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Heart of the Nation Report

18 July 2000 Media Statement
Heart of the Nation Report

Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Judith Tizard today thanked all those involved in the Heart of the Nation report, saying it provides useful analysis and ideas for the government as it works with and for the cultural sector.

In releasing the Heart of the Nation report, Judith Tizard said that after experiencing nine years of indifference from central government, there was a new sense of energy in the creative sector in response to the Labour-Alliance Government's initiatives.

"The report contains many good ideas, and we thank Hamish Keith and those who have assisted him. As Government continues to develop its cultural policies, it will be referring to this document.

"However, it is fair to say that while there is a lot in the report which is interesting and will be useful to the government, the report does not provide the sector with the overall strategic direction that it needs and for which the government asked.

"The government asked the Heart of the Nation panel to develop a strategic plan which encompassed all aspects of the sector, looking at how New Zealand can best foster the arts and cultural sector in terms of its creative, economic and social potential. It was intended that the report would set out the sector’s goals and objectives and the principles which underpin them, and that it would identify implementation strategies.

"The focus of the report and its core recommendations propose a restructuring of the sector. In particular, it recommends abolishing Creative NZ, the funding agency which distributes government and lottery funding throughout the sector.

"The government will not be embarking on major restructuring of the sector. Abolishing Creative NZ and establishing new bodies in its place would be both very expensive – costing many millions of dollars – and highly disruptive.

"The 1990s was a tough decade for the creative sector. Only recently has work been concluded on rearranging departmental responsibility for cultural interests. The current arrangements are working well."

Judith Tizard said that she remained convinced that the creative industries needed a clear strategic direction. She said that the Minister of Economic Development, Jim Anderton, and his officials were keen to help with the development of an industry strategy for the sector because of its great economic potential.

"This government has a strong commitment to supporting the arts. The recent budget initiatives for the arts, culture and heritage sector have done a great deal to rebuild morale.

"We believe that a strong and vibrant creative industry sector can provide sustainable employment and economic growth within an innovative environment. In this way we acknowledge both the intrinsic value of the arts and culture and the enormous economic benefits which can flow from a strong creative sector," Judith Tizard said.


A summary of The Heart of the Nation report is available on the internet via the website

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