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4. Sectoral policies

4.1 Cultural heritage

Central government involvement in cultural heritage is primarily through its ownership of national institutions - the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, the National Library, and Archives New Zealand - and its administration of legislation such as the Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga Act 2014 and the Protected Objects Act 1975. Non-profit/charitable heritage institutions are eligible for Lottery Grants Board funding for projects and capital purposes, while major regional museums may also be eligible for capital grants from central government through the Regional Culture and Heritage Fund. Local authorities also have a role in the protection of heritage buildings and sites under the Local Government Act 2002.

4.2 Cultural education and training

The Ministry of Education is responsible for education policy at all levels, including the development of a national curriculum for primary and secondary schools in disciplines related to the cultural sector.  A new Arts Curriculum was introduced into New Zealand schools in 2001.  Specialist training in some cultural disciplines - though not all - is provided by public universities and polytechnics, as well as by private institutions.  The Tertiary Education Commission funds tertiary education including  the New Zealand Schools of Dance and Drama.

The Ministry of Education’s other responsibilities include the administration of the New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO.

4.3 Performing arts

Dance and theatre receive government funding through Creative New Zealand.  Recurrent funding has been replaced with the following two programmes:

Toi Tōtara Haemata (Arts Leadership) and Toi Uru Kahikatea (Arts Development).

In 2016, a review of these Creative New Zealand’s multi-year investment programmes was undertaken.  Read the 'Results of Creative New Zealand’s Investment Programme Review' report here.

Many other groups, individuals and projects in these and the other performing arts receive smaller grants from Creative New Zealand in two funding rounds each year.  All grants are given in fulfillment of various objectives derived from Creative New Zealand’s statutory functions, such as the development of art forms, Māori and Pacific Island arts development, and objectives relating to access and participation.  (These strategic objectives are required by statute to be reviewed every three years.)

In 2019, Creative New Zealand announced their Investment Strategy Te Ara Whakamua. This strategy clearly outlines the direction that Creative New Zealand’s investment in the arts will take from 2018 to 2023. It will allow the Arts Council to develop an arts investment portfolio fit for the future needs of the arts in New Zealand.

The Royal New Zealand Ballet is funded directly by government through the Ministry for Culture and Heritage.  Te Matatini (Aotearoa Traditional Māori Performing Arts Society) holds a biennial Kapa Haka festival, also funded through the Ministry for Culture and Heritage.

4.4 Visual and applied arts

Creative New Zealand makes grants to individual artists, galleries and visual arts and craft and design projects, as well as organisations promoting exhibitions.  It also supports residencies for visual and applied artists in major galleries and tertiary institutions in New Zealand, and internationally in Berlin, New York, New Delhi and Beijing and Samoa.  It also supports the promotion and presentation of New Zealand visual art and craft/object art nationally and internationally.  Creative New Zealand has funded and managed New Zealand’s official exhibitions at the Venice Biennale in 2001, 2003, 2005 and from 2009 onwards.

Major collections are held by regional galleries and museums, while the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa also collects and exhibits New Zealand art.

In 1986 Cabinet formally established the Government indemnity scheme for touring exhibitions.  This is administered by the Ministry for Culture and Heritage.  The scheme was revised in 1999 to enable concurrent exhibitions and exhibitions of high value to be indemnified more readily. Indemnity is granted on the recommendation of the Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage by the Minister of Finance under the provisions of the Public Finance Act 1989.

The fundamental principle of the scheme is accessibility: the government is interested in facilitating the public's access to significant exhibitions. It does this through assuming a high proportion of the risk of presenting exhibitions and thereby minimising the amount of commercial insurance that an applicant needs to purchase.

4.5 Literature

Support for literature, through Creative New Zealand, is given for particular projects to individual writers, and to publishers, both mainstream and specialised.  Two organisations which previously received recurrent funding are the New Zealand Book Council, and Booksellers New Zealand.  Seven writers residencies are supported in New Zealand universities, as well as a residency at the University of Hawai’i. Creative New Zealand administers Public Lending Rights for New Zealand Authors through which approximately $1.5 million is distributed annually to authors in compensation for loss of royalty income due to their books being held in libraries.  Major support for writers is also available through awards and fellowships such as the Michael King fellowship and the Prime Minister’s Awards for Literature.

4.6 Music and opera

Creative New Zealand previously funded various music organisations on a recurrent basis.  Recurrent funding has been replaced with theToi Tōtara Haemata (Arts Leadership) and Toi Uru Kahikatea (Arts Development) programmes.

Creative New Zealand also makes smaller grants to a variety of individuals, organisations and projects.

In all the above art forms including popular music, Creative New Zealand also provides project funding for such purposes as the commissioning of new work, the promotion of New Zealand work nationally and internationally, and the establishment or maintenance of artists residencies.

NZ On Air (the Broadcasting Commission) funds musical recordings and videos and promotional activities in the field of popular music, with the primary aim of providing broadcasters with local content.

The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra (NZSO), owned and funded directly by government, is a fully professional touring orchestra of 90 players.  NZSO players are also involved in other, smaller ensembles, the most significant of which is the New Zealand Chamber Orchestra.  The NZSO also administers the National Youth Orchestra.

Updated on 8th October 2021