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Annual Report 2021

Read the full annual report. (PDF, 16.51mbs)

Tā te Tumu Whakarae Pūrongo  |  Tumu Whakarae Chief Executive’s Report

E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā iwi, e ngā mātāwaka puta noa i te motu, tēnā koutou. Ka maumaharatia ō tātou tini aituā kua mene ki te pō. Koinā te pō, nau mai te ao. Tēnei te hōkai nei, ko te hōkai nui, ko te hōkai rangi, ko te hōkai a Tānenui-a-rangi. Tomongia mai te whare o te Manatū Taonga. Ko te Tiriti o Waitangi te poutokomanawa o te whare, ā, e whakaūngia ana e mātou ngā mātāpono o te Tiriti o Waitangi. Tēnei te mau nei ki te aka matua, ka whātoro atu te aka tūhono ki ngā iwi, ki ngā mātāwaka. Kei te iho te titikaha, ko ōna hua, kua kitea. Otirā, tēnei te whare o Te Manatū Taonga e ngunguru nei.

This time last year, I introduced the Ministry’s 2019/20 annual report by commenting on what an extraordinary year it had been. No one can overstate the effects of COVID-19 in that year, nor in the year since, but as 2020/21 comes to a close, I can honestly reflect on what has been an extraordinary response to the challenges posed by COVID-19. The cultural sector was hit hard and Manatū Taonga and the wider sector’s response has been driven by recovery, regeneration and revitalisation. In the last year the sector has shown its power to bring us as a country and society together—exploring who we are as New Zealanders, challenging our thinking, binding our communities together and bringing our stories to the world stage.

In the last year, Manatū Taonga has stood up an entirely new function to deliver on the significant investment the government made into the cultural sector. The function has built on the work undertaken by Manatū Taonga to release a rapid response media package and broadened our reach into new and diverse communities. The new function, Te Aka Tūhono Investments and Outcomes, positions Manatū Taonga well to continue delivering. We have walked alongside our existing and new partners—funded agencies, iwi, community groups and the wider public service—to set up the new function, and we acknowledge their support.

Many other important initiatives were developed during the year and I want to touch on just a few:

  • One of the most exciting funding opportunities developed as part of the response is the Cultural Sector Innovation Fund’s nationwide events series, Te Urungi: Innovating Aotearoa.
  • This fund has taken Manatū Taonga out to practitioners, bringing people together in immersive and collaborative events that are designed to harness our collective creative energy and innovative spirit.
  • Several organisations have been supported by funding in Budget 2021 to continue to deliver through the challenges of COVID-19. Of note, the Waitangi National Trust Board received funding to ensure that the Treaty Grounds can remain open and to preserve the cultural assets held at the grounds.
  • In the media sector, a new Public Interest Journalism Fund has been established to provide targeted short- to medium-term protection of public interest journalism, and preserve and enhance journalism in newsrooms across local, regional and national levels.
  • Te Tai Whakaea Treaty Settlement Stories has released new stories that contribute to our ongoing understanding of the place of te Tiriti o Waitangi in our society. A highlight was the release of Te Mana o te Reo Māori—a bilingual multimedia story about WAI11, the Māori Language claim to the Waitangi Tribunal.
  • Significantly reimagining how we care for and protect taonga tūturu, moving away from a single supplier to a distributed model that engages iwi and organisations across the country in this important work.

Government investment in the sector will ensure it can continue to make a significant economic contribution to the country, as well as stimulate new and innovative ways of working and engaging with New Zealanders. Manatū Taonga is now repositioning itself to respond to government priorities through a new strategic framework that places te ao Māori and Treaty partnership at the heart of what we do, positions Manatū Taonga as a system leader and ensures its stewardship role across the cultural sector

Finally, I want to acknowledge the commitment and professionalism of Manatū Taonga staff. I am proud of their determination to make a difference for New Zealanders.

Bernadette Cavanagh
Tumu Whakarae | Chief Executive



Updated on 1st November 2021