Part B: Our work in detail

4 Cultural wellbeing
Oranga ahurea

This strategic area funds city events and festivals; attractions such as Te Papa; the city’s galleries and museums; and community art and cultural activities. The strength of Wellington’s creative culture depends on people – the output of artists, writers, musicians, and dancers, and on the expressiveness of Wellington’s communities.

We fund these activities because they:

Cultural wellbeing
Image Capital spend
Operating spend
How operating
costs are funded
Rates value
per $100


$ million


$ million

Bar graph showing $1.5m Other and $19.8m rates Pie graph showing $6.7

Key objectives, activities and focus for 2016–19

Cultural wellbeing graph showing objectives

New for 2017/18 and key projectsTop

    2017/18 cost
New in 2017/18
  • Capital of Culture: To retain our status as the Capital of Culture and encourage the development of creative jobs and unique experiences for locals and visitors, we are expanding the arts and culture programme to create two new key events. These will assist to bridge the gaps between events during the winter months. The first event, an annual public celebration of Matariki, will be launched in partnership with local iwi, mana whenua partners and leading indigenous arts groups. The second initiative will be creating a diverse outdoor events series designed to inject colour and vibrancy into both the city and suburban areas. The events will create an opportunity to work more collaboratively on the delivery of visual arts information and the promotion of the city’s galleries, museums and public artworks.
  $500k opex per year ($250k comes from existing City Growth Fund & $250k of other funding is being investigated)
  • The St James Theatre and Royal New Zealand Ballet (RNZB): Several of the Council’s buildings require earthquake strengthening for resilience and public safety, including the St James Theatre. This building’s strengthening work is partly budgeted for in the coming year, with the balance to be included in the Long-term Plan (LTP) 2018–28. The tenants – the RNZB and NZ Festival – need a temporary home while this work is carried out. There are no suitable studio spaces available in Wellington, so we are investigating using the dance and drama studioa at Te Whaea on Hutchinson Road. This site will require some extension and refurbishment work to be brought up to standard. Along with the planned capital works, the Council will work with the main tenant at Hutchison Road (Te Whaea Services, NZ National Dance and Drama Centre) to cement a partnership that ensures the long-term community benefits from increased investment are maximised.
  $3.47m capex and $427k opex

How we measure our performanceTop

Objectives What we measure Activities
  • Sense of place and identity
  • Diversity and openness
  • Increased visitation (cultural tourism)
  • Exposure to creativity and innovation
The quality and usage of our arts and culture support activities (seven measures with targets) 4.1.1 City galleries and museums
4.1.2 Visitor attractions (Te Papa/Space Place)
4.1.3 Arts and cultural festivals
4.1.4 Cultural grants
4.1.5 Access and support for community arts
4.1.6 Arts partnerships
4.1.7 Regional Amenities Fund

For details of individual performance measures and targets for each activity see the appendices.

Activity budgets (cost of service statements)Top

Operating expenditure ($000) ($000)
4.1.1 - Galleries and museums (Wellington Museum Trust) 9,585 9,662
4.1.2 - Visitor attractions (Te Papa/Carter Observatory) 2,917 2,931
4.1.3 - Arts and cultural festivals 3,233 3,599
4.1.4 - Cultural grants 1,161 1,132
4.1.5 - Access and support for community arts 767 790
4.1.6 - Arts partnerships 2,481 2,805
4.1.7 - Regional Amenities Fund 609 641
Total operating expenditure 20,753 21,560
Capital expenditure ($000) ($000)
4.1.1 - Galleries and museums (Wellington Museum Trust) - 0
4.1.2 - Visitor attractions (Te Papa/Carter Observatory) 9,248 1,223
4.1.3 - Arts and cultural festivals - -
4.1.4 - Cultural grants - 8
4.1.5 - Access and support for community arts 27 28
4.1.6 - Arts partnerships - -
4.1.7 - Regional Amenities Fund - -
Total capital expenditure 9,275 1,258