How It Works

Dunedin Dream Brokerage assists applicants, finds rent-free space for approved projects and negotiates its use. We facilitate an agreement between you and the building owner, and organise public liability insurance through our partner, the Otago Polytechnic.

Please allow a minimum of 8 weeks from time of application submission to planned project commencement. See Timeframe.

The Application Process

Criteria: Applicants first must be satisfied they meet the criteria (below) for an application. Please contact the Broker before you apply. The Broker can offer valuable advice and perspective.

Complete Application: Using the online form please fill in every field and submit. The Broker will check if anything needs clarification, contact you or forward to the Advisory panel

Assessment: The application is then assessed by the Dunedin Dream Brokerage Advisory Panel. The proposal must meet with majority approval. Sometimes the panel will ask for more information and the Broker will let you know if this is the case.

Timeframe: After you have spoken with the Broker and submitted your application, it is assessed by the Brokerage Advisory Panel over a period of 2–3 weeks. If no further information is required and your application is successful, the search then begins for a suitable property. This process will take another 2–4 weeks, including completing the necessary paperwork. Please note, every project is different so these timeframes are only a guide.

Location: Once your application has been approved, you can start finding available locations that you think would work for your project. Please do not contact building owners or real estate agents directly. The broker will commence negotiations with the property owner or agent on your behalf.

Agreements: All projects are covered by a mutually signed Agreement between the Dunedin Dream Brokerage and you the Occupant. The Agreement sets out the expectations and responsibilities of all parties. The Brokerage also signs an Agreement with the building owner.

Insurance: Public Liability Insurance is included as part of your Agreement. However you will be responsible for covering costs and fixing any minor damage to the space.

Space: Once your space is confirmed and signed up, the Broker will induct you into the space.

These are our typical expectations:

  • You may need to clean the space and you must ensure it’s safe

  • You and the Broker will work together to ensure that power is connected at the site

  • You will cover costs for power use and any other operational costs connected to the space

  • Our Broker may offer advice on layout and design of your site

  • If you have a street-level retail space, consider all signage and visual aspects that will draw people into the space, such as use of shop windows

  • You will be supplied with a Dunedin Dream Brokerage sign which must be used at your project location

  • You will need to consider any potential negative effect of your project on neighbours and their activities (eg. sound/light leaks).


Documentation: The Broker will arrange for professional photographic documentation of your project once installed. You will receive access to these photographs free of charge. A selection of these photographs will be archived on the Dunedin Dream Brokerage website.

Media & Publicity: The Broker will liaise with you around writing a media release and media messaging. They may share media contacts, or contact local media for you. We will also feature your project on our website and on our social media platforms. You must include the Brokerage logo in all promotions for your event. It is important to factor the timeframe of locating an appropriate property and completing the paperwork into your media timeline.

Monitoring: The Broker will monitor the project’s progress, and will report back to both property owners and stakeholders at the end of the Agreement. The broker will connect with you at the end of the project to ensure the property is left clean, your power usage is correctly billed and keys are returned to the property owner.

Frankenfoot -
The Redux

Louise Clifton & Rachel Blackburn
(Image by Justin Spiers)


Our Criteria

Engage people in Dunedin City

Projects should be dynamic and open to the public, accessible and visible.

Consider how you will involve people and how you will deliver an experience that will draw people in to engage with your work.

Offer Unique Experiences

Projects should be thoughtful and sensitive, and offer visitors a memorable experience.

Think about how your project might operate differently to the experiences offered by either retail spaces or art galleries. We encourage projects and initiatives which are new to the city.

Confident & Organised

Projects must be clear in their kaupapa and ready to deliver.

Demonstrate that you are able to look after a space that is open to the public.  There are a number of conditions requiring professional responsibility you must be able to meet.


Projects may relate to the site, place, local history or neighbourhood.

Projects that are context-specific should consider how their concepts or placement relate to mana whenua [local hapū and iwi]. If you’re unsure about how to do this, please contact the Broker before you apply.

Dunedin Dream Brokerage is committed to ensuring the city better reflects the diversity of its history and people. Consider how accessible your project is to Dunedin’s diverse citizens and how different types of people might engage with and enjoy your project.


Projects may be of any duration, but there must always be someone on site for audience experience and safety.

Consider how long your project will run and realistically who will be in the space during opening hours. Consider allowing time for word of mouth to spread about your project.

We don’t want projects that:

Look and feel like a regular art gallery. The emphasis for Dunedin Dream Brokerage is on projects that actively engage visitors and spaces, using a wide variety of formats – not pictures hung on walls.

Look and feel like a shop. Dunedin Dream Brokerage is not looking for retail outlets.

Student work can present specific challenges around competing expectations, so if your project involves student assessment – please talk to us before applying.

It is critically important that you speak with the Broker before submitting an application. Please reach out to the Broker first.


Leah Carrell & Ben Mitchell
(Image by Justin Spiers)