Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


Government's Cultural Spending Through the 1990s

Public expenditure on culture in the 1998/9 financial year totalled $598 million, with local government spending a further $286 million, said Acting Government Statistician Dianne Macaskill.

The figures come from a new report jointly published by Statistics New Zealand and the Ministry for Culture and Heritage.

Ms Macaskill notes that while the data in the report excludes the new cultural sector funding package announced in May of this year, the figures provide good information on spending through an entire decade.

"They show, for example, that the Government's cultural expenditure per head of resident population increased through the 1990s. In 1990/91 it stood at $112. By 1998/99, at constant prices, it had increased to $142 (a 27 percent rise over the decade)," says Ms Macaskill.

The latest estimate of the contribution of cultural goods and services to GDP is 2.8 per cent (for the year ended March 1996).

According to the report, almost three-quarters (71 percent) of public expenditure on culture in 1998/99 was through parliamentary Vote appropriations. NZ On Air was responsible for one-fifth at $122 million (a higher than normal figure to allow for extra spending on debt recovery following the discontinuance of the broadcasting fee), while the remaining 9 per cent ($51 million) comprised cultural grants by the New Zealand Lottery Grants Board.

The range of activities the report defines as cultural is varied. The Vote with the largest amount of cultural spending is Vote Education, where early childhood funding recorded around $290 million in 1998/99. The second and third largest Votes that year were Cultural Affairs ($43 million) and National Library ($35 million).

Among the organisations funded by Vote Cultural Affairs in the last decade were Creative New Zealand, Te Papa, the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and the Film Commission. Throughout the 1990s the total Vote Cultural Affairs was greatly affected by capital spending on Te Papa.

Local government's cultural spending is dominated by libraries. In 1998/99, libraries received $149 million (just over half local government's arts and culture spending that year). Halls cost local government $50 million and grants to community groups cost almost as much ($49 million). Local government gave a further $38 million to museums.

Government Spending on Culture 1990-1999, is the fifth publication in a cultural series released by Statistics New Zealand and the Ministry for Culture and Heritage. It is part of an ongoing collaboration between the two agencies to improve the range and quality of statistics on the cultural sector. The latest report retails at $20. It is available from Statistics New Zealand and can be ordered through the department's website. Some data from the report is also available on the website (

Dianne Macaskill Acting Government Statistician

© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Voluntary Administration: Renaissance Brewing Up For Sale

Renaissance Brewing, the first local company to raise capital through equity crowdfunding, is up for sale after cash flow woes and product management issues led to the appointment of voluntary administrators. More>>


Approval: Northern Corridor Decision Released

The approval gives the green light to construction of the last link of Auckland’s Western Ring Route, providing an alternative route from South Auckland to the North Shore. More>>


Media Mega Merger: Full Steam Ahead For Appeal

New Zealand's two largest news publishers have confirmed they are committed to pursuing their appeal against the Commerce Commission's rejection of the proposal to merge their operations. More>>

Crown Accounts: $4.1 Billion Surplus

The New Zealand Government has achieved its third fiscal surplus in a row with the Crown accounts for the year ended 30 June 2017 showing an OBEGAL surplus of $4.1 billion, $2.2 billion stronger than last year, Finance Minister Steven Joyce says. More>>


Mycoplasma Bovis: One New Property Tests Positive

The newly identified property... was already under a Restricted Place notice under the Biosecurity Act. More>>

Accounting Scandal: Suspension Of Fuji Xerox From All-Of-Government Contract

General Manager of New Zealand Government Procurement John Ivil says, “FXNZ has been formally suspended from the Print Technology and Associated Services (PTAS) contract and terminated from the Office Supplies contract.” More>>