April 3, 2007

Tax Exemptions For Artists And Their Creative Outputs When Exhibited, Published Or Otherwise Produced In Public Arenas

John Smythe      posted 31 Mar 2007, 11:58 PM / edited 9 Apr 2009, 11:01 AM

See the News Item for background to this Forum.

A: Defining New Zealand Works of Art

The IRD is building a ‘score card’ system for determining what is distinctively a New Zealand work of art. An early draft awards points for references to paua, sheep, koru, No 8 wire, whanau, taniwha, the buzzy bee … Surely there must be more than that. Any suggestions?

B: Acronyms

The Taskforce is asking for better ideas than their working titles, which are currently:

    Artist Exemption Pilot Scheme (AEPS)

     Producers, Exhibitors, Performers and/or Publishers of Original Creative Art Works (PEPPOCAW)

    Tax Exemptions For Artists And Their Creative Outputs When Exhibited, Published Or Otherwise Produced In Public Arenas (TEFAATCOWEPOOPIPA – although this does work quite well when sung to the tune of a well known Mâori song)

Key words could include: Artists, Production, Retention, Incentive, Lubricant, Facilitate, Original, Output, Legacy …

C: Open Forum for feedback, comments and further creative ideas.

Moya Bannerman            posted 1 Apr 2007, 10:11 AM

A:  Anything Māori, of course. Plus what about:

– Vegemite (or is that Australian?)

– Fred Dagg/John Clarke (oh bugger, ditto – which is why this initiative is needed)

– Pavlova (definitely Kiwi, if named after a Russian ballerina)

– Edmonds (the baking powder, etc – although the late poet and her progeny should qualify too)

– Edmund (the conqueror)

– Roger Hall (OK, UK-born but Kiwi made) – and references to any of his iconic works …

– “Whaddarya? Whaddarya? Whaddarya?” (from a celebrated Lament)

B:  Structuring Essential Liaisons to Facilitate Liking Ourselves Validated and Expressed (SELFLOVE)

C:  I think I know who’s behind this but I’d better not say.

Ophelia                posted 1 Apr 2007, 10:27 AM

One didn’t have to read past that line of ultra creative writing — “an extraordinary feat of cross-party unity” — to catch on. Yeah, right.

Arthur Momate                 posted 1 Apr 2007, 10:35 AM / edited 1 Apr 2007, 12:57 PM

A: Use of the word Kiwi could be a real problem – if it’s the birds or the blokes and birds it would be okay, but if it’s the boot polish (originally Australian, now owned by Sara Lee)  and, according to today’s Sunday Star Times, the bacon (which could be American), it will mean NZ tax dollars used to promote foreign products. This largesse will not be as easy to administer as we might like but hey – the IRD are experts in Imperfect but Respected Definitions. 

C: I don’t care whose behind it – let’s all just get in behind them and …

Elizabeth Booth                 posted 1 Apr 2007, 10:39 AM

A scorecard for ‘New Zealandness’? How terrifying.

I would have assumed that an artist’s status as an identifying New Zealander would be sufficient. Anything more prescriptive than this in a legislative way will be counterproductive to cultivating variety and vibrancy and meaningful identity in the arts.

Call me cynical, but if it does degenerate into a ‘three ticks for one marmite and two korus’ kind of a set up, then it will only serve to further disillusion and discourage the most interesting and ambitious of our artistic practitioners.

Another way of looking at this is to think about whether the art that we can look back on now as significant could be judged to be specifically ‘New Zealand’. I think it would be impossible to realistically create a ‘scorecard’ system that would account for the variety and idiosyncracy of these forces that have shaped us.

claire van beek posted 1 Apr 2007, 10:48 AM

Happy April Fools I’m guessing.

Don Tasker          posted 1 Apr 2007, 11:01 AM

This is an outrage. I totally concur with Elizabeth. Any art work made by a New Zealander is New Zealand art: beginning and end of story. Call the scheme For Underwriting Creative Keypersons Who Initiate the True Treasures (FUCKWITT).

April Fuller          posted 1 Apr 2007, 11:09 AM

Please, this is a genuine cry for help! As the over-worked secretary for this Taskforce, struggling daily (including weekends) to keep it together in the face of cynicism and apathy (all right, yes, I am on a respectable salary, unlike most of you artists), I had to turn somewhere.

I thank all those applying themselves to the issues, even in anger, and feel only compassion for those who seek to trivialise them.

I am indeed your loyal public servant, April Fuller

Paul McLaughlin               posted 1 Apr 2007, 11:42 AM / edited 2 Apr 2007, 10:05 AM


April Fuller          posted 1 Apr 2007, 12:25 PM / edited 2 Apr 2007, 11:50 PM       

John tells me people are emailing him to say their emails to peppocaw@ird.govt.nz and aeps@ird.govt.nz are bouncing back. May I suggest that you ring the IRD on Monday and ask for me, April Fuller. All will then be revealed.  

Mark Harris        posted 2 Apr 2007, 12:20 AM

Dear John,

How I hate to write.

Dear John,

I must break your bones tonight.

For a brief and fleeting while

I thought arts had gained some style,

But now you’ve left us weeping.

Tradition, you’ve been keeping.

With fishes you’ll be sleeping!

Dear John

[to be sung to the tune of an old and half remembered BASF advert]

Simon Vincent   posted 2 Apr 2007, 03:28 PM

I think that offering feedback on this criteria is a great opportunity for us as practitioners to attempt to articulate what our artform means to us. I am a Theatre practitioner so I will stick with what I know.

Recently I have noticed a slight shift in the thinking and output of New Zealand playwrights, two examples being Albert Belz and Paul Rothwell. Albert wrote a play called ‘Yours Truly’ which was set in Victorian England an amazing technical feat and an emotional powerhouse of a text. A great piece of New Zealand art. Paul Rothwell has had two plays produced this year that have stirred up alot of debate on this website. And like his work or not he has achieved something that I regard as very precious and equally pertinent to this discussion: He has got people questioning what Theatre is! Both of these plays, in their own way, challenge the precedents for what a New Zealand play is. 

For a long time I believe we have been chasing after an abstract definition of our National identity and this leads to us defining ourselves in the ways Moya Bannerman has posited my be the framework for the IRD criteria. The quest for National identity is an admirable one and has resulted in some amazing plays, it is also understandable given the fact that we are barely out of nappies as a nation, however it is not the only criteria with which we can define ourselves. I was inspired to write this post after talking to a friend of mine last night about this very issue. He asked: ‘How many of Shakespeare’s plays were set in England?’ He then went on to point out that some of his greatest works were set in places such as Venice, Denmark and Scotland, his point being that we can define ourselves just as easily in terms of other cultures as we can in terms of ourselves. This is evidenced by the universal significance of a play like ‘Yours truly’. As an audience member I love it when form and content combine to give me an emotional experience that is why I go to Theatre and other artforms as well, if a play set in a seaside Bach in New Zealand (‘The Bach’) does that- great- equally though I can have that experience with a play set in Victorian England, both are New Zealand plays and both are extremely affecting. And both were funded by CNZ, which is great and I believe shows that our funding bodies are helping to bring about change.

This new criteria could be, I believe, another opportunity to take this change further. New Zealanders were in raptures at just hearing their own accents onstage twenty years ago but I believe we are in the process of moving on from this to a more holistic and exciting exploration of the artform of New Zealand Theatre. 

My point is then, that any attempt to define New Zealand Theatrical works should, I believe, be weighted as much towards what the play is going to offer to the artform as it is to how it is going to express our abstract idea of National identity. By this I mean, the more we focus on pushing the boundaries of what a play is or what theatre is, the more likely we are to come up with works of art that are affecting, which is, I believe, the key to good theatre. Theatre should affect us emotionally, intellectually and spiritually, it should have universal appeal. While something uniquely ‘kiwi’ like ‘Foreskin’s Lament’ is extremely affecting so is ‘Yours Truly’ they are both great pieces of New Zealand theatre in my opinion because they use the artform and the content to affect. If we are attempting to create good New Zealand Theatre we should focus on New Zealand, definitely, but not solely, we need to expand our vision to the world in an attempt to define ourselves while at the same time pushing our idea of what Theatre is. This will, I believe, open ourselves up to more opportunities to compete on the world stage and to champion the artform as well as the content it expresses because with art you can’t have one without the other.

I have attempted to express what I believe New Zealand Theatre is and can be and I am aware I haven’t offered any practical criteria that might prove useful. I also acknowledge that defining art is an extremely difficult task but I encourage others to try because it may help us to move forward and create an awareness amongst ourselves about what we want out of our work and the work of others and communicate this to people like IRD/CNZ. We have limitless potential as New Zealanders and Artists, lets come up with a plan to put this potential into action.

Simon Vincent   posted 2 Apr 2007, 08:38 PM

Ok, I think I might have been duped, well done John you got me! However I stand by the thoughts my gullibility spawned and hope it inspires further discussion, now that it is April the second.

Charlotte Larsen               posted 3 Apr 2007, 01:51 PM

has anyone tried calling April Fuller at IRD yet? 😉

Mark Harris        posted 3 Apr 2007, 02:58 PM

Id be interested to know how many emails they bounced to those two addresses  😉

Share on social


Make a comment