About the Creative Industries sector




“This is where I want to work and I couldn’t hope to work anywhere more fulfilling.”

 Richard Taylor, about working at Weta workshops



The Creative Industries Pathway is for those people who work or study in visual and performing arts as artists or technicians, or in the design and development of products, including communications. This pathway also includes those who work in film and digital technologies and in events development and management, including heritage and cultural advice. Māori and Pacific culture and identity is fully represented in this pathway.

The role of creative design and communications across all pathways

Many arts-related businesses are connected with large industries in film, television, or design. Most people who have creative talents are in small businesses where using their imagination while being adaptable and responsive to others is the key to success. All organisations and businesses need effective communications to market and support their services so promotion, marketing, public relations, and advertising are essential across most industries. High quality verbal, visual, written, graphic, and web-related design and communications skills are needed by all sectors. Your chances of working in one of these roles will be strengthened by your design skills, your cultural awareness and knowledge, and your understanding of what gets through to people using music, visual imagery, and words, drama, humour, and movement. Creative jobs such as those in architectural, graphic, interior, landscape, environmental, furniture, and industrial design are found in the Construction and Infrastructure and Manufacturing and Technology Pathways. Creative communications roles are also in high demand across the Services and Social and Community Services Pathways.

What’s the work like?

This sector is all about using your creative skills and imagination to help people see the world differently. Coming up with new ideas is exciting. Sometimes you will need to analyse problems and come up with solutions and at other times fresh ways to express existing concepts or ideas. Creative Industries is a specific term we use to define industries that have their origin in individual or collective creativity, skill, and talent. These industries have the potential to create wealth and jobs through generating and exploiting intellectual property. In this sector you could be at the forefront of using moving images and digital technologies to communicate ideas and to deliver products and services in exciting ways. Combining cultural and indigenous knowledge with artistic and technical skills is also possible in this sector. You may already be using social media to explore your creative skills or applying those skills to help get a band, dance, or theatre group off the ground. Your career is likely to be varied. Roles and jobs often call for both big-picture thinking and attention to detail. Successful people in this sector apply their talents across different fields, because to thrive, you will need to make sure there is a market or an audience for your creative ideas and unique skills. To make a living in this sector you will need to be resourceful and determined, and resilient dealing with change or disappointment. You may work or practise your creative skills by yourself, although more often you’ll be part of a team. You may find yourself resolving technical, artistic, and personally challenging problems. You will need to understand and respect cultures and traditions. At times you may challenge the perspectives of others through your work. Through working in the creative industries you really can make a difference to individuals, whānau, hapū, iwi, communities and the world at large.

What’s great about this sector?

There is tremendous personal and creative satisfaction to be found working within the creative industries and your challenge will be making sure you can earn a living while having fun! It’s a constantly evolving sector. Career opportunities range from generating creative projects within local communities to leading innovation inside international companies. Your skills are transferable across the other five pathways as well. There are many opportunities to make new discoveries, to travel with performance-based events, to work with other passionate people, and through arts-related projects, to challenge the way people see themselves. While some individuals are very skilled and excel in arts or design fields, many people in creative industries find great satisfaction working within projects or behind the scenes to support the performers.

Māori Arts within New Zealand

Jobs requiring te reo Māori and/or kaupapa/tikanga Māori awareness continue to grow, along with a strong, contemporary Māori arts scene. One of the organisations leading this growth is Toi Māori Aotearoa. For more information, including subsidiary companies check out:

Why is this sector important?

People in this sector help us to discover and communicate who we are and the things we value as human beings, as world citizens, and as Kiwis. They tell our stories. People in creative industries also help us as New Zealanders to understand and communicate our cultural diversity and our bicultural and multicultural past and present. They may become cultural ambassadors for New Zealand. People in creative industries help shape for the future how we will see and present ourselves when we engage with ideas and issues as citizens of New Zealand and members of the global community.