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Annual Report 2018

Read the full annual report and strategic intentions as a pdf copy.

Tā te Tumuaki Rīpoata - Chief Executive's Report 2017/18

I am pleased to present the 2017/18 annual report for Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage.

Culture reflects, connects and inspires us, telling the story of who we are as a country. Culture is also vital to individual and community wellbeing and resilience, creating thriving and connected communities.

The last 12 months have included a focus on strengthening our own organisation to champion and deliver on this. We established a new common purpose: He ngākau titikaha, he hononga tangata – promoting a confident and connected culture. Together with new values and behaviours – manawanui (act courageously), matakite (see ahead), mana tāngata (care together), mahara (think, be curious) and manaaki (serve with pride) this describes our collective understanding of what we do and how we do it.

Through Tō mātou arotahi (Our direction) we aim to connect more people with New Zealand’s culture.

The WW100 Programme has helped people engage with the events of the First World War, a war which had a deep and lingering impact on our society. This year the Walking with an Anzac educational resource, including discovery boxes containing First World War ephemera and digital support information, was distributed to 1000 classrooms. Feedback indicates it’s been a huge success with teachers and students.

In support of Suffrage 125 we published new online content, such as History of Women, the Vote and Activism in New Zealand, on our NZHistory site. And progress with the Te Tai Treaty Settlement Stories project will see the launch later this year of the first iwi audio-visual resources, focusing on the Ngāti Awa settlement story.

Tā tātou kaupapa matua (What matters to us) includes creating opportunities for New Zealanders to engage with Māori culture. Next year’s national commemoration Tuia Encounters 250 will take a broad and inclusive view to acknowledge both the pivotal moment in our nation’s history when Māori and Europeans held their first onshore meetings 250 years ago, and the feats of the Pacific voyagers who reached and settled here centuries earlier.

Through tā tātou kaupapa matua we also aim to champion participation in arts and culture for our diverse society, invest in core infrastructure to provide people with these opportunities, and help care for the nation’s taonga and identity.

Interior and exterior images of the Nelson Centre of Performing Arts. Images: Courtesy, Oliver Weber Photography

The Regional Culture and Heritage Fund has supported 13 cultural organisations to complete capital projects with $24.333 million in funding since 2016; these include the Nelson School of Music, the Meteor Theatre in Hamilton and the award winning Te Awahou Nieuwe Stroom in Foxton. Alongside this the Heritage EQUIP programme assisted private building owners to earthquake strengthen buildings with $2 million in grants from Napier and Whanganui to Hurunui and Oamaru.

As guardians of taonga we organised interim care for 320 newly found taonga tūturu. In April, we facilitated the successful return of 37 taonga tūturu to three Northland marae after many of them received conservation treatment due to the fragile condition they were found in.

Members of the three marae (Tauwhara, Parawhenua, and Rawhitiroa) discussing conservation and ongoing care of the taonga tūturu with conservator Dilys Johns. Images: Courtesy, Hinerangi Himiona and Luke Stenner.

With Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga and the Department of Conservation Te Papa Atawhai we extended Landmarks Whenua Tohunga, the programme showcasing New Zealand's culturally and historically important places and their stories, into the Otago region in December.

Post-election 2017 our work has focussed on the Government’s priorities for arts, culture and heritage.

Budget 2018 provided a significant 35 per cent increase to our baseline funding. This first increase in 10 years, sees $23.3 million over the next four years enable us to lead Government’s programme for a thriving cultural sector with improved access and participation in cultural activities and greater support for sustainable careers.

Work to strengthen the country’s built heritage protection system began in July. Targeted stakeholder engagement and workshops have been completed in all major centres. Interest was greater than we anticipated: there are strong views on what improvements could be made to the New Zealand built heritage protection system. Results of the engagement are due to Ministers in October together with preliminary options for future work.

We are working in partnership with the Waitangi National Trust and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment on the development of a museum commemorating the Māori Battalion at the Waitangi Treaty Grounds.

The Ministry is working closely with Te Puni Kōkiri, Te Taura Whiri and other agencies on the development of the Maihi Karauna - the Government’s new Māori Language Strategy to revitalise te reo Māori, one of the official languages of New Zealand.

The National Archival and Library Institutions (NALI) Ministerial Group is established and has met several times to consider how we might strengthen the contribution that national libraries and archives can make to New Zealand’s culture and democracy. Stakeholder engagement for the NALI Ministerial Group was completed in August with over 150 submissions received.

The Ministry is undertaking a research project on the contribution of cultural life and heritage to New Zealand’s resilience to natural disasters. This stewardship project, due to Ministers in December, looks at natural hazards and their impact on cultural life and heritage, and spans the cultural sector, including sport and recreation, arts, media and heritage.

We are also making good progress towards a national memorial to recognise the 257 people who died in the 1979 airline crash on Mt Erebus.

We have established the Cabinet mandated Ministerial Advisory Group on public media to start the process of strengthening New Zealand’s public media system. Funding of $15 million in Budget 2018 will kick-start this work.

Pukeahu National War Memorial Park continues to be a focus for us all to reflect on this country’s contribution in times of conflict. During the year a further three memorials were added to the Park, from the United Kingdom, Belgium and France. The four-year renovation of the National Carillon completed the multimillion dollar restoration and earthquake strengthening of the National War Memorial.

Belgium memorial at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park. Photo credit: Mark Tantrum.

These achievements are due to the efforts of committed staff who have worked tirelessly throughout the year. A bouquet also goes to our sector agencies and particularly the many volunteers who work to support arts and culture in communities throughout Aotearoa.

My thanks to you all.


Paul James
Chief Executive
Manatū Taonga / Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Updated on 7th August 2020