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Arts policy an exciting change of direction

2000 web siteNew Zealand's unique cultural identity will be fostered and encouraged through a wide range of measures announced today in Labour's Arts and Culture policy.

Labour's cultural affairs spokesperson Judith Tizard said the policy was an exciting change in direction for the arts sector in New Zealand.

"It recognises that New Zealand does arts and culture brilliantly. But a Labour Government is prepared to put structures in place so that New Zealanders can build careers around this creativity which can be used to foster our cultural identity and which can produce products for export," Judith Tizard said.

"Arts and culture traverses many of Labour's policies. It's about national identity but it's also about education, health, jobs, community development, and economics.

"Labour's policy is about ensuring there are jobs for New Zealanders who take on the important task of telling our stories, painting our scenes, and showing off our cultures in their many brilliant forms.

"A Labour Government will offer a helping hand to the arts and culture sector so that we can all benefit from their work.

"For example, we will:

· Make art allowances available for developing artists
· Encourage community based arts and cultural enterprises through an ArtsWork wage subsidy programme
· Introduce measures to protect intellectual property
· Establish a fund within Creative New Zealand for sponsorship to enhance the cultural diversities within New Zealand
· Provide access to small business grants for enterprises in music, publishing, film, television and other creative industries
· Invest in top artists by establishing an arts fellowship fund to provide up to six artists per annum with a fellowship
· Work with local government and regional tourism organisations to support the promotion of cultural tourism
· Investigate the establishment of a Film Development Fund to attract more capital into the New Zealand Film Industry

"Arts and culture can unite us through both participation and through taking pride in the work of others. It is a central part of our lives and how we say who we are and where we stand in the world," Judith Tizard said.

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