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Media release – embargoed until 6pm

11 September 2006 – New Zealand culture online

“The website will connect New Zealanders with their culture, cultural producers with their audiences and New Zealand with the world,” Ministry for Culture and Heritage Chief Executive, Martin Matthews, said today.

“The key to this project is connection,” he said. brings together in one place a wealth of information regarding New Zealand’s cultural offering and taonga in a user-friendly site which is free to both users and contributors.

The objectives of the site are to:

- connect New Zealanders with their culture

- promote New Zealand culture and cultural events

- showcase New Zealand culture on the international stage

- reflect the richness and diversity of the New Zealand experience

- be a regular and reliable part of New Zealanders’ leisure time planning.

“A dedicated team has been employed to ensure that the content on the site is up-to-date, relevant and accurate.

“Research undertaken by the Ministry in 2003 showed that people are increasingly turning to the internet for cultural information but that it is hard to find.

“The Ministry is confident that will assist the economic development of the cultural sector by increasing public awareness of what is on offer. We hope that people interested in one cultural pursuit will browse the website and become aware of other activities and events which also interest them,” Mr Matthews said.

He urged people to check out the site, saying that it would continue to evolve over time and that the Ministry would be guided by feedback from the public.

“We consulted around 200 organisations, many at considerable depth, in the design of this site and plan to continue that consultative approach into the future. The success of depends on it.

“New Zealand has one of the highest internet penetration rates in the world and a lively, diverse and dynamic culture. builds on these energies and will create its own energy from them,” Mr Matthews said.


Information sheet – informative, user-friendly, functional, and fun

What other website gives you the low-down on the history of netball rivalry between New Zealand and Australia, promotes an exhibition of padded coat hangers on Ponsonby Road, and charts the wild and colourful days of 19th century Southland sly groggers? From Hotere to hip hop, Len Lye to Larnach Castle, the Walters Art Prize to prize-winning graffiti artists; brings together informative, up-to-the-minute updates on the diverse arts and sporting events and organisations around the country.

Short history of netball rivalry:
Southern Odyssey heritage trail:

Padded coat hangers exhibition:
Hip hop:

Informative features

- Search the events and activities guide with around 1000 entries

- Browse the directory of 200 or so arts and sporting organisations

- Find related links providing background information on selected events

- Review the latest in arts and sporting news

- Check out featured events and read in-depth articles about them

User-friendly features

- Use the funky tag clouds to identify niche and intriguing events and organisations

- Set your preferences for region and types of events by registering – it’s easy

- Navigate the website using English and Māori navigation paths

- Save or bookmark your events as you plan your social outings

- Submit information about events that you’re involved in

Functional features

- Click through to websites to book tickets online

- Export events information to your personal online calendar

- Email events to your friends

- Receive a feed of customised events information to view in your RSS reader or to add to your own website

Fun features

- View a snapshot of events that are popular with users

- Step out and go to events that are listed as on right now

- Vote in opinion polls

- Learn a new fact from the facts section

- Find out about everything from arias to aerial displays to air guitar competitions


Project Champions

Lloyd Morrison
Lloyd is Chief Executive of Infratil Limited and a prominent patron of the arts. He established the HRL Morrison Music Trust in 1995 to support New Zealand music and musicians of international calibre. He also launched to help co-ordinate and promote the New Zealand arts sector.
" has the potential to take New Zealand arts and culture to a new level of connectivity – immediate, comprehensive, on-line, world-wide!"

Peter Biggs
Peter is currently Managing Director of Melbourne’s leading advertising agency, Clemenger BBDO. He was previously MD of Clemenger BBDO in Wellington, during which time he was chosen as Agency Chief Executive of the Year in 2003. He has a long association with the arts in New Zealand. He is a former Chair of Creative New Zealand and had his contribution to local culture honoured in 2003 when he was voted Wellingtonian of the Year.
"What a gateway into our amazingly creative nation. The site is really well designed, easy to use, and full of exciting content.”

Gregory Burke
Gregory has a long and intense involvement with New Zealand contemporary art, most recently as Director of the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery in New Plymouth and including stints at the Sarjeant Gallery in Wanganui, the City Gallery in Wellington and Creative New Zealand. He is currently Director of The Power Plant, Canada's foremost contemporary art gallery in Toronto.
"NZLive will boost international awareness of the arts in New Zealand."

Sue Paterson
Sue is currently General Manager, External Relations, with the Department of Conservation. Before that, she managed the Limbs Dance Company and the Royal New Zealand Ballet, and in 2004 she received the New Zealand Order of Merit for her services to ballet.
" will help kiwis connect with their culture which has to be a good thing."

Joris de Bres
Joris is Race Relations Commissioner. He has worked extensively with issues relating to Māori, the Treaty of Waitangi, Pacific Island peoples, migrants and racial equality. He is also a member of the Advisory Board for the Victoria University Centre for Applied Cross-Cultural Research.
"A vital showcase for New Zealand’s cultural diversity."

Oscar Kightley
Oscar co-founded Pacific Underground and the Island Players theatre company, co-wrote Sione's Wedding, was co-creator of the television series Bro'Town, wrote and performed in Skitz and Telly Laughs and has written a number of plays, including Dawn Raids and Fresh off the Boat. He is a winner of the Bruce Mason Award for playwrights.
"At last, a consolidated, one stop shop that tells not only kiwis but the world about all the cool things going on in this country of ours."

Fiona Luhrs
Fiona is Chief Executive of the Tourism Industry Association and has significant corporate management experience. She is a member of the Institute of Directors and the Travel Communicators Association and is a Supreme Tourism Award winner, which was awarded in 1997 for her team's work developing and launching Great Train Escapes. She has also won a number of Gold Quill Awards from the International Association of Business Communicators.
"Both international and domestic visitors will find it easier to access New Zealand’s rich cultural offerings through”

Paul Reynolds
Paul is co-founder and Joint Managing Director of online media company, McGovern and Associates. He sits on the Government Digital Strategy Advisory Group and is an invited member of the International Academy of Digital Arts and Science.
"An essential addition to the digital strategy."

Dallas Seymour
Dallas is a former All Black and had a glitteringly successful career as a sevens player, playing 35 international tournaments including World Cups in 1993 and 1997 and the Commonwealth Games, where he took a Gold Medal in 1998. He is now Relationship Manager, Māori, for Sport and Recreation New Zealand (SPARC).
"To have culture and sports on the same site will strengthen both."


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