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Monitoring the external environment

Monitoring the External Environment

The Ministry keeps abreast of its operating environment through its day-to-day engagement with its stakeholders and funded agencies, and through ongoing monitoring of the cultural sector using key cultural indicators. The information from these activities keeps our people and networks up to date and informs the evolution of our strategy and our advice to Ministers.

Stakeholder engagement

The following activities provide the Ministry with opportunities to remain informed on changes, trends and issues in its operating environment:

  • public conferences on key issues relevant to the Ministry’s strategic initiatives, e.g. broadcasting
  • day-to-day engagement with stakeholders and monitoring of funded agencies
  • a programme of internal presentations to Ministry staff by external experts and key players in the cultural sector
  • contact with other state sector agencies through participation in cross-government initiatives, e.g. the government’s digital strategy
  • administration of and consultation on policies and legislation.

Cultural indicators

The key Indicators of the state of culture in New Zealand were set out in the report, Cultural Indicators for New Zealand, 2006. This report provided a new way of looking at a variety of cultural statistics that had not previously been available. The information from the report assists the Ministry to establish some benchmark figures for tracking New Zealanders’ cultural experiences. These in turn will be used to inform government policy. The indicators are evaluative in nature, and intended to indicate positive or negative changes in the cultural sector over time. They do not directly measure the impact of government policy – this is not their purpose. The indicators are grouped into five categories: engagement, identity, diversity, social cohesion and economic development.

Once they are fully populated, the cultural indicators will be used to provide an indication of the state of the cultural sector. Over the next three years the Ministry will increase the number of indicators that are populated with data. A new report will be published in 2008/09. The following table gives an overview of the cultural indicators.



Theme outcomes



Engagement:New Zealanders engage in arts, culture and heritage events and activities as participants, consumers, creators or providers

Environment: There is an environment that supports creativity and innovation for all cultures

Access:New Zealanders have access to arts, culture and heritage events and activities

Value:Arts, culture and heritage activities are valued by all New Zealanders

Cultural employment

Employment in creative occupations

Median incomes from creative occupations

How often people experience cultural activities on average

Barriers to cultural experiences

Household spending on cultural items


Identity:New Zealanders have a strong sense of cultural identity, based on their distinct heritage and cultures

Strength:The cultures of Māori and Pākehā are strong and living, with both cultures being valued by New Zealanders

Speakers of Te Reo Māori

Local content on television

Māori Television ratings


Diversity:New Zealand’s growing cultural diversity is freely expressed, respected and valued

Grants to minority cultural groups

Attendance at / participation in cultural ethnic activities

Social cohesion

Enhancement: Community relationships are enhanced by involvement in arts, culture and heritage events and activities

Cohesion:New Zealanders’ shared cultural identity fosters a tolerant, inclusive society

(no currently populated indicators)

Economic development

Development:Arts culture and heritage make a growing contribution to the economy

Income of the cultural industries

Value-added contributed by the creative industries

The creative industries’ proportion of total industry value-added



Updated on 23rd July 2015