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6. Cultural development

6.1 Cultural Statistics

The Ministry and Statistics New Zealand previously worked on a joint project to improve the quality of the statistical information available on the New Zealand cultural sector.  The first publication, New Zealand Framework for Cultural Statistics Te Anga Tatauranga Tikanga-ā-Iwi o Aotearoa, was published in 1995.  It defines the cultural sector and activities, and categorises them into nine major sections, each with data specifications.

New Zealand Cultural Statistics 1995 Ngā Tatauranga Whakapuaki Tuariki o Aotearoa was New Zealand’s first comprehensive presentation of cultural statistics.  It used the framework categories to present statistics on cultural workers, cultural organisations, cultural goods and services and cultural consumers.  It also identified gaps and deficiencies in existing data sources.

In 1996 Household Spending on Culture Ngā Whakapaunga Moni a-Kainga ki ngā Mahi Whakapuaki Tuakiri focused on a segment of cultural consumption, by gathering data on the spending of private households on the consumption of cultural goods and services. This report was updated as part of the Measure of Culture report in 2003 and again in 2006.

In 1998 Employment in the Cultural Sector was released.  Based on the 1996 Census of Population and Dwellings this report provides information on employment patterns and trends in the sector.  Employment in the Cultural Sector also outlines the age, sex, occupation, educational background and ethnicity of these workers.  This report was updated in 2005 and again in 2009, with both reports showing that employment in the cultural sector continues to grow at a faster rate than employment overall.

Government Spending on Culture was released in 2000.  This report examines the amount spent by both local and central government to enhance New Zealanders access to cultural goods and services from 1990 to 1999.  A second report updating government spending to 2004 was released in 2005

In 2002 the first specially commissioned survey in the cultural statistics programme was undertaken.  Funded through the Cross Departmental Research Pool, the survey asked New Zealanders about their cultural experiences - whether they had experienced various cultural activities over either a four-week or 12-month period.  It also asked how often they had experienced these activities, how interested they were in New Zealand content in each activity, and whether any barriers had prevented them from experiencing these activities at all or more often.  The report, A Measure of Culture, was released in 2003.  This report also contains an update on Household Spending on Culture. 

Data from the Time Use Survey conducted by Statistics New Zealand from July 1998 to June 1999 was released in 2004 as Time for Culture.

In 1994 and 1997, the Ministry also commissioned surveys on New Zealanders attitudes towards culture.  These are published in a series entitled How Important is Culture? An updated version of this report was released in 2008. In that version, questions were added relating to the perceived importance of the role of culture and cultural activities as factors in national identity. Additional questions about attitudes to culture and cultural activities in local communities were also included.

When the Cultural Statistics Programme was established in 1993, the production of a report which brought together key indicators for the cultural sector was identified as a priority. In 2006, the programme released Cultural Indicators for New Zealand.  This report presents, for the first time, a set of cultural indicators. In addition to its benefits in terms of policy development, the establishment of a set of robust cultural indicators ensures that debates about the cultural sector’s value and contribution to New Zealand society can take place in the context of greater knowledge and understanding than at present. They also allow the ‘health’ of the sector to be monitored over time. While the indicators presented in this report are high-level sectoral indicators, they are also intended to reflect the broad outcomes that the government seeks to achieve for the cultural sector as a whole. A second report was published in 2009, and includes a number of new indicators. 

This specific work programme with Statistics New Zealand has now ended.  However in August 2013, we published Value and Culture : an economic framework as part of the Ministry's new Cultural Policy Research Programme.

6.2 Cultural Well-being

The Ministry led an eighteen month programme (to June 2006), working closely with local government and other central agencies to increase awareness and understanding of ‘cultural well-being’ as a purpose of local government. Promotion of cultural well-being as a requirement of local authorities was introduced into the Local Government Act 2002. While the Act did not define the term “cultural well-being”, its inclusion reflects local government’s long-standing interest in, funding of, and impact on, cultural activity. The four well-beings (social, economic, environmental and cultural) have since been taken out of the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill which was passed in November 2012.

The Ministry’s programme aimed to promote understanding of the inter-relationship of cultural well-being with economic, social and environmental well-being and to foster better alignment among central government agencies in the ways they work with local government to promote all four well-beings.  The Ministry continues to provide support and advice for those with an interest in cultural wellbeing through our website.

6.3 Cultural Gifting

In 2010 the Ministry released a report entitled Cultural Organisations: Giving and Sponsorship. It contained the findings of a survey that asked about the income cultural organisations had received from gifts, grants and other charitable and sponsorship sources in 2007/2008. The Ministry identified over 2000 organisations to take part in the survey, and respondents included a wide range of small through to major-sized registered charities and other types of organisations that may have received charitable funding or sponsorship.

The survey asked about the various sources of the funding or support that the organisations received. The survey also asked about the form this funding or support took, such as grants, donations, cash or in-kind sponsorship, membership or friends' schemes, and bequests.

The research establishes an annual level of cash and non-cash funding and support. It provides comparisons between organisations on the basis of size, location and type of cultural activity, and also on the basis of the source and type of support. The research provides benchmark figures that will enable trends in support to cultural organisations to be identified, including the impact of any tax or other incentives for charitable giving.

In December 2010, a Cultural Philanthropy Taskforce reported back to the Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage and made six key recommendations to increase charitable giving to the cultural sector.

More details about our cultural philanthropy work is available on the Ministry's website.


Updated on 14th September 2016