Our performance in detail

4
Oranga ahurea
Cultural wellbeing

This chapter profiles our strategic approach, challenges and what we delivered in the cultural wellbeing area, which includes arts and cultural activities.

Snapshot of the city

Snapshot

4 Oranga ahurea
Cultural wellbeing Top

Introduction

In its 2017 triennial survey on ‘New Zealanders and the Arts’, Creative New Zealand interviewed 6101 New Zealanders to measure their engagement with the arts. The survey found this engagement was higher in Wellington than the national average (87 percent versus 80 percent) and that the city’s residents are generally more positive about the arts than all New Zealanders.

Our strategic approach in this activity area is to provide opportunities for cultural expression, as well as expand people’s minds and build engaged, curious communities. Research shows creativity promotes wellbeing. A culturally vibrant city where artists and cultural organisations are actively supported and that is attractive to visitors also has economic benefits. Challenges include enhancing Wellington’s edge as New Zealand’s cultural capital in the face of increasing competition, securing additional large-scale events to refresh the city’s cultural offering, and providing accessible, safe and fit-for-purpose venues for the arts.

Over the past year, we focused on raising the profile of local artists and events, and of te reo. Attendance at events like ReCut and A Very Welly Christmas has been high and feedback from Wellingtonians has been positive.

There were challenges, most notably the need to strengthen cultural venues such as the St James Theatre and the Town Hall, both costly exercises. Both will take time to complete and necessarily cause disruption to tenants of the St James Theatre – the Royal New Zealand Ballet (RNZB) and the NZ Festival – as well as regular users of both venues. The strengthening of institutions like the St James Theatre and the Town Hall has both cultural and economic benefits.

Efforts will continue in the current financial year to carry the works through and continue to invest in and promote Wellington’s arts and events.

Cultural wellbeing performance story:

Modest gains – challenges still being addressed

Residents continued to engage actively with the arts, with the frequency of engagement rising 2 percent to 90 percent from the previous year. The Council supported a range of events, including the NZ Festival. The number of residents who agree that Wellington has “a culturally rich and diverse arts scene” was the highest since 2012, rising 3 percent to 93 percent.

Challenges remain. The number of performers and attendees at Council-supported events dropped to 94,000 from 163,000 in the previous year. Another long-term challenge is the necessary and costly strengthening of the Town Hall and St James Theatre.

Source: Wellington City Council Residents’ Monitoring survey 2018 and National Wellington Reputation Survey Results 2018

Positive Result

90%

of survey respondents who state that they engage in cultural and arts activities at least once a year

88% in 2016/17

 
Positive Result

93%

of survey respondents who agree that “Wellington has a culturally rich and diverse arts scene”

90% in 2016/17

 
Positive Result

77%

of survey respondents who agree that Wellington’s local identity (sense of place) is appropriately valued and protected

73% in 2016/17



Positive Result

88%

 

of survey respondents who agree with the statement that "Wellington is an easy place to get involved in the arts"

85% in 2016/17

 
Not met or decreased

82%

Target 90%

attendee satisfaction with Council-supported arts and cultural festivals

81% in 2016/17

 
Not met or decreased

94,202

 

total number of performers and attendees at Council supported venue events

Attendance can vary greatly, depending on the type of events that are supported.

163,202 in 2016/17

4.1 Ngohe toi, ahurea hoki Arts and cultural activitiesTop

Cultural wellbeing performance story:

Modest gains – challenges still being addressed

Residents continued to engage actively with the arts, with the frequency of engagement rising 2 percent to 90 percent from the previous year. The Council supported a range of events, including the NZ Festival. The number of residents who agree that Wellington has “a culturally rich and diverse arts scene” was the highest since 2012, rising 3 percent to 93 percent.

Challenges remain. The number of performers and attendees at Council-supported events dropped to 94,000 from 163,000 in the previous year. Another long-term challenge is the necessary and costly strengthening of the Town Hall and St James Theatre.

Source: Wellington City Council Residents’ Monitoring survey 2018 and National Wellington Reputation Survey Results 2018

What we did:
Positive Result

90%

of survey respondents who state that they engage in cultural and arts activities at least once a year

88% in 2016/17

 
Positive Result

93%

of survey respondents who agree that “Wellington has a culturally rich and diverse arts scene”

90% in 2016/17

 
Positive Result

77%

of survey respondents who agree that Wellington’s local identity (sense of place) is appropriately valued and protected

73% in 2016/17

Positive Result

88%


 

of survey respondents who agree with the statement that "Wellington is an easy place to get involved in the arts"

85% in 2016/17

 
Not met or decreased

82%

Target 90%

attendee satisfaction with Council-supported arts and cultural festivals

81% in 2016/17

 
Not met or decreased

94,202


 

total number of performers and attendees at Council supported venue events

Attendance can vary greatly, depending on the type of events that are supported.

163,202 in 2016/17

Cultural wellbeing financesTop

How it was funded

Services in this activity area are funded through a mixture of general and targeted rates and external grants and subsidies from non-Council sources.

What it cost (operating expenditure $000)
  2015/16
Actual
2016/17
Actual
  2017/18
Actual
2017/18
Budget
2017/18
Variance
4.1 Arts and cultural activities
             
Expenditure 19,243 20,625   21,256 21,560 304
Revenue (876) (749)   (746) (1,523) (777)1
Net Expenditure 18,367 19,877   20,510 20,037 (473)
Cultural wellbeing total
             
Expenditure 19,243 20,625   21,256 21,560 304
Revenue (876) (749)   (746) (1,523) (777)
Net Expenditure 18,367 19,877   20,510 20,037 (473)
             

Variance explanations

1 Challenging revenue targets for attractions partially offset by savings in expenditure

What it cost (capital expenditure $000)
  2015/16
Actual
2016/17
Actual
  2017/18
Actual
Brought forward from prior year 2017/18
Budget
2017/18
Variance
4.1 Arts and cultural activities
               
Expenditure 1,968 1,286   443   1,258 8151
Cultural wellbeing total
               
Expenditure 1,968 1,286   443 - 1,258 815
               
 

Variance explanations

1 Under budget due to deferred decisions on the Movie Museum component of the Convention Centre project

Cultural wellbeing performanceTop

The following section outlines our performance data: outcome indicators, performance measures and supplementary tables.

We use outcome indicators to monitor our city over time, which provides information on trends that may influence our performance including those outside our control.

We use performance measures to track how well we are delivering services against targets as set out in the 10-year and annual plans.

The Council undertakes the Residents’ Monitoring Survey (RMS) on an annual basis. The survey has a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percent.

Performance summary

The following table is a summary of how well we performed against our agreed outcome indicators and key performance measures for this activity area.

    Outcome indicator trends KPI compared to target KPI compared to last year

 
Positive Result Positive result 2 2 -

 
Within 5% or no change Within 5% or no change 7 1 3

 
Not met or decreased Not met or decreased 5 4 4

 
Not measured or not comparable Not measured or not comparable  - - -

 

Performance data – outcome indicators

The following section outlines outcome indicators for the Cultural wellbeing activity area. Outcome indicators do not have targets – only trend data.

Council outcome indicator Source   2015/16 2016/17   2017/18  
Residents’ frequency of engagement in cultural and arts activities WCC RMS 2018 See supplementary tables       90% Within 5% or no change
New Zealanders and residents who agree that Wellington has a culturally rich and diverse arts scene National Wellington Reputation Survey Results 2017 New Zealanders 81% 79%   79% Within 5% or no change
    Residents 92% 90%   93% Within 5% or no change
Residents who agree that Wellington's local identity (sense of place) is appropriately valued and protected WCC RMS 2018   78% 73%   77% Positive Result 
Events held at key city venues WREDA   558 624   594 Not met or decreased
New Zealanders and residents who agree that Wellington is the arts capital of New Zealand National Wellington Reputation Survey Results 2017 New Zealanders 58% 58%   61% Within 5% or no change
    Residents 66% 64%   65% Within 5% or no change
Residents (%) who agree with the statement that Wellington is an easy place to get involved in the arts WCC RMS 2018   86% 85%   88% Within 5% or no change
Te Papa visitors – total visitors, overseas visitors and New Zealand visitors from outside the region Te Papa Total 1,784,939 1,578,292   1,514,896 Not met or decreased
    Overseas 708,371 718,081   758,695 Positive Result
    NZ outside region 581,986 483,995   420,195 Not met or decreased
Customer (%) satisfaction with the New Zealand Festival Nielsen – 2018 New Zealand International Arts Festival Review   91% No festival   88% Within 5% or no change
Total tickets sold (#) to the New Zealand Festival and the proportion sold to customers outside the region New Zealand International Arts Festival   2016 179,455 40% (71,651) No festival   2018 76,599
16% (12,256)*
Not met or decreased
*The 2015/16 total figure included the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo of around 85,000 attendees including 54,000 from outside the region.  
               
Total visits to museums and galleries (including Carter Observatory/Space Place) Wellington Museums Trust See supplementary tables 688,169 780,414   752,214 Not met or decreased

Performance data – Council performance measures

The following section outlines Council performance measures for our Cultural wellbeing services. It includes data for the last 3 years to show trends, and includes variances explanations for relevant areas.

PERFORMANCE MEASURES  2015/16 2016/17   2017/18 Actual 2017/18 Target % Variance  
4.1 Arts and cultural activities
To measure the quality and usage of our arts and culture support activities
Attendee satisfaction with Council-supported arts and cultural festivals  85% 81%   82% 90% -9% Not met or decreased
User (%) satisfaction with Toi Pōneke facilities and services 89% 90%   86% 90% -4% Within 5% or no change
The proportion of grants funds successfully allocated (through milestones being met) 98% 73%   96% 95% 1% Positive Result
Proportion of outcomes delivered (previous projects) – weighted by $ value  98% 75%   92% 90% 2% Positive Result
30 grants acquitted from the fund in 2017/18, 116 of the 125 proposed outcomes were achieved across this reporting, KPI met as a % is 92.
Increase in outcomes met during previous year was because of the work we did with the assurance team around specifying SMART outcomes when we approve grants.
               
Venues Subsidy – total number of performers and attendees at supported events 113,390 163,202   94,202 Increase on previous year Not met Not met or decreased
Attendance at Council-supported venues can vary greatly from year to year, depending on the type of events that are supported each year through the Venues Subsidy.
               
Economic contribution ($) the New Zealand Festival makes to the city’s economy (direct new spend)  $32.1m not measured   $25.1m $40m every 2nd year Not met Not met or decreased
Variance is attributed to comparatively lower ticket sales to previous years and consequently lower out of region visitation to drive economic impact.  
               
Cultural grants – % first-time applicants who are successful 38% 38%   26% 50% -48% Not met or decreased 
Twenty-six percent of first-time applicants were successful in obtaining cultural grants, which represented a decrease from the previous year. The fund is hotly contested by high-calibre applicants who have fewer funding options from community and gaming trusts. This is mitigated by the Creative Communities Funding scheme, which we (along with other Territorial Local Authorities) administer on behalf of Creative New Zealand. This fund enables non-legal entities and individuals to apply for and secure funding for small-scale projects.
               
Performance data – supplementary tables
Residents' frequency of engagement in cultural and arts activities 2014/15 2015/16 2016/17   2017/18
At least once a week 9% 6% 8%   9%
At least once a month 34% 32% 35%   40%
At least every 6 month 33% 35% 32%   31%
At least once a year 11% 15% 13%   10%
  87% 88% 88%   90%
Less often 9% 9% 9%   6%

Source: Wellington City Council Residents' Monitoring Survey 2018


Case study The NZ FestivalTop

The NZ Festival in Wellington is a long-running cultural event, drawing visitors from across the region and nationally. The festival is held once every 2 years. The last one was held from 23 February to 18 March 2018. The festival showcases international and homegrown music, theatre, dance, artists and writers.

More than 76,000 tickets were sold to the 2018 festival, and more than 230,000 attended the free events during the festival. While these numbers were lower than in the previous year, it has brought a wide range of cultural experiences to Wellington’s doorstep and enriched the local arts and culture scene.

“Our partnership with the NZ Festival is one that enables Wellington to bring art to the masses,” says Warrick Dent, General Manager Partnerships & Events at the Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency (WREDA).

“For 3 weeks this year, the festival splattered the region with colour and creativity, bringing world-class culture to Wellington and giving visitors from New Zealand and around the world a thrilling taste of our vibrant capital.”

The festival owes a great deal to the woman who headed it for 8 years until she had to step down due to ill health.

Sue Paterson was the executive director of the NZ Festival and the Wellington Jazz Festival from 2009 to 2017.

She was responsible for bringing the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo to Wellington in 2016. Sue was also the festival’s marketing director from 1994 to 1998. She passed away in July 2018.

“Sue was a passionate lover and supporter of the arts and artists in Wellington. Her contribution to the cultural life of the city and advocacy for the arts will be missed by all of us who worked with her,” says Natasha Petkovic-Jeremic, Manager City Arts & Events.

In 2017, Sue was named Metlifecare Senior New Zealander of the Year in recognition of her 40 years of service to arts and culture. She was made an officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2004.

The NZ Festival is supported via WREDA and the Wellington Regional Amenities Fund.

NZ Festival – Le Grand Continental
Photo: Matt Grace