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Explore NZ unique culture and heritage this summer

Explore New Zealand’s unique culture and heritage this summer

Summer holidays and the coming long weekends offer New Zealanders great opportunities to discover and enjoy the rich cultural attractions and festivals on offer across the country, says Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Judith Tizard.

“There is growing cultural innovation and diversity around New Zealand and the summer holidays are a great opportunity for New Zealanders to investigate this growth,” said Judith Tizard.

Judith Tizard said the Labour Progressive Government had made a considerable investment in regional arts, culture and heritage through funding boosts to the Historic Places Trust, Creative New Zealand, Tourism New Zealand and other agencies.

“Last year Tourism Minister Mark Burton allocated $770,000 to develop cultural tourism in the regions, while Creative New Zealand through its three-year Regional Strengths Strategy has been working with communities on regional arts development.

“In the heritage sector, we have increased funding by $15.2 million over the next four years, to ensure that our heritage assets, both environmental and historic, are better maintained for the enjoyment of future generations.”

Judith Tizard said cultural tourism was an increasingly important part of the way in which New Zealand’s regions can develop economically – and also how international visitors can engage with “the real New Zealand”.

“Festivals such as the Big Day Out in Auckland, the Cuba Street Carnival, New Zealand International Arts Festival and Fringe Festivals in Wellington, and the Rippon Festival in Wanaka provide plenty of opportunities for New Zealanders and international visitors to celebrate our arts and culture.

“But as well as festivals, summer is also a great time for those travelling around New Zealand to visit local museums, galleries and historic places.

“This is where we can see the work that communities have done to bring together regional heritage and regional cultures which are precious and unique within our wider national identity.”

A recent survey of cultural experiences that was carried out by the Ministry for Culture and Heritage and Statistics New Zealand, found that New Zealanders like to visit their art galleries and museums. In the course of a year, 1.3 million New Zealanders – almost half the adult population – had visited an art gallery or museum.

“Whether it is visiting the new Christchurch Art Gallery, Nelson’s World of WearableArt museum, or the new John Money Wing at the Eastern Southland Gallery in Gore, there is a huge amount to explore around the country,” said Judith Tizard. “A strong and confident cultural tourism sector bolsters local economies because most of New Zealand’s arts and cultural tourism enterprises are owned locally.

“Alongside the economic benefits, the events and cultural attractions within our regions help to define and enrich our identity as communities and as a nation.”

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