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Orchestral sector review released

Hon Christopher Finlayson
Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage
28 February 2013 Media Statement

Orchestral sector review released

A report on New Zealand’s Professional Orchestral Sector has been released and provides a more effective framework for supporting the delivery of high quality orchestral services, Arts. Culture and Heritage Minister Christopher Finlayson announced today.

The five orchestras reviewed were the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra (NZSO), the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, the Orchestra Wellington, the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and the Southern Sinfonia.

The review, conducted by the Ministry for Culture and Heritage (MCH), looked at the orchestral sector as a whole. It examined the current roles, activities and business models of each orchestra and how they work individually and collectively to support artistic excellence and to provide access to live performances. It also looked at their relationships with the wider orchestral and performing arts sectors.

Mr Finlayson said the report showed the orchestras were working well overall, but showed benefits could be made through a more joined up approach.

"This review confirms that the orchestral sector is in good heart. It confirms the benefits of a more coordinated approach to the government funding of the sector, to deliver the results that New Zealanders expect. Individual orchestras will have specific expectations for contributing to the sector and to communities, based on their particular characteristics. They will contribute where they can be most effective."

"As part of this review, the Auckland Philharmonia's status as an orchestra serving a large urban population is recognized by its designation as the country’s first metropolitan orchestra." Minister Finlayson said.

One of the key outcomes made as a result of the review is that MCH and Creative New Zealand will implement a joint policy for orchestra funding and monitoring. Previously the funding and monitoring of the NZSO by MCH and other orchestras by Creative New Zealand was not done under a single framework.

Arts Council Chair, Alastair Carruthers says the introduction of a clear joint policy will help with more effective funding and delivery of orchestral services.

“Creative New Zealand looks forward to working with the Ministry to ensure that implementation of the new policy delivers the best possible outcomes for orchestras and their audiences,” he said.

The review process was open to public submissions and over 1800 submissions were received in total. Submissions were considered during the review process and the Ministry was guided throughout by a reference group headed by the former Chair of Creative New Zealand, Peter Biggs

“The Reference Group was privileged to participate in a very detailed, thorough and inclusive review process,” Mr Biggs said. “It has resulted in a number of far-reaching and innovative recommendations for change which will bring about a stronger and more collaborative orchestral sector and this is something which will have a positive impact for all New Zealanders and their communities.”

“A strong and relevant orchestral sector is a vital part of New Zealand’s wider cultural sector, and this report will help us build on existing strengths in order to deliver even better experiences in a way that benefit New Zealanders,” Mr Finlayson said.

Download a full copy of the report here:


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