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Creative Sector Makes Significant Contribution

17 May 2002

Creative Sector Makes Significant Economic Contribution

New Zealand’s creative sector is growing faster than the rest of economy, according to an Industry New Zealand report on the economic contribution of the creative sector.

The report, prepared for Industry New Zealand by the NZ Institute of Economic Research (NZIER), found in the four years since 1997 growth in the sector outpaced the New Zealand economy.

The creative sector accounts for 3.1 percent of New Zealand’s gross domestic product (GDP), similar to Australia though lower than the United Kingdom.

“The creative sector, with its emphasis on creativity, talent and innovation, already plays a vital role in launching New Zealand into global market places,” says Industry New Zealand chief executive Neil Mackay. “The government believes that by working with key parts of the sector, it can help further lift the sector’s contribution to export growth.

“The sector can give us an international profile, and a marketing edge, that builds on our unique culture, our creativity and our ‘can-do’ attitude.”

Industry New Zealand has been working closely with the creative sector, and in particular with screen production, music and design industries.

Last week the government announced appointments to the design and screen production taskforces which will set growth and development goals for the two industries.

Mr Mackay says in the past, government involvement in the creative sector had focused on cultural aspects, but now, through Industry New Zealand and the Creative Industries Working Group, it was focusing on the economic development of the sector.

The Creative Industry Working Group is chaired by Industry New Zealand and includes the Ministry of Economic Development and the Ministry for Cultural and Heritage.

The NZIER report was commissioned as part of this work to estimate the contribution of the creative sector makes to the New Zealand economy.

The comprehensive report covered a wide range of creative activities from architecture and advertising to visual arts and video production. Included in the survey were publishing, performing arts, TV and radio, and computer software and services.

Overall it is estimated that domestic consumption on the creative sector was more than $7 billion last year, and the sector accounted for 3.6 percent of employment (or 50,000 people).

The creative sector makes a similar economic contribution to other sectors such as finance, education, and central government administration and defence.

The report, based on official surveys, industry and association data, and household spending statistics, will provide a baseline overview of the economic significance of the creative industries.

For a copy of the full report, visit

For more information on Industry New Zealand, visit


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