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Budget 2007 SUMMARY: National Identity

National Identity

New Zealand's unique and diverse national identity is rooted in our history, but growing and changing, becoming stronger all the time.

Budget 2007 sees the Labour-led government continuing to make our national identity a priority and investing further in celebrating our culture and values.

Protecting our physical heritage is an important investment in our history, and our future. In Budget 2007 the government is continuing to reinforce how important that history is by allocating funding towards the protection of moveable cultural heritage and to other heritage preservation projects.

The Labour-led government recognises that in commemorating sacrifice in war we reaffirm our national identity. In 2004 we enhanced the 1932 National War Memorial precinct in Wellington by adding the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior. In 2007 we will begin construction of a memorial park, moving towards fulfilment of the original vision for the site and creating a space where New Zealanders can reflect on the past, celebrate the present and look forward to the future.

In a world of globalised media it is important that we make sure that New Zealand's own culture makes an impact. The government's continuing investment in broadcasting ensures our stories are told, voices are heard and faces are seen.

The government is also committed to making New Zealand a leader in developing digital content and enabling New Zealanders to easily access content that is important to them – that tells the stories of who they are and where they come from.

New Zealand's natural environment is at the heart of who we are. We know that our clean green reputation is critical to how the rest of the world sees us too. The Labour-led government continues its investment in conservation in 2007 and is putting the drive to be more sustainable at the centre of all our programmes.

Part of a developing national identity is recognising there is still much to learn about the world we live in. The government's commitment to the Ocean Survey 20/20 and the International Polar Year will help us increase our understanding of the resources in our region and our impact on them.

New Zealand is a responsible member of the Asia-Pacific community. It is in our national interest to promote the economic development and political stability of our region. That is why Budget 2007 provides a significant increase in Overseas Development Assistance.

New Zealanders have never been afraid to acknowledge that mistakes have been made in the past or to move towards correcting them. This year we will continue to work towards the goal of having all Treaty claims settled by 2020 and recognise and address the difficulties that have been experienced by Viet Nam veterans.

In order for us to sustain our unique sense of New Zealand-ness the government is giving New Zealanders opportunities to celebrate the things we are proud of – to watch ourselves, hear ourselves, engage with our natural environment and explore the region we live in.

We are proud of who we are and what we stand for.

The Labour-led government has had an ongoing commitment to the culture and heritage sector since 1999 and we have made much progress. Budget 2007 demonstrates our continuing investment by recognising there are always new ways to explore and celebrate our uniqueness.

National Identity – major initiatives

• $24.1 million to enhance Maori broadcasting services
• $8 million for New Zealand On Air and $533,000 for the Music Industry Commission

Foreign Affairs
• $70 million in 2007/08 and further increases to take New Zealand's reported ODA to 0.35 per cent of GNI by 2010/11
• $104.9 million for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to strengthen New Zealand's international presence

Treaty settlements
• $7.7 million to help the Waitangi Tribunal meet the 2020 claims deadline

• $13.3 million to strengthen capability of the Conservation Department
• $8 million for integrated biodiversity management at new sites

Cultural heritage
• $2 million per annum baseline increase for Ministry of Culture and Heritage
• $10.9 million for construction of National Memorial Park


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