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Introduction from the Chief Executive

Culture is the legitimate business of government and Manatū Taonga, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage is uniquely placed to improve cultural outcomes for all New Zealanders.

We advise on cultural matters, fund and monitor our national cultural and sports institutions and provide advice to Ministers across the areas of arts, heritage, media and broadcasting. In doing so we lead a vibrant and creative sector which contributes to cultural wellbeing as well as generating educational, economic and social outcomes.

Advances in technology are challenging traditional operating models, but we are actively exploring the opportunities this gives our sector to reach ever wider audiences. New Zealand’s increasingly diverse population gives us the impetus to explore notions of identity and what it means to be a New Zealander. Together with iwi-Māori we are working to support the cultural aspirations of Māori for the benefit of all New Zealanders.

These are important and tangible aims but as a small Ministry, operating within a tight fiscal environment, we must continue to seek out and foster new partnerships - both across central government and with local authorities, culture, heritage and sports agencies and organisations throughout the country.

The success of our partnerships will be critical in our ability to deliver the outcomes New Zealanders want and expect from our sector.

Our experience in leading the government’s First World War commemoration programme is just one of many Ministry projects which exemplify the value of partnership. Such initiatives serve to highlight the relevance of culture and heritage to New Zealanders wherever they are and regardless of circumstance.

To further inform our policy and programmes the Ministry continues to explore more ‘evidence based’ approaches. We are broadening our research capacity and programme, whilst recognising that economic imperatives are not the only drivers for valuing culture.

We are in good shape as we face the challenges ahead. It is important work and the Ministry for Culture and Heritage looks forward to delivering it.


Helen Wyn

Acting Chief Executive
Manatū Taonga, Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Updated on 2nd December 2015