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Stronger regional government is Key To Arts

Labour candidate for Epsom David Jacobs said today that the failure of Auckland’s local authourities to agree upon a regional arts fund highlights the need for stronger regional government.

“It makes no sense that we don’t have a regional body empowered to administer arts funding,” said David Jacobs. “Either a regional arts council or the Auckland Regional Council would be appropriate for the $10 million allocated to Auckland arts from our ARST profits.”

David Jacobs said that the problem has arisen from a narrow view of local government imposed on Aucklanders by central government.

“Local government has been stifled in New Zealand. Our choices are limited by central government legislation. So now we have the crazy situation where our regional representatives have no say in our regional arts funding.

“We don’t need a super-city to solve such problems. An enhanced role for regional government would be sufficient, together with an Auckland-friendly government in Wellington.

“Labour has a more open, empowering view of local government than the prevailing restrictive ideology. Cultural and arts development is one of the areas where we will encourage local government leadership.

David Jacobs’s campaign launch in Epsom last week featured contributions from Auckland’s actors, musicians and television personalities. It included excerpts from the Auckand Theatre Company’s upcoming production of the musical Cabaret.

“The arts community is turning out for Labour because Labour will support New Zealand’s culture. We have already signalled our intention to introduce local content quotas on radio and television. Labour’s approach is generally to foster creativity and innovation.”

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