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National’s arts policy out of date

17 July 2002

National’s arts policy out of date, out of step and out of tune

“National’s arts, culture and heritage policy is a short-sighted policy that reaffirms the party’s short-sighted view of New Zealand’s creative people and creative industries,” said Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Judith Tizard today.

“By making no provision whatsoever for the creative industries, they have completely failed to understand the economic importance of the sector, both within New Zealand and internationally. They are out of date, out of step and out of tune with New Zealand’s creative industries.

“They have completely missed the point that the Labour-led government has been making, which is that while support for artists, who make such a difference to our society, is a vital part of government’s role, we are also working to develop further support for creative industries so they can provide jobs and exports and contribute to New Zealand’s overall economic growth.

“The National Party’s continuing refusal to see this as a major national issue or to give it priority in its shadow cabinet is reflected by this sad little policy. But even Doug Graham and Simon Upton couldn’t get them to take this area seriously.

“They say they want the arts to be a viable career option, yet there is no mention of practical support for individual and emerging artists, despite the fact that their arts spokesperson herself supports the Pathways to Arts and Cultural Employment scheme introduced by this government.

“Labour made a huge investment into arts, culture and heritage in our first term in order to get the sector back on its feet after years of under-funding,” said Judith Tizard

“Now we will continue working to build the capacity of the sector so that our artists and cultural workers can make a good living while the sector as a whole contributes to New Zealand’s economic growth.“

Ends

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