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Chief Executive’s report - Tā te Tumuaki rīpoata

I am pleased to present the Ministry for Culture and Heritage’s Annual Report for 2015/16.

Arts and culture, heritage, media and sports are part of our everyday lives. Engagement with heritage and cultural expression are central to a vibrant and healthy society and economy, and also reinforce and describe what it means to be a New Zealander. Consistent with that, our vision at Manatū Taonga is ‘New Zealand’s distinctive culture enriches our lives’.

The Ministry’s core role is to advise on and support ministerial and government decision-making on arts, culture and heritage; broadcasting; and sports. This last year we have supported establishing the reshaped Regional Culture and Heritage Fund and the Heritage EQUIP Fund, and developing a pilot for a Landmarks programme to tell and connect the heritage stories of our important places. Another priority area has been the convergence review, which looked at whether broadcasting policy and regulatory frameworks are fit for purpose in the current New Zealand media landscape.

We discharge much of our role through funding, monitoring and working with 15 agencies that receive $319 million in government funding every year. In 2015/16 the work of these agencies continued to strengthen heritage value and cultural expression in our country, from the Film Commission support for movies like Hunt for the Wilderpeople, to the record breaking Gallipoli exhibition at Te Papa, to the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s sold out season of The Wizard of Oz, to the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra’s Grammy nomination for Best Orchestral Performance, to Sport New Zealand’s investments in Regional Sport Trusts and national sport organisations. We will continue to look at how we best support and tell the story of the work of these agencies and our sectors. This year in Budget 2016 the Government agreed to increase investment by $2.9 million per annum to three core arts organisations, the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Royal New Zealand Ballet and Te Matatini.  Budget 2016 also saw 2 successful bids for the Sport and Recreation portfolio; $1m per annum to Drug Free Sport New Zealand for the anti-doping programme and $4m per annum to support the high performance sport programme.

Māori culture exemplifies New Zealand’s distinctive culture. Increasingly we see our role as enabling all New Zealanders to access and engage with Māori culture. Highlights over the last year have been increased funding to Te Matatini to empower greater community involvement and to take the best of kapa haka to the world; the opening of a new museum at Waitangi supported with a one-off government grant; and advancing Te Tai, a project to capture the oral history of New Zealand’s world-leading Treaty settlements process.

We will always need to work with others. A great example is our partnership in the WW100 Programme with the New Zealand Defence Force, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Department of Internal Affairs. The WW100 Programme was a finalist in the recent Institute of Public Administration New Zealand (IPANZ) awards in the Achieving Collective Impact category for the Gallipoli centenary commemorations during Anzac Week 2015 and, in particular, in recognition of the high level of community engagement in this commemoration.

Ultimately our success will be marked by how well New Zealanders connect to their heritage and identity through the arts, media and sports. On that note, significant highlights have been the more than 6.5 million visits to Te Ara, our online New Zealand encyclopedia; 10.8 million visits across all of our websites; the 12,778 school children who attended educational experiences at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park; the development of the Queen Elizabeth II Pukeahu Education Centre and 120,000 visitors to the National War Memorial; over 320,000 people engaging with our WW1000 programme through social media every month; and 3,142 downloads of Ngā Tapuwae apps, printable guides and e-books.

There are many more things to do to recognise and celebrate our culture and heritage.  I look forward to being part of that over the coming 12 months.

Paul James
Chief Executive
Manatū Taonga / Ministry for Culture and Heritage


Updated on 16th March 2017