The Far North's Creative Communities Assessment Committee is looking to recruit more young people and expand its ethnic diversity in the committee's make-up.

Chairman Wally Hicks said the committee, which assessed applications and distributed Creative New Zealand funding for local arts projects, served a unique and important role for the Far North arts community and wider public.

"Because we're involved in the arts, and we live here, we have a greater understanding of the needs, aspirations and values of artists and arts in our district and the contribution they make to the local cultural landscape," he said.

"Creative New Zealand recognises with the Creative Communities Scheme (CCS), which devolves the funding of smaller but all important local arts projects to local people."

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The nine members of the assessment panel were doing an excellent job, but to better represent the community wanted membership to reflect the demographic and cultural diversity of that community.

That meant especially getting more young people involved, Maori and Pakeha, and people representing diverse ethnicities and minorities.

Serving on the committee was entirely voluntary but immensely rewarding, Mr Hicks said.

"To be able to make a tangible contribution to financially supporting the arts — toi me te ahurea, theatre, dance, children's shows, festivals, painting and sculpture — is both a humbling and rewarding experience," he said.

The committee met in Kaikohe four times a year, and received an average of 10 applications per funding round. Grants varied but most were less than $2000.

Applications for this year's final funding round closed on November 2.

¦ For more information about CCS funding go to www.fndc.govt.nz/services/community/creative-communities-scheme on the Far North District Council website, or contact the CCS administrator at the district council.