Toi Whītiki celebrates Auckland’s unique cultural identity

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Publish Date : 18 Dec 2015
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Riki Bennett
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From left to right: Bobby Newson, Councillor Alf Filipaina, Mayor Len Brown
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From left to right: Councillor Alf Filipaina, Maree Mills, Mayor Len Brown.
Lisa Reihana 
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Mayor Len Brown
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From left to right: Councillor Alf Filipaina, Maree Mills, Mayor Len Brown
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From left to right: Michael Smythe, Lisa Reihana, Rhana Devenport

Toi Whītiki has been chosen as the name for Auckland’s Arts and Culture Strategic Action Plan in recognition of 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.

Toi Whītiki is a great way of thinking about what arts and culture can do in one of the most diverse cities in the world. The people of Auckland meet at Matariki, Diwali, Pasifika and the Lantern Festival to share food, fun and celebrate who we are.

The strength of the city is its cultural diversity. Toi Whītiki commits Auckland Council, the creative sector and the community to harness this potential over the next 10 years as it works towards making Auckland the world’s most liveable city.

More than 800 individuals and organisations, from the Auckland Art Gallery to grassroots community groups, were consulted in the drafting of the document. The plan aims to make arts and culture part of Aucklanders’ everyday lives.

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 economy.

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 encourages us 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.

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