Creative New Zealand
commits $4.5 million to Auckland Waterfront Theatre
Great News! Have a look at the latest media release from
Creative New Zealand will
invest a total of $4.5 million to help realise the new Waterfront
Theatre Project in central Auckland's Wynyard Quarter.
The new, international-standard centre for performing arts will be
integrated with the new ASB head office complex and become the
permanent home of Auckland Theatre Company (ATC). The centre will include a
600-seat theatre and access to a 200-seat auditorium within the ASB
"This is an exceptional opportunity to invest in a capital project
that will fill a large gap in Auckland's arts infrastructure and
will have many benefits for the wider Auckland community as a venue
for performance," says Arts Council Chairman Dr Dick Grant.
"It is unusual for Creative New Zealand to invest in a capital
project but we are pleased to be joining with key institutions to
help make this important project happen," he said.
Creative New Zealand made an initial investment of $3 million in
2012 and a further $1.5 million investment has been made possible
by income from the New Zealand Lottery Grants Board.
The funds will not be released until ATC has secured all the
funding it needs for the project and the start is confirmed.
Since Creative New Zealand's original grant was made ATC has
secured significant additional funding towards the $35.1 million
project, including a $5 million partnership with AUT
Other major contributors to the project include Auckland Council,
ASB Community Trust and the Lion Foundation, as well as private
donors and benefactors. Creative New Zealand's commitment brings
the total pledged to approximately $33 million.
"ATC has made impressive progress in advancing the project and
securing funding. It has demonstrated its considerable ability and
leadership in the way it has managed the funding commitments and
partnerships needed," Dr Grant said.
Creative New Zealand's support is a tremendous boost to the
project said ATC Chair, Gordon Moller. "With the final fundraising
target in sight, and thanks to the many people who have got behind
the project, we should be in a position to start construction in
AUT University contributes $5million to the Waterfront Theatre
We are delighted to
announce that AUT University are contributing $5million to the
Waterfront Theatre Project. This is a game changer for us. The
project will definitely go ahead.
It's a game changer for young people. This investment shows AUT
and ATC live in the modern world, and that we share an
understanding of the role that arts and creativity play in the
development of our young people.
It's a game changer for the
performing arts. This partnership will significantly enhance the
capability of the creative sector in city. It creates new pathways
for young people to connect with the performing arts, it presents
opportunities for research and development that have not existed
before, and it will explode wide open the concept of how young
people are trained for careers either in the performing arts or in
It's a game changer for the live performance industry. In the same
way as museums and galleries have transformed their patron
experience, this investment means ATC can realise its vision of
reinventing the theatregoing experience in Auckland for the 21st
century. Audiences can expect to have a theatregoing experience
that is commensurate with that they would expect to have in any
international cosmopolitan city.
As AUT's Vice Chancellor, Derek McCormack said today, "throughout
history great cities have established themselves by being centres
of learning and culture. AUT and ATC, as anchor institutions in the
cultural life of the region, are convinced of the potential this
partnership has to contribute to Auckland's standing as an
New Zealand Lottery Grants Board Funding
We have just received some more excellent news on the funding
front. We're delighted to announce that the New Zealand Lottery
Grants Board Community Facilities Committee has granted $750,000
towards the waterfront theatre project. This fantastic contribution
means that we have now raised a total of $26.2 million. The
discussions with other major funders are ongoing and we will make
an announcement about those as soon as we can.
Further Major Funding Announced
We are very pleased to announce that Creative New Zealand has
joined the fundraising campaign for the new waterfront theatre,
bringing the total raised for the project so far to $25 million in
just two years, which is an amazing achievement in today's economic
climate. We are also having very encouraging discussions with
further potential major funding partners and hope to be able to
make an announcement about those within the next couple of months.
We look forward to keeping you informed!
Creative New Zealand pledges support for Auckland waterfront
Creative New Zealand is joining other investors to realise a new
centre for the performing arts in central Auckland by agreeing to
invest $3 million over two years in The Waterfront Theatre
The project centres on a 600-seat theatre development in the
Wynyard Quarter, Auckland's business and entertainment district.
The venue will be adjacent to and integrate with the new ASB head
office complex, owned and developed by Kiwi Income Property Trust,
and become the permanent home of Auckland Theatre Company
An exceptional opportunity
"It is very unusual for Creative New Zealand to invest in a
capital project but we see this as an exceptional opportunity to
help fill a large gap in Auckland's arts infrastructure," says Arts
Council Chair Alastair Carruthers.
"It would be considerably more expensive to create a similar
integrated venue without the sizeable support being provided by
ASB, Auckland Council, ASB Community Trust and other partners.
Hopefully our commitment will encourage others to step forward
A demonstrated need
A mid-sized venue for performing arts companies has been
identified by Auckland Council as the single highest priority for
the performing arts in Auckland. The Waterfront Theatre Project
includes a 600-seat theatre, designed specifically for drama and
dance, access to a 200-seat auditorium within the ASB head office
development, a shared courtyard and other facilities.
"There has been significant growth in the number and quality of
theatre and dance organisations in Auckland but many companies,
particularly in dance, are hampered by lack of mid-sized venues in
which to perform," Mr Carruthers said.
The project would allow the ATC to reach larger audiences and
have more control over programming. It would also allow a wider
range of local and touring performing arts events to be seen by
Auckland audiences than is currently possible.
One off grant
Creative New Zealand's investment is made possible by one-off
New Zealand Lottery Grants Board income.
Funds will be released once ATC has secured the remaining
investment required and the start of the project is confirmed. "We
appreciate there is a way to go to reach the full amount but we are
confident the ATC will achieve its fundraising goal," says Mr
Gordon Moller, Chair of Auckland Theatre Company says, "Creative
New Zealand's support is a tremendous boost to our fundraising
campaign for this nationally significant project."
"We have secured over 70% of the funds needed for the new
theatre in less than two years, which shows just how excited people
are about the idea of a theatre on Auckland's waterfront,
recognising the important role that arts and culture can play in
the waterfront development."
The investment will be administered by the Ministry for Culture
and Heritage which has experience of investing in capital projects
through its Regional Museums Policy for Capital Construction
Major investors are the Auckland Council, ASB Community Trust,
The Lion Foundation, ATC/Theatre Foundation and founding
benefactors and patrons.
Auckland Theatre Company celebrates Wynyard Quarter's first
In the space of only a few short months, the Wynyard Quarter has
been transformed into an area Aucklanders are proud of and a
destination they love to visit.
The Quarter has provided Aucklanders with a new destination to
spend their Friday and Saturday nights, which is helping to keep
the economy going since the Rugby World Cup.
"There was a noticeable difference (since the end of the Rugby
World Cup)," said Shane Lea, Manager of Marvel Grill.
"However if there's an event on there are generally people around
and they're coming in (to the restaurant) rather than just walking
past. The quarter is becoming a destination and if there's
something happening - there are people."
If Auckland Theatre Company's proposed theatre proceeds as
planned, Aucklanders will have an additional reason to head down to
the waterfront and the boost this will bring to the after five
economy in the area is something the local hospitality businesses
are very happy about.
Alongside providing significant cultural and community benefits,
the waterfront theatre development will generate an estimated
additional spend of $8.59 million per annum in the Wynyard Quarter,
with an impact on direct waterfront GDP of $3.72million per
"Auckland Theatre Company is really excited about the prospect of
being a part of the Wynyard Quarter and being able to contribute to
the cultural and social experiences that are being cultivated
there", says General Manager, Lester McGrath.
Auckland Theatre Company believes that, in the words of Auckland
Councillor Richard Northey, "the waterfront theatre will be the
jewel in the crown of the Wynyard Quarter development," and a
destination all Aucklanders will be proud of. What a great occasion
to celebrate - happy birthday Wynyard Quarter!
Auckland Council Renews Support for Visionary Waterfront
Auckland Council has confirmed its support of the 600-seat
waterfront theatre development by maintaining its budget allocation
of $10 million in the Long Term Plan. This follows a rigorous
review of funding priorities by councillors, who are committed to
achieving positive change for Auckland in a fiscally responsible
and prudent manner.
With Auckland Council's support $21.7 million has been pledged of
the $35 million fundraising target. Auckland Theatre Company
is delighted with the outcome and is actively pursuing other
funding avenues to fill the gap. The company's next report back on
progress to Auckland Council is in September.
The project is a public-public collaboration, which integrates
with the ASB head office development in Wynyard Quarter and fills a
serious gap in Auckland's performing arts
In addition to providing significant cultural and community
benefits, the waterfront theatre development will generate an
estimated additional spend of $8.59 million per annum in the
Wynyard Quarter, with an impact on direct waterfront GDP of $3.72
"We thank our ever increasing group of supporters for advocating
so strongly in support of the project in recent weeks," says
Auckland Theatre Company General Manager, Lester McGrath.
"Auckland Council has had to make careful and considered
decisions. We thank Mayor Len Brown and fellow Councillors for
their support and due consideration for the funding and rationale
Auckland Theatre Company has presented in support of the
"The waterfront theatre represents value for money for rate-payers
and will contribute significantly towards the development of
Auckland's waterfront and vision for Auckland to be one of the
world's most liveable cities."
Auckland Theatre Company believes that, in the words of Councillor
Richard Northey, "the waterfront theatre will be the jewel in the
crown of the Wynyard Quarter development," and a destination all
Aucklanders will be proud of.
ASB Community Trust Contributes $5 Million
Auckland Theatre Company is delighted to announce ASB Community
Trust will contribute $5m to the new theatre proposed for the
The contribution takes the total pledged to the new theatre
$21.7m. The total amount needed to build the new 600 seat venue is
"We are thrilled to have ASB Community Trust's support for this
visionary project, which will provide Auckland residents and
visitors with a world class theatre going experience for
generations to come," says Auckland Theatre Company General
Manager, Lester McGrath.
In announcing the $5m contribution from ASB Community Trust, Chair
Ken Whitney said the Trust was inspired by what has been achieved
by working in partnership with other funders.
"The Trust is both proud and delighted to be able to make a
substantial contribution to what will be a world class theatre for
Auckland," he said.
"Large scale projects such as this inevitably require a number of
funding partners to work together collaboratively to realise a
shared vision. In a relatively short time this approach has
endowed our city with a number of iconic buildings such as the
magnificently refurbished art gallery, Q Theatre, the Eden Park
stadium redevelopment, the extensions to the War Memorial Museum,
MOTAT and the Auckland Zoo, to name a few. The ASBCT has made
a significant contribution to each of these projects and we are
excited to be an early key funder for the ATC's stunning new
theatre here in the Wynyard Quarter.
"This is about building infrastructure," Mr Whitney said.
"The building itself is going to be a huge asset for our city, but
what's more important is the potential it offers to develop the
region's cultural resources.
"ASB Community Trust has been a long-term supporter of ATC. We've
also put a lot of resource into our emerging artists programme, in
partnership with the Auckland Theatre Company. This cutting-edge
facility is going to give those young artists something to aspire
The new theatre will be located on the corner of Halsey St and
Jellicoe St. alongside the new office building being built by Kiwi
Income Property Trust which will house ASB Bank's head
Designed by Moller Architects in association with Bligh Voller
Nield, the new theatre will add a significant cultural dimension to
"Not only will stimulate the 'after 5pm' economy in the Wynyard
Quarter, generating additional spending of $8.59m per annum in the
Quarter, it will fill a major gap in Auckland's current theatre
provision," says ATC's Lester McGrath.
The new theatre will share a public lane way, court yard and 200
studio theatre with ASB Bank, which is a cornerstone partner of the
Auckland Theatre Company will be the anchor tenant of the new
theatre, using the space for 30 weeks a year, with other
significant New Zealand and international performing arts companies
able to use it for the remainder of the year.
ASB Community Trust join the new theatre's other major funder The
Lion Foundation who have contributed $1m to the project.
Detailed design for the new theatre is 90% complete. Construction
is likely to start in early 2013 with the theatre opening in mid
Update on Progress
Pledges worth $21.7 million have been made to the project, of
the $35 million needed to build the theatre. ASB has also pledged a
further $6 million towards shared building costs. Applications have
also been submitted to a number of major trusts and foundations,
including the NZ Lottery Grants Board. Sponsorship for the project
is also being sought from businesses (both large and small).
The Coming of Age public campaign is running alongside the
corporate campaign and grant applications. If you are interested in
making a donation, please click
here. If you would like to become part of the theatre's
Founders' Club by making a significant capital contribution, please
contact Linden Tierney on 09 309 0390 ext. 272.
The new waterfront theatre needs the public's continued support
and advocacy for the project. Please visit our Get Involved page
for information on how you can voice your support.
When Will it Happen?
Work on the new waterfront theatre is happening right now!
Auckland Theatre Company is working to secure the funding needed in
order to make this project a reality.
The majority of the funding needs to be pledged by November in
order to secure Auckland Council's $10 million commitment, which is
vital to the success of the project. Donate
now to help us meet our fundraising goals!