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Key roles & responsibilities

The Ministry for Culture and Heritage leads government work in the arts, heritage, broadcasting and sports sectors.  We provide advice on legislation, policy, and sector development to the Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage and the Minister for Sport and Recreation.

The Ministry works with  national cultural agencies such as NZ On Air, Creative New Zealand, the New Zealand Film Commission, and Te Papa Tongarewa. We administer their funding, monitor their activities and support appointees to their boards.

Agencies we fund

We also support and promote New Zealand culture with our own services, grants, and products.  We maintain war graves and national memorials, including the National War Memorial.  We award grants for regional museum projects, historical research, and Waitangi Day celebrations.  We  publish histories of state activity and research reports. The Ministry also maintains several heritage websites including Te Ara and

Our history books

Websites we run

The Ministry’s programme of print and, increasingly, on-line publishing continues apace, with work progressing on a number of histories relating to New Zealand’s experience of the First World War.

Our experience of conflict is a major determinant of our identity as New Zealanders. Equally significant in our distinctive history and heritage is the Crown-Māori relationship. Reflecting this, the Ministry has initiated a major project charting the history of the Treaty Settlement process and has partnered with the Ministry of Justice to undertake this important work.

The Ministry administers key cultural and heritage legislation, including the Flags, Emblems and Names Protection Act 1981 (to protect objects and symbols of national identity) and the  Protected Objects Act 1975 (to protect taonga tūturu).

The Ministry provides a cultural perspective for the work of other government departments. We lead the Cultural Diplomacy International Programme, in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and Tourism New Zealand

The centenary of the First World War is an opportunity for New Zealanders to reconnect with one of the most significant events in our history. The Ministry is involved in a very constructive partnership with other government agencies in commemorating the centenary. The centrepiece is the Pukeahu National War Memorial Park in Wellington, which opened in April 2015.  During the centenary commemoration period between 2014 and 2019 there will be a full programme of activities throughout the country.

Protected Objects

Cultural Diplomacy International Programme

WW100 website

Te Taiwhakaea: Treaty Settlement Stories


Updated on 21st July 2017