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Arts & Culture

Culture spans the breadth of visual and performing arts, including but not limited to music, literature, theatre and dance.  

Many large publicly funded organisations fall into this category, such as the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and Royal New Zealand Ballet.  There are thousands of national, regional and community based cultural organisations in New Zealand, a great number of which operate independently and without government support.

Creative New Zealand, the national agency for arts development, is responsible for supporting, maintaining and developing community and professional arts.  With all cultural organisations, revenue from grants, private sponsorship or ticket sales is necessary to meet operating costs and remain sustainable.

Government supports New Zealand music through New Zealand on Air, which funds artists and promotes their work domestically and internationally.  The New Zealand Music Commission also plays a key role, facilitating growth in the industry by providing information and advice to new and established artists.

In the 2016/17 financial year, Creative  New  Zealand  increased  the  number  of  community  arts  grants  made  through  the Creative  Communities  Scheme  from  1,725  to  1,806  and  attendance  at  events  it  supports  increased from 1,250,415 to 1,286,665. Both the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and Royal New Zealand Ballet have extended their reach to more centres throughout the country.  Figures from NZ On Air show the steady increase in New Zealand screen content continues with 13,126  hours  broadcast.  And  the  majority  of  New  Zealanders  who  believe  NZ  On  Air  supports television content important to New Zealanders has risen from 75 per cent to 78 per cent.

The arts and culture sector has delivered a great deal in the 2015/16 financial year and key achievements arising from Creative New Zealand's work including:

More details can be found in  Creative New Zealand's Annual Report 2015/16.

This Ministry uses the word “culture” in a broad way to include Māori culture and the cultures of all New Zealanders. When we refer to culture we see it as including arts, heritage, media, and sport and recreation.


Updated on 30th October 2017