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Minister releases cultural employment report

Ministers’ release: 26 February 2009

The cultural sector is an increasingly important source of jobs in New Zealand according to a report, Employment in the Cultural Sector, released today by Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Christopher Finlayson.

“The creative industries create jobs by providing employment not only for those in cultural occupations, but also in supporting sectors and by generating income and encouraging tourism,” said Mr Finlayson.

“The government’s key focus right now is on employment, and so we recognise the importance of supporting our creative industries.”

The report shows that the number of people employed in the cultural sector grew faster than in employment generally since 2001, with a 21% increase in paid cultural employment in the five years to 2006. Seven percent of the entire workforce is employed in the cultural sector.

There were 126,531 people in paid cultural employment in 2006 compared to 88,000 people in 1996.

The report provides information on employment and incomes in a wide range of cultural occupations and activities including heritage, visual and performing arts, film and broadcasting and more.

Mr Finlayson also released a second report, How important is Culture?, which examined New Zealanders’ attitudes towards the arts and culture.

Media contact: Ben Thomas 0274-943-579 or (04) 471-9763

Employment in the Cultural Sector,’ was produced by the Ministry for Culture and Heritage as part of the Cultural Statistical Programme. The report uses data from the NZ Census of Population and Dwellings, the three most recent censuses of 1996, 2001 and 2006. For this report, cultural employment refers to employment in cultural occupations regardless of industry.
The report can be downloaded at:

How Important is Culture? New Zealanders’ Views in 2008,’ was commissioned to provide information about New Zealanders’ perceptions on the importance of culture and cultural activities. This report follows on from research commissioned in 1994 and 1997. Key measures from the two previous surveys have been repeated in the 2008 survey and some new questions added.
The report can be downloaded at:

Updated on 7th October 2019