The Arts & Culture Strategy Toi Moana has been formally adopted by Tauranga City Council and adopted in principle by Western Bay of Plenty District Council*. Developed over the past year, the strategy process was initiated by the community and overseen by a cross-sector steering group.
During mid-November, Creative Bay of Plenty (CBOP) presented at respective Council Community Committee meetings, at which both agreed to adopt the strategy to replace the 2013 Smart Arts Strategy. It was recognised that to grow in a transformational and sustainable way a revised plan needed to be in place.
To implement Toi Moana, CBOP will lead 14 cross-sector agencies that include local government, iwi, Tourism Bay of Plenty, the Incubator, Toi Ohomai and Priority One. Together they will deliver on 31 identified actions over the next three years starting July 2018.
CBOP has also asked to include its submission in both Council’s Long Term Plans to resource their actions and to oversee and support the other lead agencies on all remaining actions. Public consultation on the respective Long Term Plans will commence in March 2018.
The adoption of the Arts & Culture Strategy is a significant milestone for CBOP who managed extensive consultation with the local creative sector over the past 12 months.
“We are delighted to have come this far and congratulate the sector and the Tauranga and Western Bay communities on completing what was truly a community led and engaged project that will now be community delivered,” says Michelle Whitmore, Chair of CBOP.
“Over 1000 people contributed to the strategy development which is the same number as Melbourne’s arts strategy, a significantly larger and truly aspirational cultural city of excellence.”
The ambitious strategy provides a framework for arts and cultural events and initiatives in the Western Bay of Plenty and Tauranga regions. Sonya Korohina, Chair of the Steering Group says “I am delighted with the outcome. Creative expression enables us as a community to share our stories, which in return shapes our culture and identity. Through adopting the strategy, we are prioritising not only economic growth, but human capital – community health and wellbeing.”
*subject to decisions made in terms of funding and actions being determined via the Long Term Plan process
Photo credit: Tauranga Jazz Society