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Introducing Arts Access Aotearoa

Arts Access Aotearoa | Whakahauhau Katoa o Hanga advocates for people in New Zealand who experience barriers to participation in the arts as creators, audience members, readers, and gallery and museum visitors.

Cover of What's the story?Key stakeholders are people with physical, sensory or intellectual impairments; individuals and organisations in the community and professional arts sectors; and people with lived experience of mental ill-health. We are also the key organisation in New Zealand facilitating the arts as a tool to support the rehabilitative process of prisoners.

Arts Access Aotearoa's office is situated in Toi Pōneke, Wellington Arts Centre, Level 3, 61–63 Abel Smith Street. We welcome your interest and feedback.  

Read Arts Access Aotearoa in 2016.


All people in New Zealand are able to participate in the arts.


Arts Access Aotearoa advocates for all people in New Zealand to have access to the arts by supporting people who experience barriers to participation or whose access is limited.


Arts Access Aotearoa provides its service believing in these values:

  • Accessibility and inclusion in the arts, respect and kindness in our undertakings for and with all people
  • Arts Access Aotearoa recognises the importance of Te Tiriti o Waitangi to our kaupapa, with due regard for its articles and principles.

This recognition is reflected in the following values that will underpin our work:

  • Mōhiotanga - seeking understanding and awareness
  • Rangatiratanga – respecting the mana of others
  • Whanaungatanga – appreciating the value of relationships and partnerships
  • Kotahitanga – working in harmony to achieve common purpose and shared vision
  • Kaitiakitanga – service to others and nurturing leadership within others.

Strategic goals 
Arts Access Aotearoa's strategic goals 2016-2018














WORD document logo Arts Access Aotearoa's strategic goals 2016-2018


At Arts Access Aotearoa, all of our activities and events are undertaken through our five programmes:

  • Access and Participation
  • Community Development
  • Advocacy and Profile
  • Information Centre
  • Arts in Corrections

Read about Arts Access Aotearoa's programmes.


Arts Access Aotearoa works in partnership with individuals and organisations to achieve its objectives. We acknowledge and value the support of all our partners and supporters. If you would like to support our work, we would love to hear from you. Please contact us ( T: 04 802 4349).
Read about Arts Access Aotearoa's funders and supporters.

Staff and trustees

Arts Access Aotearoa is governed by a board of trustees. Richard Benge is the Executive Director.
Read about our staff and trustees.

Contact us

We welcome your interest in our work. Please contact us for more information.


If you want to find out about Arts Access Aotearoa's activities or how we may be able to work with you, our FAQs may answer your questions. If you have any queries, please send us your question.


Arts Access Advocates



SIGN INTERPRETED FESTIVAL: The Auckland Arts Festival runs from 8 to 25 March. Its accessibility programme includes a sign interpreted performance of The Naked Samoans Do Magic on Saturday 24 March. For more

Richard Benge at a meeting with the arts and cultural communities in the Hawke's BayTELLING STORIES: "Recently I attended a community meeting where I listened to people discussing inclusion in the arts, and I was taken with the level of understanding of issues and recognition of achievements. Read Richard's end-of-year blog 

Carmen Brown and Prime Minister Jacinda ArdernPAINTING FOR THE PRIME MINISTER: Artist Carmen Brown gave one of her paintings to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern when she and Health Minister David Clark visited Ōtautahi Creative Spaces. A place for people with experiences of mental ill health or distress, social isolation and earthquake trauma. Read more 

COME LISTEN TO MY STORY: Sixteen women in the Drug Treatment Unit at Arohata Women's Prison took part in a one-week theatre workshop, led by German theatre practitioner Uta Plate and local artists. Watch the video and read the story about the workshop

CONNECTING THROUGH MUSIC: Chamber Music New Zealand received the Arts Access Creative New Zealand Arts For All Award 206 for its Accessible Concerts Programme, which includes relaxed performances and workshops. Watch the video and read more


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