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Criiticism over lack of cultural appointments

2000 web siteLabour's Cultural Affairs Spokesperson, Judith Tizard said today that the Government has failed to appoint a new Chair of the Council of Creative New Zealand Toi Aotearoa despite the appointment of the present chair Brian Stephenson ending today.

Five other appointments to arts and culture boards also ended today with no announcement on new appointments.

Judith Tizard said it appeared the the Government was continuing its tradition of appalling lack of consultation over such major appointments.

"Basically, they do not consult with anyone except a small inner group of their own supporters before appointing people to positions which are supposed to be apolitical," Judith Tizard said.

"The Chair of Creative New Zealand is one of the most crucial positions in cultural policy and delivery in New Zealand. The Government must appoint someone to this position who has the vision of New Zealand culture and the skills to help us say who we are and where we stand in the world.

"Yet the Minister has not consulted anyone in the Opposition, which is particularly outrageous given that it is election year.

"Labour takes the view that anyone who is appointed without consultation to this important position must be aware that there will be a change of government later this year and that Labour has major initiatives which we intend to put in place which will recognise the importance New Zealanders place on a lively expression of our culture and full participation and opportunity for all New Zealanders to be part of that culture. The Government's appointee must be aware that unless they are prepared to take a leading role in those changed policies, a Labour government will replace them," Judith Tizard said.

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