Looking forward - Te Tirohanga Whakamua
Vision: “New Zealand’s distinctive culture enriches our lives”
This vision recognises that our distinctive culture is a core part of what makes New Zealand a great place to live. Culture is important to our personal, social, environmental and economic wellbeing, as it contributes to positive outcomes for individuals and communities in a range of areas, including education, health and the economy.
Māori culture makes New Zealand unique in a globalised world. Active support for the diversity of Māori culture, based on strong partnerships between Māori and the Crown, and participation by Māori in distinct Māori activity, will ensure it flourishes. Te Arataki is the Ministry’s strategy to identify innovative pathways to support Māori culture as a fundamental part of New Zealand’s identity.
The recent earthquakes in Canterbury have focused the country’s attention on the contribution our culture, including our built heritage, makes to our sense of nationhood. The involvement of the cultural sector in the earthquake recovery effort has demonstrated how vital participation in and access to the performing arts, museum and art collections, media, and sport are to lifting spirits and re-establishing a ‘normal’ family and community life.
The cultural sector contributes to social and economic objectives as well as cultural ones. New Zealand’s diverse and exciting cultural life is very attractive to overseas investors, performers and audiences and raises New Zealand’s profile internationally. Programmes such as Sistema Aotearoa and Te Matatini’s kapa haka events demonstrate how cultural experiences can provide social and economic benefits to families and communities.
Underlying challenges facing the cultural sector include:
- The need to respond to demographic changes, with an ageing, more ethnically diverse population;
- The drift north, with an estimated two million people living in the Auckland region by 2031 and significant growth in areas such as the Bay of Plenty;
- The effects of urban design and transport decisions on people’s participation in cultural and recreational activities;
- Māori economic aspirations, where there is a need to balance entrepreneurism with protection and promotion of mātauranga Māori; and
- Changing technology and the impact this is having on traditional business models.