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 and is central to our sense of place, identifying us as a nation. Active support for, protection of the diversity of Māori culture, and participation in distinct Te Ao Māori activity – based on strong partnerships between Māori and the Crown – will ensure this fundamental feature of New Zealand culture flourishes.
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.
The Ministry’s medium-term challenge is to establish itself as the strategic and results leader for the government-funded cultural sector, building on its policy, funding and monitoring roles. This requires agreement on shared outcomes and a set of measurable, medium-term sector results; clear targets and milestones; and a joint sector work programme.
How we use the word “culture”
This Ministry uses the word “culture” in a broad way to include Māori culture and the cultures of all New Zealanders. When we refer to culture we see it as including arts, heritage, media, and sport and recreation.