Creativity the key to city’s prosperity

Peter Biggs at Maungatapu Marae. Photo: Ryan Wood.

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Arts and culture have an important role to play in helping cities like Tauranga reach their potential in the 21st century.

That’s the opinion of Wellington advertising agency chief executive Peter Biggs, who came to speak to key stakeholders in the Western Bay of Plenty’s Arts & Culture Strategy.

Peter, who is also chair of the New Zealand Book Council and a former chair of the Arts Council of New Zealand, spoke to a group of invited guests at Maungatapu Marae on Tuesday afternoon, including representatives from local iwi, Tourism Bay of Plenty, Creative Bay of Plenty, The Incubator, and Tauranga Society of Artists.

His talk looked at how changing times and technologies means creativity will be more important than ever in driving economic growth, now and in the future.

“We live a strange century. Everything is changing dramatically,” he says. “Who would’ve thought, 10 years ago, that the biggest accommodation provider in the world today – Airbnb – wouldn’t own any hotels? Or that the world’s largest taxi company, Uber, wouldn’t own any cars?”

He also stresses the need to look beyond the concept of countries, and to see the world as more like a network of cities.

“This is the century of the city. One million people move from rural areas into cities every week across the globe.”

Peter is a fan of ‘magnet cities’ – cities that attract the best and brightest people to live and work there. Arts and culture, he says, are a part of that attraction.

“In the past, economic fortune made culture possible. But now, it is culture that makes economic fortune possible.”

He points to Tel Aviv as an example of a city with a definable identity – the city that ‘never stops’ – and how this culture is built into its bylaws and structures. He says 120 years ago it was just desert, and now it’s the most vibrant city in Israel.

After speaking at the marae, Peter also attended a networking event with Priority One in the CBD.

Arts & Culture Strategy development steering group chair Sonya Korohina says feedback has been received from the community, and soon they’ll have a document to present to Tauranga City Council.

It consists of 30 ‘actions’ to promote arts and culture in the region, each with corresponding lead and support agencies.

“We had over 600 submissions on our Arts & Culture Strategy, compared with just 400 for Auckland’s one. We’re really excited about the depth and diversity of the community engagement.”

The Arts & Culture Strategy will be presented to the council on November 14.

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@ rastus

Posted on 05-10-2017 14:41 | By MISS ADVENTURE

You are right, perfectly correct. Obviously you managed to draw out all the nay sayers and perpetual moaners that are i want ... i want ... i want ... i want ... handout lovers and demanders. You got their attention and showed them up for what the real game is. Self indulgence and expecting all else to pay.

@ Poppa-cull

Posted on 05-10-2017 14:38 | By MISS ADVENTURE

You say "if some individuals make a bob or two out of it, I don’t really care too much" I dont care about that either as long as the TCC ratepayers dont get nailed for the bills, that is what is actually happening. So as suggested to you and you have failed to answer, "You want it you pay for it". So the end result here is lets see how long you would then tolerate these leech like peedlers of self promotoing and self rewarding individuals if you personally were fronting the money to pay the bills. We all know, realistically how long that would last, now dont we :) God-save-the-Ratepayer,-as-no-one-else-wants-to,-10/4-out!

On the payroll, R Bella-lecta!

Posted on 05-10-2017 14:33 | By MISS ADVENTURE

Yes, at last you have recgnised and stated the problem. What wonders and revelations will behall you next, perhaps the rest of the truth of it?

@Groutby the heathen

Posted on 02-10-2017 09:15 | By Papamoaner

Aha! A fellow traveller! But it’s freezing down here in the winter because you can’t get near the bloody fire for priests, politicians, real estate salesmen and entrepreneurs, and most of the warmth is escaping out through Vanuatu due to slackness on the part of Lucifer, - a typical politician despite his office. Seriously though, the arts and culture are important, and if some individuals make a bob or two out of it, I don’t really care too much if the community as a whole benefits.

Mr Biggs.........

Posted on 01-10-2017 19:18 | By groutby

.......will have a stake himself in whatever move Tauranga City makes in advertising, his credentials however mean nothing to me ..(as a heathen I guess)...I imagine the result will come in the form of results in the ’feedback’ poll to be presented to TCC,....... AND THEN ...take it to the people for analysis and a resultive action....we hope Mr Biggs was well rewarded for his visit...again, numbers ($$ please, along with an expected time frame) would remove the "mystique" somewhat.

Pointy heads, rastus?

Posted on 01-10-2017 15:31 | By R. Bell

What do you mean? There are no pointy heads, nor do people suggest our society is doomed. Societies do not happen by accident. We all have equal say in how we develop. If you object, fine, say so. Don’t rely on Sunlive, get out and canvas your thoughts. Maybe then you will get the society you crave. Robin Bell.

Ho Hum

Posted on 01-10-2017 12:50 | By rastus

Just another pack of pointy heads claiming that if we don’t have this or that our society is doomed. I have absolutely no objections whatsoever to those who wish to pursue any form of art or culture to satisfy their inner needs ’but’ what I do object to is anyone presuming to know what I or our fair city needs in order to satisfy those artistic ’want to haves’ and then have the temerity to expect ratepayers to cough up for their jaundiced dreams.

On the payroll, missy?

Posted on 01-10-2017 12:38 | By R. Bell

over recent weeks you have accused all opposing opinion of either "being on the payroll"or being a beneficiary of "tribal payments". Surely it’s time to grow up, and enjoy our dynamic society. Or not. Robin Bell.


Posted on 01-10-2017 11:42 | By MISS ADVENTURE

None, there is an interesting thing, TCC has almost mystical powers in this area, they go well beyond the call of duty and in all respects all expectations of TCC are outrageously exceeded. TCC is indeed the most creative outfit in the region, nah NZ. There is nothing that TCC wouldnt be able to manufacture and create the most wonderous and believable stories out of completely nothing. The talents go well beyond that though, even when all else says "no" they will fabricate and then embellish their own creativity, stories and everything to confirm it in a heart beat. You now want to believe all this? TCC will expends huge sums of monies from Ratepayers coffers to self justify, create a whirlwind around it all to mask the truth and highlight the desired truth as created. God-save-the-Ratepayer,-as-no-one-else-wants-to,-10/4-out!

On the payroll

Posted on 01-10-2017 11:33 | By MISS ADVENTURE

Opinion therefoer totally predicable.

At last a breath of fresh air.

Posted on 01-10-2017 11:15 | By R. Bell

Please take note T.C.C. and other interested parties. We simply cannot afford our City to remain dull and boring. We need to bulldoze aside the minority referenced by papamoaner and create the future in line with the rest of the world. Arts and culture are critical components of positive social development. Robin Bell.

Spot on Peter!

Posted on 01-10-2017 09:18 | By Papamoaner

Best of luck with it, but it’ll be an uphill battle around here mate. A small vocal minority will oppose you, worried about how this will affect "their rates" They wouldn’t know art nor culture if they tripped over it, let alone have any feel for return on investment, or possess any forward vision for the region. But they are a minority - important not to forget that.