The Arts Foundation

Awards Selection Process

The Arts Foundation celebrates and increases the impact of New Zealand artists with financial awards. Understand the selection process for Arts Foundation Awards.

Each of our awards has a different selection process. Scroll down for more information about each award and how recipients are selected.


Selection Process

The Foundation is abandoning our previous Laureate focus of seeking to award ‘the best’ New Zealand artists. The Foundation acknowledges that while awarding the best may be possible in sport, artistic ability is subjectively assessed and has a longer life-cycle. Therefore, the Foundation will focus on where the Laureate Award honour and/or financial component will have the most positive impact on an artist and New Zealand.

Partnership Laureate Awards, the Katherine Mansfield Menton Fellowship, the Marti Friedlander Photographic Award, the Mallinson Rendel Illustrators Award, and the Harriet Friedlander New York Residency have their own selection process. Other Laureates will be selected in the process outlined below.

Please note, it is not possible to apply for Arts Foundation Te Tumu Toi Laureate Awards.

We’re looking for artists who:

  • Are at any stage of their career (but not an Icon contender).
  • Are an outstanding artist and have a current commitment to their practice.
  • The award (financial or the honour) will have a measurable double impact.

We want the award have an impact on two of the following three possibilities:

  1. Enable the artist to make a significant next step in their career.
  2. Recognise an artist whose practice is making a significant impact on New Zealand.
  3. Recognise an artist who is having a significant impact on their sector and/or community.

Laureate Criteria

The Laureate Awards are for practicing New Zealand artists, working anywhere in the world, with significant achievements (for their stage of career) and the potential to continue as high achieving artists, who are:

  • Committed to a career in the arts.
  • Outstanding artists in their field.
  • A great New Zealand artist (or likely to be).
  • Important to their communities and to New Zealand.

Laureate Selection Guidelines

A panel of seven multi-disciplinary artists will be chosen to advise Arts Foundation Trustees on selection.

The selection panel will assess artists based on the following criteria:

  • An outstanding artist, or the potential to be outstanding.
  • Exhibits at least two forms of the impact the award will have on the artist.
  • Is currently committed to their practice.

Of the eight Laureates chosen by the selection panel, consideration will be given to diversity of recipients each year, across the eight recipients.

  • Diversity of recipients
  • Regionality
  • A good spread across art forms

Laureate Selection Process


  • Previous year’s panel are asked to provide names of potential recipients as they come across them during the year (provide names to Arts Liaison or Lead Trustee).
  • Previous year’s panel also asked to suggest names of potential panel members.
  • Lead arts trustee to brief the Arts Liaison on the direction of the awards for the coming year.
  • Arts Liaison (or lead arts trustee) recommends panel to trustees for appointment.


  • Seven panellists representing multi-disciplines of the arts are appointed by the trustees.
  • Each panel member is sent a list of potential recipients created by previous panel and asked to add names to the list.
  • The panel is asked to assess artists against the criteria of the awards (impact). It is assumed all artists considered are ‘outstanding’.
  • The panel are asked to recommend (by email) up to10 artists based on a matrix – showing they adhere to each of the criteria.
  • The panel will focus on the areas in which they are knowledgeable.
  • Panellists provide up to 12 names to the Arts Liaison.
  • Arts Lead collates short-list with lead Arts Trustee and goes back to panel if there is a skew in gender, region or art form.


  • The panel meets in person.
  • This is chaired by Arts Foundation lead arts trustee in a non-voting capacity.
  • The panel is organised by Arts Liaison and they are an observer.
  • Arts lead trustee and Artistic Liaison present selections to the trustees including subjective and objective summary of the recommendations.


  • Artists are offered awards via telephone.


  • A special presentation is made with one trustee and/or a panellist.
  • Content is developed profiling the artist.
  • Laureates are announced publicly at the Arts Ball.
  • The panel will be made public when Awards are announced.


  • One or two panel members can be appointed for a second term subject to ensure continuity of the process.
More information on the Laureate Award


Selection Criteria

  • The artist must show potential to develop a sustainable career and practise in the arts
  • The award must have major impact on the artist to carry out working as an artist for a year
  • The artist could be in their final year of formal education ready to develop a practice after completion or have developed a practice independent of any formal teaching institution.
  • They will show potential to develop their careers either as independent artists or within a creative community.
  • The artist needs to show commitment and intent for a career
  • The artist must be endorsed by a nominator (who will act as referee if need be)
  • Attention will be given to diversity of gender, regional location and representation of a variety of artistic disciplines.
  • The artist must be a permanent resident of Aotearoa
  • The artist must be available to promote Springboard and the Arts Foundation. At least one of the artists selected has to be a visual artist (this is a request by funder, the Edgar Family)
More information on the Springboard Award


Selection Criteria

To be eligible for the Katherine Mansfield Menton Fellowship you must:

  • be a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident who has lived continuously in New Zealand for three years prior to making the application (this requirement excludes any short trips out of the country)
  • be a professional practising writer with a record of achievement
  • have the ability to produce a work of substantial literary quality if awarded the Fellowship
  • have the potential to be an ambassador for New Zealand and for New Zealand literature.

The recipients of the Fellowship will be required to:

  • conduct themselves in an appropriate manner and have the self-reliance and resourcefulness to cope with an overseas residency.
  • liaise with contacts and maintain the goodwill of all those involved with the Fellowship, especially in Menton (for example, cooperate with any reasonable requirements from the Menton City Council).
  • ensure there is a printed acknowledgement in any published work that results from the tenure of the Fellowship.
  • attend any Fellowship ceremonies and take part in media interviews, publicity and promotion associated with the Fellowship. The recipient will also have an artist profile page on the Arts Foundation website,
  • If asked, make one public appearance on behalf of the Fellowship. This may include participating in a Festival or other special event.
  • arrange accommodation and travel.
  • insure against sickness, accident and death occurring while overseas and provide a receipt for the premium prior to departure.

We would also be grateful if you

  • would participate in social activities to promote any sponsor, partner or supporter of the Arts Foundation and/or the Fellowship and the Fellowship itself.
  • keep in touch with the Arts Foundation team and send appropriate content such as photographs, writing excerpts or content for social media and our website from time to time.

What we are trying to achieve

The primary aim of the residency is for the writer to work on a project in a new environment, and to complete, or make substantial progress with, a body of writing during the residency.

Other goals include:

  • Developing the potential of the writer through exposure to new cultures and new ideas
  • An increased awareness in France of New Zealand literature

How we select

Your application will be assessed by an independent panel chaired by a non-voting member of the Katherine Mansfield Menton Fellowship Advisory Committee of the Arts Foundation of New Zealand.

The selection panel will assess which application best demonstrates one or more of the following:

  • how the Fellowship will develop the career of a writer whose work has already made a considerable impact, or
  • how the Fellowship will contribute to a new career direction for a senior writer
  • whether the Fellowship is an opportunity for a successful writer who has had little previous opportunity to travel
  • the likely impact the residency will have on the writer’s work
  • how the writer will contribute to the promotion and continuance of the Fellowship.
More information on the Katherine Mansfield Menton Fellowship