• Marie Hasler
Cultural Affairs

Culture and Heritage Minister Marie Hasler today announced the appointment of a new chair and two new members to the Council of Creative New Zealand and a new member to Te Waka Toi.

Peter Biggs, the Managing Director of The New Colenso, has been appointed to the Chair of the Council for a term of three years.

"Creative New Zealand plays a vital role in funding the creative projects which establish our national identity. In appointing Peter Biggs as Chair, I believe we have a person who is professionally attuned to the nuances of the New Zealand psyche, who is familiar with our cultural traditions, but who can also understand the direction of contemporary society." Ms Hasler said.

Murray Douglas, currently Chief Executive of the Dunedin City Council, has been appointed to the Council for a term of three years, and Dr Ngapare Hopa, Head of Maori Studies at Auckland University, has been appointed for two years.

"Murray Douglas has been the Chief Executive of the Dunedin Council since July 1990, and a key figure in the establishment of the new Dunedin Public Art Gallery. His contacts with local government stakeholders will be a valuable addition to the Council.

"Dr Ngapare Hopa was previously associate Professor in Sociology and Social Anthropology at Waikato University. She has published numerous works and presented papers nationally and overseas on Maori society and culture."

Shane Cotton, a prominent contemporary visual artist and lecturer in Maori Visual Arts at Massey University, has been appointed to Te Waka Toi for three years.

"Shane Cotton is a highly regarded artist who has won a number of awards and exhibited widely in New Zealand and Australia. His work is represented in the collections of all the major galleries in New Zealand.

"I am delighted that these people have agreed to serve on Creative New Zealand. Between them they bring an impressive array of skills, experience and personal qualities to their positions, and Creative New Zealand will be well served by them," Ms Hasler said.

Re-appointments to Te Waka Toi and the Arts Board have also been made. Kereti Rautangata and Gabrielle Huria have been re-appointed for a further two years and three years respectively, and Dr Takiora Ingram has been re-appointed to the Arts Board for a further one year term of office.

Ms Hasler has paid tribute to the retiring Chair of the Council, Brian Stevenson.

"As Chair for the last five years, Brian has steered Creative New Zealand through difficult times and has overseen the development of comprehensive policies and processes. I am grateful for the significant achievements and contributions he has made as an advocate for the arts."

Ms Hasler also thanked retiring members of the Council and Te Waka Toi, Jonathan Mane-Wheoki and John Marsh, for all their hard work and commitment.