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Mangawhai part of Kaipara arts strategy



thumbnail Dargaville Sign Blessing copy-605Kaipara District Council has been awarded a grant from the Creative New Zealand Local Government Arts Fund to develop an Arts, Culture and Heritage Strategy.

The strategy will be developed over the next year, supported by Creative Northland, who have a leadership role in preparing cultural policy, advocating for arts and culture, and helping build the profile of Northland as an arts community, provincially, nationally and internationally.

Art and culture helps people develop an association with a place or event. It can help communities establish a sense of identity and belonging. Valuing and reflecting the local heritage and culture of our communities is one of the Council’s key goals.

Council chief executive, Louise Miller, says it will help build resilience and support recovery of local arts organisations that have been affected by Covid-19.

“The Council has already worked with local artists on some striking pieces. Pieces such as the ‘Welcome to Dargaville’ signs really reflect Dargaville’s roots. However, our approach is ad hoc and we’d like to make art and culture a more central part of the work we do,” says Ms Miller.

The Council is now working with artists on the Mangawhai Wayfinding project, and for the Kaiwaka village. They hope the strategy will bring more structure and consistency to the Council’s approach.

Creative Northland will work with Kaipara artists to understand the community context and range of capabilities and assets that already exist in the community. The strategy will help the Council understand the community’s priorities and where to invest in the future.

“Some people see arts and culture as the icing on the cake and think the Council should just focus on the basics,” says Miller. “If we focus on delivering the basics and plan how we can include art and culture into our work right from the start, I think we can achieve both.”

Art pieces such as the ‘Welcome to Dargaville’ signs reflect the town’s roots. Council is looking to make art and culture central to other Kaipara towns. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

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