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Aucklanders embrace the arts

14 June 2006

Aucklanders embrace the arts

Aucklanders feel positive and are actively involved in the arts according to research published today by Auckland City. The research report, Aucklanders and the arts, focuses on Aucklanders' attitudes, participation and attendance in the arts in 2005.

It follows on from a report released by Creative New Zealand in April (New Zealand and the arts: Nga iwi katoa o Aotearoa me nga mahi toi) and highlights Auckland's responses to a range of questions about the arts.

By partnering with Creative New Zealand on this nationwide research project, Auckland City was able to survey a larger sample in Auckland. An additional section of Auckland-specific questions provided robust data on the Auckland market and a greater understanding of how Aucklanders see the state of the arts in their region.

"This research provides us with a good understanding of how much Aucklanders value the arts," says Mayor of Auckland City, Dick Hubbard. "Aucklanders take pride in the arts in their city, and participate across a wide range of artistic fields and roles."

Close to nine out of 10 Aucklanders (87 per cent) believe it is important for Auckland to be known as a place that supports great arts events and activities, and three-quarters of Aucklanders feel proud of the arts in Auckland.

"These results capture Aucklanders' passion and enthusiasm for the arts," says Councillor Penny Sefuiva, chair of the Arts, Culture and Recreation Committee. "They reflect a maturing, confident city with a strong belief in the arts and culture sector."

Over eight out of 10 (82 per cent) Aucklanders agree that the arts define who we are as New Zealanders and over three-quarters (76 per cent) agree that the arts contribute positively to the economy.

"Results like this also confirm that Aucklanders have a positive attitude to the state of the arts in their region. We will use this research to inform our decision-making and to guide the direction of our future planning for the arts in Auckland," says Mayor Hubbard.

"We hope this research will also be useful to other councils in the region and for Auckland's many arts and cultural organisations."

Aucklanders also value the region's cultural diversity and see it as a major strength in the arts. They are also proud of events that reflect our place in the Pacific.

This is reflected in two major research finding: * forty (40) per cent of Aucklanders mentioned Pasifika Festival as an event that made them feel proud to be an Aucklander, and * one-third of Aucklanders saw that cultural diversity of Auckland as its biggest strength in the arts and mentioned it as something that differentiates Auckland from the rest of New Zealand.

These results reflect Aucklanders' unique identity and highlight opportunities to build on this strength.

"Auckland City is extremely proud of the investment it has made in cultural events like Pasifika and the Auckland Festival, and it is very heartening to see that these are capturing the imagination of Aucklanders," says Mrs Sefuvia.

"Auckland City is committed to a supportive environment where creativity can grow and flourish. We believe that creativity and the arts play a vital role in the life and identity of our city."

ENDS

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