Toi Whītiki Arts and Culture Strategic Action Plan

Attendees at the Auckland Lantern Festival 2015

The Toi Whītiki Arts and Culture Strategic Action Plan for Auckland was adopted by Auckland Council on 8 October 2015.

The aim of the plan is to enable arts and culture to be integrated into our everyday lives, and create a culturally rich and creative Auckland.

Goals and objectives

Toi Whītiki acknowledges and celebrates Māori culture as “Auckland’s point of difference in the world”, and Mana Whenua as Treaty partners in a multicultural Auckland. We are proud of our Māori cultural identity and want to celebrate it. One aim of this plan is to strengthen this identity and make the most of all the opportunities it provides.

Our Māori name for the plan is extracted from the blessing at the beginning of the document. Toi Whītiki means to weave all of the strands of arts and culture together.

Over the next 10 years, we will need to respond to continued growth, changing demographics and increasing international competitiveness in the creative sector. To do this and make the most of the opportunities, the plan sets out a clear strategic direction, goals and key objectives to grow arts and culture in Auckland.

The overall aim is to integrate arts and culture into our everyday lives to create a culturally rich and creative Auckland.



All Aucklanders can access and participate in arts and culture
  • Increase opportunities for Aucklanders to experience and participate in arts and culture
  • Better communicate what's on offer
  • Remove barriers to access and participation

Auckland values and invests in arts and culture 

  • Grow and deliver strategic investment in arts and culture to enable a thriving and resilient sector
  • Evaluate and promote the economic, social, cultural and environmental value of investment in Auckland’s art and culture 

A network of vibrant arts and culture organisations and facilities

  • Support a network of complementary arts and cultural institutions and facilities
  • Promote the city centre as Auckland’s major cultural destination
  • Provide a regional spread of vibrant diverse and affordable creative spaces

Arts and culture are intrinsic to Auckland's place making

  • Tell our stories by encouraging unique and distinctive public art that reflects and responds to our place
  • Make it easier to plan, create and deliver innovative art and design in public places

Auckland celebrates a unique cultural identity

  • Celebrate Māori and their culture as a point of difference
  • Support and celebrate creative excellence
  • Promote Auckland as a creative city with a unique cultural identity

Auckland has a robust and flourishing creative economy 

  • Champion the creative sector to grow Auckland’s economy
  • Foster education, collaboration and professional development for the creative sector

Development of Toi Whītiki

The Auckland Plan sets out a thirty-year vision of making Auckland the world’s most liveable city. It recognises that a culturally rich and creative city is a liveable city and dedicates Chapter Three specifically to arts and culture.

Toi Whītiki is identified as a core strategy required to deliver on the arts and culture aspirations outlined in the Auckland Plan.

As a region-wide plan, Toi Whītiki has been developed by a multi-agency project team and steering group. Members have included:

  • Ministry for Culture and Heritage
  • Creative New Zealand
  • The Creative Coalition
  • Ngā Aho
  • Foundation North
  • Independent Māori Statutory Board
  • Advisory Panels
  • The Mayoral Office
  • Regional Facilities Auckland
  • Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development
  • key council departments.

The aim of the plan is to enable arts and culture to be integrated into our everyday lives, and create a culturally rich and creative Auckland.

Development of Toi Whītiki began in 2012 and has included research and analysis as well as extensive engagement with the creative sector, local boards, mana whenua, mataawaka and other stakeholders. This included extensive targeted meetings with key sector organisations, five wānanga with Māori, a disability-focussed workshop and a Creative Sector Forum at the Auckland Museum in March 2015.

Local boards

Local boards play an important role in supporting arts and culture activities in their communities, through:

  • supporting arts and culture programmes, events and public art
  • funding local arts, cultural groups, and projects
  • supporting local facilities.

Local boards are supporting the goals of Toi Whītiki through their own arts and culture actions. Some examples of these actions and case studies are listed to the right of this page.


Actions under each goal and objective of Toi Whītiki have been developed based on sector input. In the full plan, priority actions are seen first and appear in bold.


Toi Whītiki is a region and sector-wide plan and a varied range of agencies and organisations will have a role to play in delivering on the actions.

A detailed Implementation Plan will sit alongside Toi Whītiki. It will outline initiatives in detail under each action, including lead agents and supporting contributors, timeframes, and any budget implications.

It is envisaged that the implementation plan will be available online, enabling lead agencies and contributors access to the plan as well as other arts and culture stakeholders, in order to engage with it on an ongoing basis.

Toi Whītiki is an aspirational plan for the next ten years which contains both short term actions and actions that will be implemented in the medium to longer term as resources allow.

It is envisaged as a 'living document', with regular opportunities for Auckland Council and the creative sector to update actions or agents, or for new priorities to emerge.

Action plan - Toi Whītiki (PDF 343KB) 

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