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Budget 2006 Theme 3 - National Identity

National Identity

A unique national identity is emerging. It is one which all New Zealanders can take pride in.

We are creative, competitive, and willing to stand up for what we believe in. We have a "New Zealand way" of doing things. It is about who we are, what we do, where we live, and how we are seen by the world. The Labour-led government is working hard to develop this.

Arts, culture, and heritage are central to building a national identity. The government is helping to create a vibrant cultural sector. We are proud that New Zealanders are seeing more of themselves on screen, on the web, in print and on stage. Budget 2006 continues our support.

For a country with a small population we perform consistently well on the world stage. Government funding for athletes has increased significantly since 1999 and we will continue to help our best achieve their best.

Part of national identity is coming to terms with our past and righting past wrongs. Work is increasing to help achieve our goals of having all historical Treaty claims be lodged by 2008 and settled by 2020.

Our government has worked to boost recognition of our history and heritage in many ways. A New Zealand Memorial will be dedicated in London this year in recognition of our huge efforts and sacrifices in support of the defence of the United Kingdom in the past century.

Protecting and enhancing our environment is a priority for the government, so we all have the opportunity to enjoy our natural environment. We have invested heavily in our conservation infrastructure to achieve this.

New Zealanders have made it clear that economic development must not come at a cost to the environment. We are committed to the Kyoto Protocol and other measures to improve our environmental record. Where our natural environment is under threat, we work hard to protect it.

We are a strong, independently minded player on the world stage – our nuclear policy is central to this. We believe in multilateralism, and building strong bilateral and regional partnerships. Kiwi peacekeepers are respected wherever they are deployed and New Zealand will host the next Asia-Pacific Inter Faith Dialogue.

We want all New Zealanders to be able to take pride in who we are, through our arts, culture, film, sports, music, our appreciation of our natural environment, our understanding of our history, and our stance on international issues.

We can be justifiably proud of our place in the world. Budget 2006 builds on our progress through initiatives to support our unique national identity.

National Identity – major initiatives Budget 2006*

• $72.8 million in 2006/07 to meet the objectives outlined in the ten-year, $4.6 billion Defence Sustainability Initiative.
• $305 million to capital projects in 2006/07 including provision for part payment on new helicopters and fit out of defence headquarters.

Foreign Affairs
• Official Development Assistance (ODA) administered by NZAID will be increased by $84 million to $1.4 billion
• New operating funding of $13.9 million and capital funding of $21.6 million to continue the programme of security upgrades at overseas posts.

Creative New Zealand
• Government baseline funding increases by $10 million ($2.5 million per annum) ensuring that the level of support made possible by one off funding last year can be maintained over the next four years. This brings the organisation's core annual government funding to $15.5 million, up from just $2.4 million in 2000.

Royal New Zealand Ballet
• The Royal New Zealand Ballet receives an additional $0.25 million per annum to address significant cost increases and allow it to maintain its level of activity.

Historic Places Trust
• $12.8 million to boost operational funding over the next four years. By 2007/08 operational funding will be 47 percent higher than current levels.

Te Ara - Encyclopedia of New Zealand
• An additional $200,000 per annum has been provided to ensure Te Ara, the prize winning Encyclopedia of New Zealand website to keep pace with technology and ensure users experience even better interactivity and faster performance.

• $24.9 million to support local television through NZ On Air, Radio NZ, and broadcasts to Pacific nations.

Treaty Settlements
• $5.2 million to help the Office of Treaty Settlements meet the government's target of having all claims lodged by 2008.

Border Security
• $16 million to enhance border security measures.

*All over four years unless specified.

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