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Reports show growth in the cultural sector

22 June 2005

Reports show growth in the cultural sector

Prime Minister and Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Helen Clark today launched two reports which point to the development of a strong and vibrant cultural sector in New Zealand.

Helen Clark said the two reports showed substantial development across the cultural sector, including growth in employment and in investment by central and local government.

"The updated report, Government Spending on Culture 2000 – 2004, shows that central government spending on culture, when adjusted for inflation, has increased 73 per cent in the last fourteen years with spending of $388 million in the year 1990/91 rising to $675 million in 2003/04. In Labour's first four years spending rose 17 per cent, in real terms.

"Our Labour-led government invests in arts, culture and heritage because we believe it is important to both the economy and to the people of New Zealand. Culture delivers opportunities which not only generate wealth but also enrich our society.

"The second report, Employment in the Cultural Sector, based on census figures, shows the number of people in paid cultural employment rose by seventeen per cent from 1996 to 2001, almost three times the growth in total employment over the same period.

"Individuals making their living in the cultural sector, such as visual artists, performers, curators, film-makers, writers, publishers and gallery owners, know they are taken seriously as a vital component of our economy and our society.

"These are the latest reports in the Cultural Statistics Programme, and offer excellent trend data, and a substantial basis for comparing development across and within the sector.

"The data will be invaluable for central and local government, cultural agencies and organisations, corporate sponsors, educators, academics and researchers, which all interact with the sector." Helen Clark said.

The Cultural Statistics Programme is jointly run by the Ministry for Culture and Heritage and Statistics New Zealand. The full reports can be found on www.stats.govt.nz and www.mch.govt.nz

ENDS

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