John is a senior reporter at the Bay of Plenty Times

'Must try harder' - Creative Tauranga review

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Creative Tauranga chief executive Jennifer Pearson (left) with Millie Newitt. Photo/file
Creative Tauranga chief executive Jennifer Pearson (left) with Millie Newitt. Photo/file

Creative Tauranga should advocate more strongly for the needs of the city's artists and cultural groups, a review of the council-funded organisation has disclosed.

The strategic review of the organisation that last year received 54 per cent of its $538,000 operating income from rates, has developed a "next steps" plan on its future direction.

Other key components included establishing a new governance structure, the development of an arts strategy for the Western Bay, and a new funding structure needed to tap into alternative income streams.

Details of the plan currently being worked through by Creative Tauranga was outlined to a meeting of the council's monitoring committee today.

The plan called on Creative Tauranga to play a "stronger advocacy role and to more broadly reflect the needs of the artistic and cultural communities".

Five focus group meetings helped define the plan, with input from a large cross-section of sector groups and individuals.

An appointments panel was due to have finished the recruitment and appointment of new trustees by the end of this month. The panel consisted of the current chairman of Creative Tauranga Marcus Wilkins, Tauranga councillor Bev Edlin, Western Bay District councillor Margaret Murray-Benge, Tauranga Art Gallery chairman Peter Anderson and Incubator director Simone Anderson. Mr Anderson and Ms Anderson are not related.

Creative Tauranga moved to smaller premises in the Civic Arcade last November and continues to provide a culture and arts information hub and community gallery space.

The annual report for Creative Tauranga Charitable Trust to March 31 showed a net surplus of $30,000. The gross surplus of $506,900 was down $143,500 on the previous year, while total expenses of $411,400 were down $68,540 on 2014. A loss on the sale of fixed assets totalling nearly $68,000 reduced the net surplus.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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