Toi Whītiki weaves together Auckland’s creative strands
15 December 2015
Toi Whītiki has been chosen as the name for Auckland’s Arts and Culture Strategic Action Plan to recognise the important role culture and the creative sector plays in bringing the city together now and in the future.
“Toi” means “to walk on, march together” and also “the arts” in general. “Whītiki” translates as “to weave the strands together”.
“Our strength is our cultural diversity. Toi Whītiki commits Auckland Council, the creative sector and the community to harness this potential over the next 10 years as we work to make Auckland the world’s most liveable city,” says Mayor Len Brown.
More than 800 individuals and organisations, from the Auckland Art Gallery to grassroots community groups, were consulted in the drafting of the document.
Plan focuses on six goals
The plan aims to make arts and culture part of Aucklanders’ everyday lives through six goals which focus on:
- ensuring all Aucklanders can access and participate in arts and culture
- valuing and investing in arts and culture
- creating a vibrant network of arts and culture organisations and facilities .
- telling our stories through innovative and distinctive public art and public spaces
- celebrating Auckland’s unique cultural identity.
- making sure the city has a robust and flourishing creative economy.
Councillor Alf Filipaina says that Auckland is an exciting place to live right now.
“Toi Whītiki puts down on paper where we need to head. This is just the beginning and we’ll only get there through strong partnerships between mana whenua, multicultural communities, Council, Creative New Zealand, our great facilities and, of course, the artists.”
Economic value of creative industries
The economic value of the creative industries has already been measured. Eighteen thousand Aucklanders work in the sector that contributes $1.8 billion to the region’s GDP.
Around 700 creative practitioners were surveyed in the making of Toi Whītiki. A consistent response was that they would like to see the creation of affordable space and arts precincts offering the opportunities that GridAKL in Wynyard Quarter offers to innovation companies.
Toi Whītiki aims to encourage people to see the value of the arts in broad terms. It emphasises the role the arts play in creating a sense of individual wellbeing, as well as the social, cultural, and economic benefits for the community.