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Arts & Culture

Culture spans the breadth of visual and performing arts, including but not limited to music, literature, theatre and dance.  

Many large publicly funded organisations fall into this category, such as the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and Royal New Zealand Ballet.  There are thousands of national, regional and community based cultural organisations in New Zealand, a great number of which operate independently and without government support.

In their touring programmes each year the NZSO can perform more than 100 concerts in more than 30 different communities across New Zealand to audiences in excess of 100,000 people. Many more enjoy the Orchestra’s performances through Radio New Zealand Concert broadcasts, film soundtracks and CD recordings.

The Royal New Zealand Ballet 2020 Season invites you to see ballet with fresh eyes – a feast of daring new works crowned with a fairytale classic for Christmas. The national ballet company will expand its touring schedule while continuing its commitment to education and outreach. 

Creative New Zealand, the national agency for arts development, is responsible for supporting, maintaining and developing community and professional arts.  With all cultural organisations, revenue from grants, private sponsorship or ticket sales is necessary to meet operating costs and remain sustainable.

Creative New Zealand’s annual report 2018/19 was published in December 2019.  In the past year, a record $47.974 million went directly into the sector through funding, capability and advocacy programmes. 

The first stage of the Profile of Creative Professionals research was delivered in partnership with NZ On Air and provided the sector with the first significant research on creative working conditions in 20 years.  The research led to a set of draft principles for sustainable careers that have been shared to the sector.

Government supports New Zealand music through NZ On Air, which funds artists and promotes their work domestically and internationally. The New Zealand Music Commission also plays a key role, facilitating growth in the industry by providing information and advice to new and established artists.

This Ministry uses the word “culture” in a broad way to include Māori culture and the cultures of all New Zealanders. When we refer to culture we see it as including arts, heritage, media, and sport and recreation.


Updated on 17th December 2019