An artist who spent 12 years decorating the wharenui Te Poho o Hiraina in Gisborne, a community circus in central Auckland, partnerships providing artistic opportunities for Deaf and disabled people, and leadership in delivering arts programmes in prisons were recognised on Wednesday 10 August at the Arts Access Awards 2016, presented by Arts Access Aotearoa.

Hon Maggie Barry welcomes guestsThe Arts Access Awards 2016 were hosted by Hon Maggie Barry, Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, in the Banquet Hall of Parliament. This year’s Arts Access Accolade was presented to Glen McDonald, Coordinator of Vincents Art Workshop in Wellington, by Deputy Mayor Justin Lester. It recognises Glen’s life-long passion for creativity, community and inclusion, and her contribution to the Wellington community.

READ: Glen McDonald, a name that spells inclusion

This year, Arts Access Aotearoa introduced the Arts Access Media Award to acknowledge the media’s role in promoting a creative, inclusive society. This inaugural award was presented to Dionne Christian, Arts and Books Editor at the New Zealand Herald, to recognise leadership and excellence in reporting on accessibility and the arts.

READ: Award recognises Herald arts reporter

The six other recipients 

  • Circability Central, Central Auckland, awarded the Arts Access Creative Space Award 2016, for its diverse circus activities where all members of the community can gain new social and physical skills in an inclusive space.
    READ: Circability Central a "big happy family"
  • RoadSafe Hawke's Bay, awarded the Arts Access Corrections Community Award 2016, for its graphic design project with the Youth Unit in Hawke's Bay Regional Prison. Working with a graphic designer, young offenders decided to be part of the solution and create road safety resources that focused on changing people’s behaviour, attitudes and increase knowledge around road safety.
    READ: Road of opportunities for young offenders
  • Equal Voices Arts and partners University of Waikato, Deaf Aotearoa and Bill Hopkinson, Hamilton, awarded the Arts Access CQ Hotels Wellington Community Partnership Award 2016, for a partnership between Deaf and hearing communities resulting in a groundbreaking bilingual theatre work called Here At The End Of My Hands.
    READ: A world without words
  • Chamber Music New Zealand, Wellington, awarded the Arts Access Creative New Zealand Arts For All Award 2016, for its commitment to developing new audiences for chamber music through its accessibility programme. This includes audio described concerts for blind and partially sighted patrons, and workshops and relaxed concerts for people with intellectual disabilities.
    READ: Chamber Music New Zealand committed to arts for all
  • David Cameron, Gisborne, awarded the Arts Access Artistic Achievement Award 2016, for his outstanding achievements and contribution to traditional and contemporary Māori arts. . Paraplegic and a wheelchair user since 1977, David is a recognised leather worker, painter, ceramist and tutor in his preferred artform, uku (Māori clay ceramics).
    READ: Artistic achievements shine
  • Northland Region Corrections Facility, Kaikohe, Northland, awarded the Arts Access Corrections Leadership Award, for the breadth of its achievements, its education outreach, innovative practice, and focus on the arts and culture as a tool supporting prisoners’ rehabilitation and reintegration into the community on release.
    READ: Shared vision of the arts in Northland Region Corrections Facility

The annual Arts Access Awards are the key national awards in New Zealand celebrating the achievements of individuals and organisations providing opportunities for people with limited access to engage with the arts as artists and audience members. They also recognise the achievements of an artist with a disability, sensory impairment or lived experience of mental illness.

Richard Benge, Executive Director of Arts Access Aotearoa, said that one in four people in New Zealand – more than one million – live with a disability or impairment.

“That’s a lot of people, who all have the right to enjoy the arts as artists, participants, audience members and gallery visitors,” he said. “Tonight, we celebrate the achievements and contribution of people and communities who make Aotearoa New Zealand a rich, diverse and creative country.”

Highly Commended certificates

Highly Commended certificates were also presented in several of the award categories. These were:

  • Awhi Tautoko, Community Corrections, Whangarei, Arts Access Corrections Community Award 2016, for its grassroots programme that gives community-based offenders a way to express themselves and their world through art.
  • Jolt Dance and Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, Arts Access CQ Hotels Wellington Community Partnership Award 2016 for a partnership that resulted in workshops and two performances, Shorelines (2014) and Fish (2015–2016).
  • Arohata Prison, Tawa, Wellington, Arts Access Corrections Leadership Award, for its use of the arts as therapy and as a reintegration tool across all three units.
  • Puna Tatari Special Treatment Unit, Spring Hill Corrections Facility, Te Kauwhata, Waikato, Arts Access Corrections Leadership Award, for its application of the arts and culture as an integral part of its psychological services and physical environment.

Download the programme

Cover of the Arts Access Awards 2016 programme


Arts Access Awards 2016 programme (PDF)

Arts Access Awards 2016 programme (WORD, no images)



Glen McDonald and Deputy Mayor Justin Lester 

Arts Access Accolade
The Dominon Post
RNZ: Standing Room Only

Arts Access Artistic Achievement Award
Te Karere, TVNZ
The Gisborne Herald
RNZ: Te Manu Korihi

Catherine Gibson, Peter Walls and Sue Jane of Chamber Music New Zealand, with Stephen Wainwright, Creative New Zealand

Arts Access Creative New Zealand Arts For All Award
RNZ: Sunday Morning

Ray Smith, CEO, Department of Corrections, with Simon Tanner and Beth Hill, Northland Region Corrections Facility

Arts Access Corrections Leadership Award
New Zealand Herald
Te Kaea, Maori Television

Leone Anderson and Brenda Ferguson, Hawke's Bay Regional Prison, with Linda Anderson, RoadSafe Hawke's Bay and presenter Miranda Harcourt

Arts Access Corrections Community Award 
Hawke's Bay Today 

Olivier Lacoua, CQ Hotels Wellington, with Laura Haughey, Equal Voices Arts, and Kayte Shaw, Deaf Aotearoa

Arts Access CQ Hotels Wellington Community Partnership Award
Ministry of Culture and Heritage

Tania Flowers and Frances Kelliher of Circability Central with MP Jacinda Ardern

Arts Access Creative Space Award
The New Zealand Herald

The Big Idea

Dionne Christian and Hon Maggie Barry

Arts Access Media Award
The New Zealand Herald




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