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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. 

The arts and culture sector has delivered a great deal in the 2016/17 financial year and key achievements arising from Creative New Zealand's work are detailed here.

More details can be found in Creative New Zealand's Annual Report 2016/17.

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 6th December 2017