Assessment and decision-making process

Assessing applications

External peer assessors will assess applications using the assessment criteria and scale, which is listed under ‘Assessing applications’ on the webpage for each funding programme. Creative New Zealand defines and approves the assessment criteria.

External peer assessors read and review the information submitted in the application. They do not see information submitted to Creative New Zealand previously, do not have information about any funding history, and are not allowed to contact those seeking funding directly or seek clarification from them. For that reason, it’s important that an application includes all the information you wish an assessor to see.  

We ask external peer assessors to use their artform knowledge and expertise to assess the quality of the applications and provide us with fulsome and constructive commentary that substantiates the scores they’ve awarded.

Once the assessment of an application is complete, the scores for each assessment criteria are totalled to give the total score for the application.

All applications in a funding round are put in a list and ordered according to their total score.

Panels and moderation

Panels are convened for most of our funding rounds and are an important opportunity for our external peer assessors to discuss the collective merits of projects within a funding round. Panels are generally facilitated by an external facilitator who has experience in peer assessment.

A panel generally consists of artform experts who will:

  • read and consider the results of external assessments prior to the meeting
  • make recommendations for funding by coming to a consensus at the meeting
  • take into account additional information provided by Creative New Zealand staff.

Depending on the size of the funding round, not all applications will be discussed by the panel due to time constraints. For larger rounds, such as Arts Grants, often less than 50% of all projects will be discussed at panel, with the conversation generally focussed on applications that have achieved scores from the middle range upwards.

After the panel meeting, Creative New Zealand holds an internal moderation meeting, without assessors present, but including the facilitator of the panel meeting where possible/relevant. At this meeting staff consider the assessment scores, commentary and ranked order, as well as whether the range of recommended projects will meet the purposes of the programme and whether there are any gaps in achieving our strategic outcomes. On occasion the moderation group’s final recommendations may differ from those made by the panel (for example, if one artform or community is considerably under-represented).

Decision making

The moderation group makes final recommendations to Creative New Zealand’s Senior Manager for Arts Development Services, who decides which applications will receive funding.

In some circumstances, the decision is made by the Chief Executive or by the Arts Council of New Zealand.