• Strategy

WeCreate is the alliance of Aotearoa’s creative industry associations and organisations (representing 25,000+ Kiwi creators and creative businesses), founded in 2014 to propel growth in the sector and increase its contribution to New Zealand’s economic wellbeing.

‘We know [the arts and creativity] make an economic contribution and we know it’s essential to our wellbeing and our lives. Now we, as a government, can play a role in that. We can play a role in it by creating the ecosystem in which the creative sector can thrive.’

Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern, Te Auaha, Wellington, February 2018.


Creativity is a proven, and intensifying, global driver of social, cultural, educational, and economic growth.

Industry and government working together on a committed and concerted Action Plan to super-charge the creative sector would align with government’s priorities to:

  • Drive growth in the digital age through innovation & productivity
  • Diversify our output beyond traditional industries
  • Support sustainable careers & businesses, in the sector, & increasingly in other industries
  • Grow exports globally, weightlessly, & often tariff-free
  • Transition to a zero carbon economy
  • Improve educational outcomes
  • Offer opportunities for Māori, Pasifika, women, small business and regional development
  • Enhance our cultural pride, inclusion, access, participation & identity



In 2016 WeCreate commissioned NZIER to produce a valuation of the creative sector which estimated its contribution to GDP at $17.5bn and employment at 131,000 people – one third of whom work outside the creative industries.

Between 2017 and 2019 WeCreate undertook extensive consultation across the sector, via hui and specific working groups (some of which are ongoing), resulting in a primary objective of partnering with government in a pan-Ministerial approach to an Action Plan to boost economic development and growth in the sector. A draft Action Plan was delivered to government in March 2019 and the sector was delighted to learn that it would be included in MBIE’s Industry Transformation Plan programme from 2020.

A strategic partnership between the UK creative sector and government has seen their creative industries grow five times faster than the average rate of the UK economy and increase their contribution to GVA by 60.5% in eight years.

The development of the Action Plan included officials from MBIE, MCH, MFAT, NZTE, MoE, Stats NZ, Callaghan Innovation and regular hui were held to connect these Ministries and agencies with industry, and with each other, in a more ‘joined-up’ approach (with industry and with each other) to the sector.

Alongside the sector-level Action Plan, WeCreate is closely connected to the development of the Interactive Aotearoa report, the Screen Sector Strategy and a variety of regional creative industries and arts strategies – all of which share strong similarities of intent and make recommendations to maximise opportunities and solve issues, which could be most effectively mutually addressed in a pan-sector approach.

With the advent of COVID-19, WeCreate consulted its Members & Friends on the impacts of the pandemic on their industries and adapted the Action Plan to a Recovery and Renewal Plan, to address the immediate needs of the sector and lay the foundations for the Industry Transformation Plan.

In late July 2020, WeCreate was informed by MBIE and MCH that the Industry Transformation Plan for the creative sector would not be progressing for the forseeable future in light of the significant Budget 2020 investment made by government to support the Arts, Culture and Heritage Sector through its recovery from COVID-19.

WeCreate’s current work-streams on behalf of the sector include:

  • Ongoing liaison with government departments relevant to the economic development of the sector – including MBIE, MCH, MoE, MFAT, NZTE, NZ Story, MSD, Stats NZ, Callaghan Innovation.
  • Ongoing liaison with other strategic work in, or relevant to, the sector including the Screen Sector Strategy, Interactive Aotearoa, Te Taumata Toi a Iwi, Create Auckland 2030 and other regional arts/creative strategies, the Digital Council and the Digital Industry Transformation Plan – all of which have many commonalities with WeCreate’s Action Plan.
  • Advising MCH on the development of a new measurement model for the sector.
  • Participating in the Review of the Copyright Act from a sector-level perspective.
  • Participating in the Reference Group for the design of the Workforce Development Councils in the Reform of Vocational Education.
  • Designing and testing the ‘Creative Commercial Essentials’ business development programme in association with ATEED, which will have the potential for national roll-out.
  • Providing industry advice and connections to MFAT regarding current and forthcoming trade negotiations and development of policy on digital trade.
  • Ongoing liaison with CreaTer – the alliance of creative tertiary educators.

Access the WeCreate Action Plan here

Access the WeCreate Recovery and renewal plan here