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Recognising the importance of our arts, culture and heritage

Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern
Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage


17 May 2018


Recognising the importance of our arts, culture and heritage

Budget 2018 lays the foundations for a significant programme of work that highlights the essential role the cultural sector plays in the wellbeing of our society, says Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Jacinda Ardern.

“Arts and culture are not a ‘nice to have’. They are an essential part of our individual, community and national identity. For too long they have been treated differently when it comes to sustainable growth, career paths and economic benefits,” says Jacinda Ardern.

“There is increasing evidence of the many benefits of cultural participation in areas such as health and education, and of its value to social cohesion and community resilience.

“My ambition for the Arts, Culture and Heritage portfolio is threefold – to have an environment where we no longer question the value of the arts, to have young people who consider careers in the arts as viable, and for all communities to have easy access to cultural experiences.

“Delivering on that means building the capacity of the Ministry for Culture and Heritage to lead a bold work programme that results in a thriving cultural sector and sustainable careers for those choosing to work in it.

“It will look at a 10-year strategy to grow our screen industry, the best ways to re-invigorate the Pathways to Arts and Cultural Employment (PACE) initiative, and how the creative sector can help foster talent and inspire young people through the school curriculum.

“To achieve our goals, the Coalition Government is committing to the first significant funding increase to Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage’s baseline in a decade. Additional operating funding of $23.3 million over the next four years will address the numerous challenges and pressures the organisation has been facing.

“Meanwhile, as New Zealanders increasingly recognise the value of heritage and its importance to our national identity, Heritage New Zealand has been experiencing greater demand for its services. We have acknowledged that today with new Budget operating funding of $6.3 million over four years.

This new funding, on top of current operating funding of $13.0 million per year, will assist with processing an increased number of archaeological authority applications, protecting built heritage (including advising on earthquake-prone buildings), and identifying and protecting sites of significance to Māori.

“New Zealand’s music culture is also an important facet of our identity. I am delighted that Budget 2018 recognises this with a $2.6 million increase in operating funding over four years for the New Zealand Music Commission.

“This investment significantly increases support for our musicians to tour internationally, puts more resource into increasing New Zealand’s music exports, and increases opportunities for our young people to gain skills in the music sector.

“And with New Zealand set to be the first country in the world to observe the Armistice Day centenary, one-off operating funding of $400,000 has been granted for the commemorations.

“This Government is committed to improving New Zealanders’ wellbeing by nurturing talent, ensuring the cultural sector continues to grow and thrive and is accessible to everyone,” says Jacinda Ardern.

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