Building a vibrant creative sector 

The Green Party will push for better conditions, more certainty, and greater opportunities for New Zealand’s artists and creatives as part of the next Government, Co-leader of the Green Party, James Shaw said today.


James Shaw was visiting the Raglan Creative Market this afternoon where he announced the party’s arts and culture policy. This includes a Living Wage for those involved in publicly-funded creative projects, and a commitment to work with councils, Iwi and local groups to ensure there are accessible venues all over Aotearoa, so more people can enjoy all forms of art in their local community.

Raglan Creative Market is an outstanding example of a community getting behind its local artistic and creative talent, and providing a space for it to be enjoyed by everyone. It was great to see just how much talent there is around Raglan. I’m sure communities across Aotearoa are brimming with similar levels of creativity. We just need to give it the space to flourish.

However, we know that all over Aotearoa artists are working without the certainty of a stable income, and many don’t even know if there will be a suitable venue to showcase what they have achieved. A significant reason for this is the fact that previous governments have starved the sector of necessary funding. That, coupled with the impact of COVID-19 on paying audiences, has left too many of our most talented people facing an uncertain future.

As part of the next Government, and in partnership with Labour, we will push to make sure artists and creatives all over Aotearoa are supported to succeed. This means making sure artists and creatives earn enough to live on, as well as funding artists properly and supporting the local venues that are critical for musicians and creatives trying to build an audience.

Our plan for a Guaranteed Minimum Income will also provide much needed help so struggling artists can cover their basic expenses,” James Shaw said.

The Green Party will also support the next generation of New Zealand artists by funding arts, culture, and creativity in schools, including supporting the Creatives in Schools programme.

Encouraging our children to express themselves through art and creativity can be a great way to help them to explore their connection to the world around them. School is a great place to do this and funding arts, culture, and creativity in schools, will give our kids the chance to learn new skills and ways of expressing themselves that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives. It will also employ artists who will help to deliver the Creatives in Schools programme, James Shaw said.

The Green Party would also push to make sure creativity is recognised in future Wellbeing Budgets and the Treasury’s Living Standards Framework, so it influences policy-making right across government.

As anyone who has listened to music, watched a movie, or made something of their own, creativity is hugely important for our wellbeing and our economy. We all benefit from using our imagination – whether it's drawing, dancing, singing, or even baking. With the Greens at the heart of the next Government, we will work to make sure this is better reflected in the decisions we make. This will ensure we harness the full wellbeing benefits of creative activities, James Shaw said.