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Launch of new cultural website

Rt Hon Helen Clark
Prime Minister of New Zealand
September 11, 2006 EMBARGOED 6.00pm Media Statement

Launch of new cultural website

Prime Minister and Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Helen Clark said a new government-funded website launched today has the potential to enrich New Zealand's cultural life by harnessing the web to promote activities and events.

"The website is an exciting development designed to increase awareness of, and participation in, cultural activities and events,” Helen Clark said.

“The website is funded through the government’s Digital Strategy and recognises the importance of culture to New Zealand’s national identity.

“ will make Kiwi culture more accessible to overseas and local audiences. Both domestic and international travellers are increasingly planning their itineraries from the internet, and there is real potential for spin-offs for tourism.

“The international success of The Lord of the Rings, Whale Rider, The Datsuns, Colin McCahon and the All Blacks speak to the quality, diversity and richness of the New Zealand cultural offering and are a source of pride to us all.

"The website encompasses culture in the widest sense including: art and design, museums and historic buildings, festivals, public gardens and zoos, literature, the performing arts, New Zealand movies, music, sports and recreation.

“The approach is deliberately inclusive. It really will run the gamut from Swan Lake to Round the Lake, from the Army Museum to the Sarjeant Gallery, from cricket to BATS Theatre, from swing bridges to rock bands.

“The site is not the final product but the first phase in a four-year development programme. The events and activities guide has links to cultural websites across the sector and the country, and new content and services will be added over time.

“ will evolve in response to the needs of the people who use it and the organisations who publish information on it.

“We want to become a regular part of New Zealanders’ leisure time planning,” Helen Clark said.


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