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Govt investment in arts delivers strong economic results

Ministers’ release: 16 May 2023

Beehive media release.

  • cultural sector employment grew by 4.2% in the 12 months to March 2022
  • cultural sector businesses nationally grew by 8.2% to March 2022
  • strong cultural sector GDP contribution of $12.9 billion in the 12 months to March 2022, a growth of 10.6% compared to 5.3% for the total economy
  • High level modelling suggests up to 1,000 more new jobs in the arts and cultural sector and over 1,600 additional jobs in the wider sector

A new report evaluating the economic impact of the Government’s almost half a billion dollars investment in the arts and culture sector through COVID-19 shows heartening results, with employment, business and GDP growing in 2022.

“Following our Government’s largest ever investment in the arts, culture and heritage sector in Aotearoa New Zealand’s history, this is pleasing news,” Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni said.

“We’ve remained steadfast in our commitment to these sectors over the course of the pandemic and as we get through the current cost of living spike. We’ve protected peoples jobs and livelihoods, as well as helped to sustain the important contribution the sector makes to our economy,” Carmel Sepuloni said.

“Despite a forecasted loss of nearly 11,000 jobs in the sector, employment actually grew by 4.2 per cent in the 12 months to March 2022. Similarly, the number of businesses in the cultural sector grew by 8.2 per cent to March 2022.

“Supported by our Government’s investment, these employment and business results contributed $12.9 billion to our economy’s GDP, a growth of 10.6 per cent compared to 5.3 per cent for the total economy.

“We know the economy has grown strongly and is showing its resilience with the arts and culture sector playing its role to support our wider economic recovery.

 “Our Government’s investment has and will continue to see more jobs created. High-level modelling suggests that we will see nearly 1,000 more jobs for the sector and over 1,600 more jobs in the wider economy – these are the flow on effects on employment when the arts and creative sectors are supported to flourish and thrive.

“When COVID-19 hit, we acted quickly to put in place programmes that could protect and preserve the financial viability of arts and cultural organisations, keep them operating and thriving and create further employment opportunities.

“I’m pleased that these programmes have delivered on their purpose. The Screen Production Recovery Fund is one such example, supporting more than 41 productions to adopt COVID-19 health and safety measures to enable them to maintain operations, and preserving and creating over 2,850 jobs for crew and actors.

“Support has also gone directly into the pockets of artists, through the Cultural Sector Emergency Relief Fund, with nearly 1,300 individual artists receiving financial support.

“The economic and trading outlook for our music industry remains strong too, with 95 per cent of music venues supported by the NZ Music Venue Infrastructure Fund still trading following the pandemic. 76.5 per cent of venue owners surveyed had also said their venue would not have survived the pandemic without the support of the Government’s NZ Music Venue Infrastructure Fund.

“Over the course of our term in Government, we’ve moved quickly to support the arts and culture sector with a real and tangible emphasis on putting money into the pockets of artists who deliver arts for a living, protecting livelihoods and businesses, and delivering arts funding into as many pockets of the motu as possible.

“The mahi doesn’t stop there though. That’s why we’re introducing the Artist Resale Royalty Scheme which will lift incomes for artists, support them beyond the current cost of living spike and ensure they’re properly recognised for their work and contribution. That’s the bread and butter for artists.

“Artists first called for a scheme like this fifteen years ago, and alongside our Government’s ongoing investment in the sector, we’re a Government that is proudly delivering for them, for all New Zealanders who enjoy the arts, as well as the economy which benefits from their contributions,” Carmel Sepuloni said

Published on 16th May 2023