February 12, 2007


Christopher Doig, Chair of Creative New Zealand’s Arts Council, announced today that he is leaving this role to take up a position as Executive Chairperson of a new opera company for Christchurch and the South Island.

Christopher Doig, who was appointed Chair of the Arts Council in May 2006, has had a long career as a professional opera singer.

"Much as I have enjoyed my short tenure with Creative New Zealand the inevitable conflict of interest has forced me, with regret, to tender my resignation as Chairperson of the Arts Council in order not to compromise its integrity, my own personal and professional integrity, and the future prospects of this new company," Christopher Doig said.

Alick Shaw will be the Acting Chair of the Arts Council until a new appointment is made by the Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage.

Alick Shaw said he understood Christopher Doig’s reasons for leaving his role with the Arts Council. "Chris’ life passion is opera and this is a unique opportunity which matches with his unique set of skills. On behalf of Creative New Zealand, I would like to thank Chris for the work he has done, and for his commitment to the arts over so many years," Alick Shaw said.

Creative New Zealand Chief Executive Stephen Wainwright said he was pleased to have Alick Shaw acting as Chair of the Arts Council. "I am confident that with Alick’s knowledge of Creative New Zealand and the arts sector, he will provide the necessary leadership as we develop and implement our new Strategic Plan in 2007," Stephen Wainwright said.

Creative New Zealand is the national arts development and funding agency. Its purpose is to encourage, promote and supports the arts in New Zealand for the benefit of all New Zealanders.

The Arts Council is responsible for overall policy development including Creative New Zealand’s three-year Strategic Plan. Funding decisions are made by Creative New Zealand’s Arts Board, Te Waka Toi, and the Pacific Arts Committee.

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