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In 2020, Manatū Taonga commissioned research to better understand the effects of COVID-19 on New Zealanders’ participation in cultural events and activities. This research surveyed people's participation in a variety of arts, culture, and heritage activities, their preferences for in-person and online events, and barriers  to engagement.  

For the 2022 report, Manatū Taonga commissioned Kantar Public to update participation since 2020. New questions were included to understand knowledge and participation around Matariki.  

The research examined:

  • Participation across a range of sound, screen, festivals and commemorations, performing arts, heritage and cultural sites, visual arts, and literary arts and education activities. Results were compared with the 2020 findings. 
  • COVID-19 concerns about in-person attendance, as well as participation preferences (in-person or online). 
  • Initial insight into Matariki awareness, participation, and attitudes. 

Key findings

The main findings of the 2022 research are that:

  • Participation has either remained stable or decreased since 2020 (depending on the activity measured). 
  • Preference for in-person participation has increased, as concern about catching COVID-19 at cultural events and activities has decreased. 
  • Concern around COVID-19 has decreased relatively since 2020; now the biggest barrier to engaging in-person with arts, culture, and heritage activities is the cost involved. 
  • Half of New Zealanders did something to celebrate Matariki in 2022. Almost all New Zealanders are aware of Matariki as the Māori New Year, however, there is opportunity to grow Matariki knowledge and engagement.