Arts, Culture and Heritage Policy

Art – it all its many forms – inspires, innovates, challenges, and contributes to our collective social, economic, and cultural wellbeing. We commit to foster the arts, culture and heritage at all levels.

New Zealand has a strong creative sector. With the right support, the arts have the potential to become a significant, non-agricultural export industry for New Zealand.

In Aotearoa New Zealand, our unique heritage includes the taonga of toi Maori and Te Reo Maori, and we support these taonga, including the retention of Maori TV and the promotion of iwi radio.

Our heritage, especially heritage buildings and sites, have taken on even more significance since the Canterbury earthquakes. We will facilitate the preservation of our heritage sites us much as possible.

Key Principles

  • Society should facilitate affordable access to the Arts.
  • Public funding of the Arts must be transparent and sustainable.
  • Historically and culturally significant places and buildings should be protected.
  • The unique taonga of toi o Māori must be valued and protected.

Specific Policy Points

Communication and Co-ordination

  • Promote improved communication and co-ordination between government ministries and stakeholders involved in the Arts.
  • Support an overhaul of the arts infrastructure and funding provisions with a focus on increasing participation in community arts, arts education and the professional arts.

Tangata Whenua and the Arts

  • Support and promote the right of Māori to protect both traditional and contemporary Māori art.
  • Remain committed to a dedicated Māori Television broadcasting service.
  • Support Iwi Radio throughout Aotearoa New Zealand to be an independent, secure and successful Māori broadcaster.

Media and the Arts

  • Support strategies to ensure the production of quality Aotearoa New Zealand music, films and programmes.
  • Extend economic incentives currently offered only to large overseas film productions to locally written and produced smaller budget films.

Education, Community and the Arts

  • Recognise the value of community arts and community arts organisations through central government funding of community arts projects.
  • Provide funding for Arts Education officers (from the Ministry of Education) to support the Arts Education strategy and ensure it’s accessibility and implementation.

Economic Development and the Arts

  • Establish an arts and cultural promotion unit within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
  • Make contributions to bona fide artist organisations tax deductible along the same lines as charity donations.
  • Ensure that copyright of a commissioned work is retained by the artist, not the commissioner.
  • Re-launch the Authors’ Fund under the umbrella of the Ministry of Culture and Heritage.
  • Establish a Literature Commission to act as a champion for New Zealand writing and writers, examine issues such as copyright and digital rights and examine ways of raising remuneration for writers.

Protecting and Preserving Heritage

  • Support the creation of a National Policy Statement for heritage under the Resource Management Act.
  • Support central and local government funding schemes for owners of heritage buildings.
  • Establish a well resourced national funding scheme for the earthquake strengthening of heritage buildings.

Read our full policy here