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Our people

The Ministry works to enrich the lives of all New Zealanders. Ki te puāwai te ahurea, Ka ora te iwi | Culture is thriving, The people are well. We believe that the more New Zealanders value their culture and heritage, the more they’ll take part in producing and consuming culture.


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.

We have established a common purpose: He ngākau titikaha, he hononga tangata – promoting a confident and connected culture. Together with our values and behaviours – manawanui (act courageously), matapae (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.

The COVID Recovery Programme announced in late May 2020 includes more than 25 initiatives designed to deliver short-term relief as well as longer-term support. The Investment & Outcomes Group manages Te Tahua Whakamarohi i te Rāngai Cultural Sector Regeneration Fund providing $150 million to support the arts and culture sector. We also have a range of initiatives underway to support the media sector in the short term and to shape a more sustainable media eco-system in the long term.

Caretakers of our taonga

We have a key role in military commemorations through our care for the Pukeahu National War Memorial Park which continues to be a focus for us all to reflect on this country’s contribution in times of conflict.  Our heritage advisers help to protect and preserve New Zealand’s national monuments, memorials, war graves and national symbols, and work within the Protected Objects legislation that safeguards our movable heritage. We are involved with the Tohu Whenua programme which aims to identify the most iconic New Zealand places to protect and promote.

We employ some of New Zealand’s leading historians – it’s their work you’ll see in our print publications and on our websites but we also support other agencies working towards cultural goals.  The Te Tai Treaty Settlement Stories project launched in late 2018 with the first iwi audio-visual resources focusing on the Ngāti Awa settlement story and 2023 saw the seventh release sharing the history of Ngāti Pūkenga.

Working across government

Our policy advisers provide advice to Ministers on arts, culture, heritage, broadcasting and media, and sports and recreation issues. We also have a role in the education sector, with our culture and heritage content websites such as Te Ara – The Encyclopedia of New Zealand and NZHistory supporting the school history curriculum.  The Ministry works closely with Te Puni Kōkiri, Te Taura Whiri and other agencies on the development of the Maihi Karauna - the Government’s Māori Language Strategy to revitalise te reo Māori. We support various government funded organisations by advising Ministers on board and management appointments and assessing their organisational performance.

Related webpages

Our Ministers

Ministry Leadership Team

Updated on 27th March 2023