The arts and cultural heritage have inherent value as well as economic value, and both contributions should be recognised and supported. The Green Party will adequately resource work in the arts, which requires effective communication between Government, funders, the industry, and other stakeholders including tangata whenua, who have the right to protect traditional and contemporary Māori art. We acknowledge that revitalising and celebrating toi Māori, tikanga Māori and te reo Māori is key to ensuring a thriving arts industry, and to uphold our commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi. Nurturing the talent in our communities requires educational opportunities in communities and schools, as well as media platforms to promote the arts. The arts have an important role to play in our economic and social development, and the Green Party supports the industry to develop to its highest standard.


Creative, cultural and heritage work is integrated within our communities in myriad innovative ways that empower people, spread happiness, and encourage intercultural appreciation and understanding.

Values and Principles

  • Honour Te Tiriti o Waitangi:  The Crown has a responsibility to ensure the protection and return of taonga, including Māori arts, culture, intellectual property and heritage sites. The Crown must support and contribute to but not determine the revitalisation of toi Māori, tikanga Māori and te reo Māori.
  • Ecological Wisdom: The arts change hearts and minds and should be supported to play a part in enabling the transition to a life-sustaining society. Mātauranga Māori  as expressed through art and cultural practice is inextricably linked to the natural world. 
  • Social Responsibility: The arts foster community and have the ability to improve our daily well-being, empathy, social equality and cultural diversity, as well as contributing economically through export and tourism.
  • Appropriate Decision-Making: Those involved in arts and cultural heritage work must be involved in development of guidelines for funding. Local communities must be given the ability to protect places, buildings and heritage collections that are important to them historically and culturally. The tino rangatiratanga of hapū and iwi over their taonga must be affirmed, through Matike Mai mechanisms.
  • Non-Violence: All art forms practised and recognised in Aotearoa New Zealand are included in this policy and their interconnectedness is acknowledged. The art forms of marginalised cultures and groups should be equitably supported. 
  • Resilience: Government should help build resilience in the arts and cultural heritage in our communities and at professional levels. Our heritage is part of our national identity and must be protected.
  • Professional: A vibrant and diverse professional arts sector contributes to all our lives, as well as the identity of Aotearoa New Zealand on the international stage. 

Strategic Priorities

The Green Party’s strategic goals include: 

“People will be part of caring communities with a strong heritage fabric”

Actions in this policy that will help achieve this include:

  • Review the arts and cultural heritage infrastructure and funding provisions and ensure they are sufficiently resourced, with a focus on increasing participation in community arts, arts and cultural heritage education and supporting the professional arts to reach the highest standard. (1.2)
  • Support and promote the right of Māori to protect both traditional and contemporary Māori art and art forms via customary rights and Te Tiriti o Waitangi. (2.1)
  • Develop and resource the implementation of an ongoing arts education strategy from early childhood to tertiary level, in recognition of the value of arts in our educational institutions. (3.4)
  • Develop a network of Art Spaces and heritage equivalents in every community, accessible to all cultures and levels of ability, including portable programmes for hospital, old people's and women's refuge communities. (3.10)

Connected Policies

Providing platforms through Broadcasting and Media to celebrate the arts is important for arts, culture and heritage to thrive. Ensuring sufficient income for those working in the arts, cultural and heritage sectors is part of our Household Livelihoods and Workforce Policies. The Crown’s responsibility to ensure the protection and revitalisation of natural and other taonga is explored in our Conservation and Kaupapa Māori Policies.


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