Arts Policy

Inclusion of art during the development phase of Council projects is now being encouraged, along with exploring potential new arts partnerships, thanks to the new Arts Policy adopted on 15 July . The policy grew out of the Nelson Tasman Regional Arts Strategy and sets out what Council will do in Nelson to implement the strategy over the next three years. There were 15 submissions from the public on the Arts Policy and a number of changes were made based on their suggestions.


The Nelson Tasman Regional Arts Strategy was developed at the urging of the community. In 2008 a large number of residents came to the Nelson City and Tasman District Councils with their concerns about the state of the arts in the region. They asked the two Councils to lead the development of a Strategy that would map a path to put the arts on a more sustainable footing.

Councils took up the challenge and the ‘Art of Being in the Centre’ strategy document was developed. The Strategy came from the combined efforts and energy of a great many people concerned about the arts in Nelson/Tasman. It contains their thoughts on arts practice, access, participation and excellence as well as the arts economy, arts as a point of difference, and arts attracting people to the region.

The Strategy has roles for everyone in the community and will require many individuals and agencies to work together.

Nelson City Council has been working on implementation of the Strategy but wanted to go a step further and show the community exactly how Council would play its part. Thus came the idea of a Council Arts Policy, which details the Council’s plans and activities over the next three years.

Highlights of the policy

  • A new arts fund for Council arts projects
  • Priority sites for art on Council land
  • An art selection panel to provide Council with expert advice
  • Themes of ‘water’ and ‘light’ to provide cohesion for Council arts projects

The policy also includes lists of arts venues and artworks around the city that will be updated regularly. Council hopes submitters will be able to help complete the lists.

Get a copy of the final Arts Policy

More about the Arts Strategy

Read more about the Nelson Tasman Regional Arts Strategy