensuring that tikanga was respected and adhered to throughout the process.

Further information: Bronwyn Hunt, Far North District Council
Tel: 0800 920 029 Email:

Celebrating Cultural Diversity: City Councils Category Winner 2004
Winning project: Onehunga Library and Community Centre
Winning city council: Auckland City

In 1998, Auckland City identified a need for improved community facilities in the culturally diverse and rapidly growing suburb of Onehunga. The site selected for future development housed the original Onehunga Chambers building, the local government base in Onehunga for many years.

Early in 2001, four architectural design companies were each asked to submit plans and Scott Cotton Architects was selected. A process was established to identify art projects for integration within the new complex and after consultation with tangata whenua, community and council members, and the architect, Graeme Scott, a list of potential art projects was drafted. During this process, the group of community representatives agreed to meet regularly as a reference group to work with Council to develop arts projects for the facility.

Four potential projects were identified by the group and three of these have been implemented so far as an integral part of the complex. The fourth project, a suspended work in the foyer, will be under way soon.

Further information: Gail Richard, Auckland Council
Tel: 09-353 9622

4. Youth Arts Initiatives: District Councils Category Winner 2004
Winning project: Kopeopeo CBD upgrade
Winning city council: Whakatane District

In an attempt to improve the environment and combat ongoing graffiti, the Whakatane Business Association funded a local artist to paint various murals throughout the business area. These murals prompted the inclusion of further art in the upgrade that was to follow.

Community consultation revealed that the community wanted a pedestrian-friendly area with a café culture vibe, which included addressing the speed and quantity of traffic. The overall design that evolved is based on the theme of a meandering stream from which the name Kopeopeo is derived. The pukeko, a bird once common to the area, was chosen as another source of inspiration.

The upgrade has created a pedestrian-friendly shopping centre, enhanced by distinctive design elements such as locally carved whakapaakoko (entrance posts) erected at the main entrances to welcome visitors to the business area. Sculptural trees and colourful plantings combine with crafted stone walls to offer intimate spaces for shoppers.

Secondary school students were responsible for designing and applying glazes to the clay paving stones while carving students from the local university wove their designs around the overall theme of the project.

For further information: Nikki Stringer, Whakatane District Council
Tel: 07-306 0500 Email:

Youth Arts Initiatives: City Councils Category Co-Winners 2004
Winning projects: Culture Jam
Capital E presents Bounce 2003
Winning city council: Wellington City Council

Culture Jam is a free, public performing arts event that highlights the depth and breadth of the capital's youth arts scene and showcases the talents of Wellington's youth. It began as an idea by Wellington City Council's Youth Project Co-ordinator, in partnership with youth artist and musician Isobel Kerr-Newell. The idea was to stage a free series of outdoor events showcasing Wellington's young talent. The concept was developed into a fully scoped project and the first Culture Jam was trialled in Wellington's Cuba Mall in mid 2002.

The event was so successful that between September 2002 and April 2004, Wellington City Council in association with strategic partners planned 13 Culture Jams. Ten of these were staged with three cancelled because of poor weather.

Cultural Jam has become an established part of Wellington's vibrant arts scene. It is a safe, encouraging event that stimulates and fosters creativity and innovation. It provides young performing artists with a high-quality professional platform to display and develop their talents.

For further information: David Daniela
Tel: 04-801 3917 Email:

Capital E's mission is "to celebrate creativity with children, their families and communities", with a focus on children ranging from two to 14 years of age.

In 2002, the Wellington Museums Trust commissioned a review of the Capital E facility. Following the review report, Capital E's strategic plan placed a renewed focus on creative technology and performance, strongly aligned to the Wellington City Council's vision of Creative Wellington - Innovation Capital. A major focus of planning was on the establishment of an arts festival for children, to be held in alternate years to the New Zealand International Arts Festival.

A key aim of the festival was to provide a platform for professional artists to produce work for young audiences that would inspire both artist and child. The festival, Bounce 2003, opened in March that year. The response was overwhelming and as a result, the 2005 festival will be extended to two weeks to meet the projected demand.

For further information: Alice Taylor, Capital E
Tel: 04-913 3725 Email:


5. Built Environment Initiatives: District Councils Category Winner 2004
Winning project: The Strand Tauranga
Winning district council: Tauranga District (now a City Council)

The Council decided it was time to recognise the natural attributes of the Tauranga waterfront, starting with the redevelopment of The Strand.

A project steering group was formed to consult the public, determine strategies and advance the project. A design competition was held to select a concept plan for The Strand and was won by the Transurban Consortium Tauranga. The preferred plan became the subject of an extensive public consultation process and was well-supported by the community.

The consortium worked with local master carver James Tapiata, who provided advice and produced carved pou for inclusion in the development. The major theme of the development is based on the name Tauranga, a Maori reference to a sheltered anchorage and landing place for waka.

The Strand has already established itself as a meeting place for the community while the overall waterfront/CBD development project aims to position Tauranga as the cultural heart of the western Bay of Plenty.

Further information: Graham Baker, Tauranga City Council
Tel: 07-577 7014 Email:

Built Environment Initatives: City Councils Category Winner 2004
Winning project: Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu
Winning city council: Christchurch City Council

Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu opened on 10 May 2003 and quickly became a significant cultural landmark in the city, providing a valuable, world-class space to house the city's permanent collections.

In 1969, an international museum consultant recommended a new gallery "as a matter of urgency" and over the years a number of proposals were prepared and rejected. Finally, in 1995, a site was selected for the new gallery. An architectural competition for the design of the new building was launched in 1998 and an Australasian company, the Buchan Group, won the competition.

Gallery Director Tony Preston launched a fundraising campaign, which raised a staggering $15.26 million. The City Council and the people of Canterbury invested a great deal in this project - intellectually, emotionally and financially.

Christchurch has a fine and rich architectural heritage. Sited in the city's precinct, the Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu is both worthy of that heritage and strikingly distinctive as it boldly pronounces the new century.

Further information: Sarah Pepperle, Christchurch City Council
Tel: 03-941 7397 Email:

In addition, a special Judges' Citation was presented in this category to the Christchurch City Council for its public artwork, A Tribute to Firefighters, created by sculptor Graham Bennett using steel from the site of the World Trade Center disaster in New York, 11 September 2001.


Please note:
The above information is embargoed until 10.30am on Tuesday 27 July. If you wish to prepare a story in advance please contact only those people listed in the press release as these are the only people who know about the recipients of the Creative Places Awards 2004.

Profiles of the winning projects will be available on the Creative New Zealand website from 10.30am on 27 July. Visit the What's New section and click on the link provided in the story entitled Gore District Council wins Premier Creative Places Award 2004.

Written by

Arts Work Project

30 Jul 2004

Interests Creative Industries development