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Dunedin City Council – Kaunihera-a-rohe o Otepoti
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How does Ara Toi link to other strategies

Dunedin’s vision is to be one of the world’s great small cities. The Council, working with the community, has developed a strategic framework to deliver on this vision.

Ara Toi is one of eight key strategies that together provide a ‘roadmap’ for how the city’s aspirations will be achieved. Ara Toi has a critical role in this strategic mix and will work in synergy with the other key strategies as the city’s vision is best delivered through an integrated approach. Arts and culture drive economic success and contribute to better social outcomes for Dunedin residents, support improved community participation in decision-making, and help transform the public realm.

Principles That Guide Ara Toi

The Arts and Culture Strategy is underpinned by the following principles.

Treaty of Waitangi

The Māori principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi are central to the Arts and Culture Strategy. This strategy specifically acknowledges the relationship with Kāi Tahu, Te Rūnanga o Ōtākou and Kati Huirapa Runaka ki Puketeraki as well as the many other groups that contribute to the city’s unique heritage and cultural mix.


The holistic and cooperative partnership approach used to develop Ara Toi flows through in the identifying and prioritising of actions, with responsibility for achievements under the strategy and steps toward the vision shared between all partners.


The strategy supports enhancing the sustainability of arts, culture and creativity in the city, from taking practical steps around work practices to the use of arts and culture to promote economic and social wellbeing and resilience.

Freedom of Expression

Arts and culture are valued for their ability to be energising, thought-provoking and to break new ground. The strategy celebrates diversity and seeks to embrace the full range of creative expression, from the conventional to more challenging and cutting-edge art forms.


This strategy acknowledges that, for some people, arts and culture can encompass notions of religion, spirituality, personal relevance and meaning-making, contemplation and reflection.

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* Environment Strategy -In development

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