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New Zealand Government launches $175 million arts support package

New Zealand Government launches $175 million arts support package
May 29, 2020

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has today announced a $175 million fund to support the arts and cultural sector recover from the damage incurred by the Coronavirus.

The package follows modelling based on New Zealand Treasury forecasts that indicate that, without government help, the cultural sector - worth $11 billion a year to the country’s economy and employing 90,000 people - will lose a potential 11,000 jobs over 12 months.

With the cultural sector being worth $11 billion a year to the country’s economy and employing 90,000 people, the package consists of four new funds and a jobseekers’ program.

Explaining that the package represents a crucial economic boost for the creative industries, New Zealand Prime Minister Ardern (pictured below) stated “the arts and music sectors have been decimated by COVID-19 (and) without government intervention (it) will be hit roughly twice as hard as the rest of the economy.

“This suite of initiatives will help protect cultural sector jobs and create new employment opportunities, build skills, knowledge and resilience, protect Maori knowledge and artforms, and continue to provide inspiration for all New Zealanders.

“A healthy cultural sector has many positive flow-on effects for other important parts of our economy, such as technical production, hospitality, venues and domestic tourism.”

New Zealand’s Associate Minister for Arts Culture and Heritage, Grant Robertson, reflected on the importance of the arts in helping communities recover from crisis, adding “as we saw after the Canterbury earthquakes, creativity and culture creates jobs, drives economic recovery and enhances social wellbeing.”

The new funding package includes:

• $7.9 million for Careers Support for Creative Jobseekers – a programme that will be progressively rolled out to support artists and creatives back into sustainable work and builds on the most successful aspects of the former Pathways to Arts and Cultural Employment (PACE) programme. This is envisaged as helping up to 2000 people over four years.

• $70 million over three years for aCreative Arts Recovery and Employment Fund to support the rebuild of the creative industries by commissioning and supporting creative projects at a national and local level. The fund will be managed to create employment, mentoring and apprenticeship opportunities, ensure vital skills, talent and creative infrastructure is not lost, and maintain public access to the arts.

• $60 million over three years for a Cultural Innovation Fund – a contestable fund to support new ways of operating, cross-sector partnerships, and create new ways to add value to the economy, particularly through digital exports. This will include supporting innovative approaches to Maori artforms and traditional knowledge.

• $20 million for a Cultural Capability Fund to focus on immediate needs in response to COVID-19, such as legal services, online delivery and audience development.

• $16.5 million for a New Zealand Music Recovery Fund specifically directed towards the contemporary popular music industry. This includes $7.1 million to boost NZon Air’s New Music programs; $5 million for a Live Music Touring Fund to support New Zealand acts on the domestic circuit as alert levels permit; $3 million in immediate support for music venues to have safe environments for audiences, workers and artists, to be administered by the New Zealand Music Commission; and $1.4 million to help musicians recoup lost income via Outward Sounds and NZ Music Month. The support for new contemporary music and live music is expected to sustain a combined 2900 jobs over two years, produce 455 new song releases and 150 live music tours throughout New Zealand.

The first wave of funding becomes available from July 2020.

Prime Minister Ardern went on to say “we know many of our creatives get income from multiple sources and it is an ongoing challenge to piece together the gigs and commissions to earn a livelihood.

“These initiatives will provide hundreds of opportunities for creatives to earn income and rebuild their careers, and at a time when we have all been reminded of the importance of our creative industries.”

Related Articles

21st May 2020 - New Zealand events bodies submit industry recovery plan to Government

20th May 2020 - Live Nation to launch socially distanced concerts at Auckland’s The Tuning Fork

15th May 2020 - Skills Active keen to help New Zealanders get back into working and training

11th May 2020 - Live Nation says no return to ‘full scale’ concerts until 2021 as it looks to drive-in events

5th May 2020 - New Zealand Prime Minister Ardern says no open borders for ‘a long time’

4th May 2020 - Theatre impresario Sir Cameron Mackintosh says West End and Broadway shows will be ‘last to go back’

24th April 2020 - Building work set to recommence on key Wellington venues

22nd April 2020 - Kitchens at Hamilton’s Claudelands Events Centre stay busy producing meals for those in need

16th April 2020 - Entertainment Technology NZ announces 100 education scholarships

7th April 2020 - New Pollstar figures show Elton John’s Australasian dates as world’s second most successful tour

24th March 2020 - New Zealand events industry reports cancellation of more than 3,000 events

21st March 2020 - Creative New Zealand establishes multi-million dollar Coronavirus response

7th February 2020 - New Zealand performing arts, recreation and sport sectors generate $6.2 billion in economic activity

22nd January 2020 - Equity praises New Zealand Prime Minister’s commitment to the arts

22nd January 2020 - Funding boost for New Zealand creative and cultural events

18th January 2020 - Wellington’s St James Theatre set to be ready for 2022 New Zealand Festival

23rd November 2018 - New Zealand Theatre Month 2018 generates 615 events

27th May 2018 - Creative New Zealand survey shows that ‘art makes New Zealand a better place to live’

29th March 2018 - Increase in professional theatre, music and dance in New Zealand communities


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