New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced a funding boost of NZ$175m (US$109/€98m/£88m) to support the country’s arts and creative sector, which contributes nearly $11 billion a year to GDP and employs 90,000 people as well as supporting the wellbeing of communities.
The support package includes a NZ$16.5m (US$10.3m/€9.3m/£8.3m) New Zealand Music Recovery Fund specifically directed towards the contemporary popular music industry. $7.1m will boost NZ on Air’s New Music programmes, $5m will back a Live Music Touring Fund to support NZ acts on the domestic circuit as alert levels permit, $3m immediate support will enable music venues to have safe environments for audiences, workers and artists, and $1.4m will 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.
Other support comprises:
- NZ$7.9m for jobseekers
- NZ$70m over three years for a Creative 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
- NZ$60m over three years for a Cultural Innovation Fund supporting 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 Māori artforms and traditional knowledge
- NZ$20m for a Cultural Capability Fund to focus on immediate needs in response to COVID-19, such as legal services, online delivery and audience development
Jacinda Ahern said:
‘The arts and music sectors have been decimated by COVID-19. Modelling based on Treasury forecasts suggests that without government intervention, the cultural sector will be hit roughly twice as hard as the rest of the economy, and 11,000 jobs could be lost within a 12-month period.
‘This suite of initiatives will help protect cultural sector jobs and create new employment opportunities, build skills, knowledge and resilience, protect Māori 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.’
Header photo: Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand; Young Global Leader speaking during the Session “Safeguarding Our Planet” at the Annual Meeting 2019 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, January 22, 2019. Congress Centre, Congress Hall. © by World Economic Forum / Boris Baldinger. Original photo cropped