Creative New Zealand has announced a change to funding of the arts - the biggest in two decades.
A substantial review has been held of the sector that receives about $21 million in funding from the government agency each year.
Until now, 34 professional arts organisations - representing, music, theatre, dance and opera - have received the bulk of Creative New Zealand's funding, with money allocated for periods of between one and three years.
The Arts Council of New Zealand chairperson, Alastair Carruthers, says that under the current system many organisations felt they couldn't access funding.
Under the new system, recurring funding will be replaced by two types: an arts leadership programme that will fund organisations for between two and five years, and more flexible funding for periods of between six months and two years.
The new system should come into effect from 2012.
Creative New Zealand says there was an overwhelming consensus that the organisation needed to change the way that the arts sector is funded.