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New Pilot to unlock cultural potential in communities

Ministers’ release: 30 April 2021

Beehive Media Release

Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni today announced Manatū Taonga (Ministry for Culture and Heritage) is now accepting applications from cultural sector organisations to host cultural activators in eight communities around Aotearoa.

“This pilot, as part of Te Tahua Whakahaumaru (Creative Arts Recovery and Employment Fund), aims to build their creative skills, and connect them with opportunities in the wider cultural sector.” Carmel Sepuloni says. “This pilot underlines the Government’s commitment to help the arts and cultural sector to adapt, survive and thrive.”

“The Cultural Activators will be established cultural sector practitioners and hosted by local organisations. They’ll focus on collaborating with communities to tell their stories, build their creative skills, and connect them with opportunities in the wider cultural sector.

“Culture and creativity are experiences which bring us together and enhance our daily lives, contributing around $17.5 billion to New Zealand’s GDP. That’s why we’re taking a targeted approach to investing in and unlocking creativity in communities where there is considered to be barriers to access and participation in the arts.”

Cultural Activators will be hosted in the Far North, Māngere-Otahuhu, Kawerau, Gisborne, Wairoa, South Waikato, Buller, and Invercargill. Two of the roles will focus on Māori and one will focus on Pacific peoples.

“As established cultural sector practitioners, cultural activators will understand their community’s cultural needs and will be well placed to generate interest and participation in cultural activities and mentor emerging creatives in their community.

“The Cultural Activators Pilot will run for one year and will be evaluated to measure its success in increasing access and participation in cultural activities in the selected communities. The evaluation will inform decisions about any continuation or expansion of the Pilot,” Carmel Sepuloni said.

The Cultural Activators Pilot is the third funding opportunity in the CARE Fund to launch so far. It follows the Creative Spaces initiative launched in February and the Cultural Installations and Events initiative launched earlier this month.


Media Contact: Kieran Meredith, 021 817 570

Further information

  • This initiative is part of the $70 million Te Tahua Whakahaumaru Creative Arts Recovery and Employment (CARE) Fund within Manatū Taonga’s Arts and Culture COVID Recovery Programme. The CARE Fund aims to create employment and training opportunities, ensure vital skills, talent and creative infrastructure are not lost, and maintain and expand public access to creative and cultural experiences.
  • Applications to host a cultural activator in one of the eight selected communities will close at 12 noon on Wednesday 26 May 2021.
  • More information about the Cultural Activators Pilot and how to apply to host a cultural activator is available on the Manatū Taonga website at
  • There’s also more information about other CARE Fund initiatives at
  • People can subscribe to Manatū Taonga’s Arts and Culture COVID Recovery Programme newsletter for funding updates at:

Updated on 3rd May 2021