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Introduction from the Chief Executive

Introduction from the Chief Executive

12 May 2008

Recent statistics on New Zealand’s population highlight how quickly and how extensively our demographic make-up is changing. The percentage of the New Zealand population which is Māori is predicted to increase by almost 30% between 2001 and 2021, and our Pacific Island population by 60%.

And increasingly there are other ethnicities making up our communities. Between 1991 and 2001 the number of New Zealanders of Asian descent doubled. Statistics New Zealand predicts that by 2021 this number will have more than doubled again, with our Asian citizens making up 15% of the population – only slightly less than the predicted Māori population.

Add to this the fact that in 2004 just under 22% of New Zealand’s births had multiple ethnicities and that around 20% of our current population was not born here, and you start to get a picture of the extraordinary and increasing diversity of New Zealand’s population.

Of course this ethnic diversity goes hand in hand with cultural diversity. For a growing number of New Zealanders, their individual and community cultural identity is a constantly evolving blend of the cultures of their homeland – or their grandparents’ homeland – and their lives and experiences in and of New Zealand.

This diversity is reflected in the enormous range of ways in which New Zealanders express and experience their culture.  From hip hop to opera, park sculptures to graffiti art, war memorials to art galleries – there are innumerable ways in which we present and engage with our culture.

The Ministry’s single role is to help make New Zealand culture – in all its diversity – visible and accessible. We want more people to have more opportunities to recognise, value and participate in their culture, whether it’s as an individual reading the latest Montana New Zealand Book Awards winner, as a community celebrating the Diwali Festival of Lights, or as a nation honouring wartime sacrifices on Anzac Day.

I am pleased to present the Ministry’s Statement of Intent for the period 2008–2013. This document outlines the many ways in which the Ministry supports New Zealand culture. Here you will find the Ministry’s aims and expectations for the next five years, our strategy for supporting the government’s long-term outcomes for culture, and information about how we will track progress towards those outcomes.

In 2008, the key themes for the Ministry’s strategy are: creating value for our stakeholders and audiences; continuously improving our systems, processes and knowledge management; and developing our people and culture. We have another busy year ahead, and the Ministry staff and I look forward to continuing to help New Zealanders across the country to explore and enjoy their culture.


Martin Matthews

Chief Executive         

Updated on 23rd July 2015