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Welcome to your Arts, Culture and Heritage leadership role

As one of the Ministers within the Arts, Culture and Heritage portfolio you lead the cultural system so it can support Aotearoa New Zealand’s economic and social prosperity by connecting communities and driving innovation.

Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage (the Ministry) helps all our Ministers to lead the cultural system, comprising arts, heritage, media and sport.

This briefing is in four parts:

  • Part one summarises the role of Arts, Culture and Heritage portfolio ministers, including media and communications.
  • Part two outlines decisions that will come to you in your first 100 days.
  • Part three outlines the opportunities for the Ministry to deliver the Government’s priorities for the cultural system.
  • Part four outlines the leadership role of the Ministry, the lead agency for the cultural system.

The Ministry is also the Crown monitor for the Sport and Recreation portfolio. Information about that portfolio is contained in Appendix 1.

We are looking forward to understanding your priorities for the wider cultural system. Officials will provide you with more detailed briefings on significant aspects of the portfolio after our first meetings.

Part one: The Arts, Culture and Heritage portfolio

Arts, culture and heritage shape our unique Kiwi identity and are central to the everyday lives of all New Zealanders. The Arts and Creative sector contributed $14.9 billion GDP to the New Zealand economy in 2022 (Infometrics Arts and Creative Sector Profile 2022).

Almost all New Zealanders (94%, General Social Survey 2016) participate in some form of arts, culture, media, sport or active recreational activity. Arts, culture and heritage contribute to the economy by driving economic growth and generating employment and investment. The cultural system encourages trade and provides pathways to deliver world-class skills and talent across the broader economy. The cultural system is central to celebrating Aotearoa New Zealand’s cultural heritage including national events such as Matariki, and the Sovereign’s birthday.

From large multi-national organisations to grassroots activity, the cultural system spans visual arts; museums; performing arts and music; literature; cultural festivals and events; content production, print, screen and audio media. These activities happen everywhere across New Zealand – in schools, at home, in workplaces, in the streets, at sites of significance, and from local halls to national venues.

As Minister(s), you are responsible for:

Both Vote Arts, Culture and Heritage (which includes the current Broadcasting appropriation), and Vote Sport and Recreation. In 2023/24, across both Votes, the total amount of funding administered by the Ministry will be $611.201 million.
The budget process is underway; we would like to talk to you in more detail on opportunities to achieve your priorities through the budget process.

15 Crown-funded agencies (with responsibilities ranging from monitoring and board appointments for Crown entities, funding for non-Government organisations, and ministerial appointments for some smaller, independent boards). 
We would like to talk to you about your priorities for upcoming Board appointments (see Appendix 3).

20 pieces of primary legislation which set out the role and functions of Crown entities (e.g., New Zealand Film Commission and Creative New Zealand), and regulate sectors (e.g., Broadcasting Act 1989), enable public holidays (e.g., Sovereign’s Birthday Observance Act 1952), and seek to protect New Zealand’s heritage (e.g., Protected Objects Act 1975). 
We would like to understand your priorities for the Ministry work programme.

Portfolio overview

New Zealand’s cultural system is vital to our economic and social prosperity

There is increasing evidence that the cultural system delivers a wide range of benefits to New Zealanders and our place on the world stage. It underpins New Zealand’s global brand and drives tourism and cultural recognition.

The cultural system in New Zealand is crucial to achieving a broad range of objectives, including:

Economic prosperity

The creative industries contribute to innovation and bolster economic development by generating investment and job creation. People who actively participate in arts and culture live longer, happier and healthier lives - and rely less on public services. This remains true after controlling for income, education and health status.

Our global brand, trade and investment

The cultural system boosts tourism by making New Zealand a more attractive and unique place to visit. New Zealand was 17th (out of 61 countries) on The Soft Power 30 in 2019, with culture noted as a big part of New Zealand’s international appeal.

Skills and talent

Arts, screen, film, and other creative industries grow high-skilled, world-class creative talent that supports innovation and contributes to the broader economy.

Personal responsibility

People feel more valued when they see themselves represented. Analysis of the General Social Survey has shown New Zealanders who take part in cultural or recreational activities are more likely to be satisfied with their lives compared with those who do not (Stats NZ, 2018).

Celebrating our national heritage and unique identity

The cultural system supports and promotes our national heritage, ngā toi Māori. Preserving and revitalising mātauranga Māori, including toi Māori, kapa haka, te matatini, and Matariki, is important for Māori cultural identity, as well as national identity.

Creative expression

The cultural system is vital for New Zealanders to explore innovative ideas. An independent and resilient cultural system supports democracy playing a crucial role in supporting freedom of speech and our way of life in Aotearoa New Zealand.

The Government invests to support a thriving cultural system as a public good

The full picture of funding is complex because revenue comes from multiple sources. These include central Government, lottery grants, local authorities, private and corporate philanthropy, advertising revenue, not-for-profit organisations, as well as through audience attendance and engagement. Economic changes have implications for these sources, and flow on effects for the subsectors they support within the cultural system.

Lottery profits provide a large proportion of funding for arts, culture, heritage and sport [1], and fluctuate from year-to-year. The amounts for arts, culture, heritage and sport are forecasted to reduce in the next two years. On behalf of Te Puna Tahua—the New Zealand Lottery Grants Board—the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) is currently reviewing the lottery grants system for the first time in 35 years. The Ministry is working with the funded bodies and DIA on this work, advising on the potential impacts on the wider arts, culture, heritage and sport sectors.

The Māori-Crown partnership is at the heart of the cultural system

Leadership of the arts, culture and heritage portfolios (including media and communications) provides opportunities to celebrate what makes Aotearoa New Zealand special. Our indigenous culture—te ao Māori—is uniquely New Zealand and central to our national identity. Recently we have been able to celebrate significant milestones such as Te Rā Aro ki a Matariki, our newest official public holiday and the first to come from te ao Māori.

The Crown has committed to supporting iwi and Māori to achieve their cultural aspirations. Through this commitment (embodied at the Ministry in 74 relationship agreements and 216 Treaty settlement commitments), Māori culture is recognised, valued and embraced. On behalf of the Crown, the Ministry coordinates Te Ara Taonga (the collective of five culture and heritage agencies [2]) in the negotiation and signing of Treaty settlement relationship agreements, Whakaaetanga Tiaki Taonga.

The Ministry will support you to maintain partnerships between Māori and the Crown at a Rangatira-ki-te-Rangatira level.

International connections in the portfolio

There are also a range of international connections relevant to the portfolio that are outlined in Appendix 2.

[1] Via Te Puna Tahua – the New Zealand Lottery Grants Board (LGB), some lottery profits are directly allocated to four bodies: Creative New Zealand, the New Zealand Film Commission, Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision, and Sport New Zealand. Together these bodies received approximately $153 million in 2022/23.

[2] Te Ara Taonga comprises the Ministry, Te Papa Tongarewa, Department of Internal Affairs, Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga, and Ngā Taonga Sound and Vision.

Part two: During your first 100 days

These upcoming actions and decisions will be required within the first few months of your appointment. The Ministry will provide you with advice to support these decisions.

Note that these actions relate to the Arts, Culture and Heritage and Broadcasting and Media portfolios.

Action requiredTiming for decision/action
Decide on delegation of powers to Chief ExecutivesAs soon as practicable [1]
Present the Ministry’s Annual Report to the HouseAs soon as practicable [1]
Board Appointments 
Appoint a member to the Māori Heritage CouncilEarly 2024
Appoint a Chair to the Arts Council of New Zealand Toi Aotearoa (Creative New Zealand) (term expires 21 March 2024)Early 2024
Appoint a Chair to the Māori Heritage Council (term expires 30 April 2024)Early 2024
Make appointments to Te Māori Manaaki Taonga TrustEarly 2024
Appoint a Deputy Chair to National Pacific Media TrustEarly 2024
Appoint a Trustee/Treasurer to National Pacific Media TrustEarly 2024
Appoint a Chair to the Broadcasting Commission (NZ On Air) (term expires 30 April 2024)Early 2024
Policy decisions 
Repeal Resource Management reform legislationDecember 2023
[Row redacted under s 9(2)(f)(iv) of the OIA Act]Early 2024
Legislation Programme bid 
Decide on priorities for bidsPer Cabinet process
Financial matters and funding decisions 
Make financial decisions as part of October Baseline UpdateOctober 2023 – May 2024
Make decisions on Budget 2024, including Fiscal Sustainability and Effectiveness targetsOctober 2023 – May 2024
[Row redacted under s 9(2)(b)(ii) and s 9(2)(f)(iv) of the OIA Act]
Agree to the timing of the next round of the Regional Culture and Heritage Fund (a Minister’s Discretionary Fund for capital projects)Early 2024
Crown entity Accountability Documents 
Receive Crown entity Quarterly ReportsDecember 2023
Present Crown entity Annual Reports to the HouseOctober 2023–January 2024
Receive Crown entity Board self/independent evaluationsDecember 2023
Review and Sign Crown entity Letters of ExpectationsJanuary 2024
For information 
Creative New Zealand’s announcing recipients of the 2023 Prime Minister’s awards for Literary Achievement4 December 2023
Approve the release of various research publications and reportsMid November 2023–April 2024

[1] A further briefing on delegations will be provided.


Previous Ministers have delegated certain functions and powers to the Chief Executive of the Ministry. You will receive further advice regarding delegations and updated delegation instruments.

Meetings with portfolio Crown entities and Non-Government Organisations

Minister(s) regularly meet with the Board Chair and Chief Executive of Crown entities and Non-Government Organisations within their portfolio, as well as key sector organisations. You might like to establish the first tranche of meetings once delegations have been confirmed. Officials are looking forward to supporting your engagement with the sector and can provide further information as requested.

Part three: Opportunities to deliver on Government priorities for the cultural system

The Government has outlined a plan to build the economy to create a vibrant and thriving New Zealand. There are opportunities to ensure we have a modern and fiscally sustainable cultural sector that is a strong contributor to economic and social prosperity.

Efficient and effective spending

For the year ended 30 June 2023 Government investment in Vote Arts, Culture and Heritage was $579.886m.

There are opportunities to consider whether this system for funding content is efficient, effective, and fair, and delivers the maximum benefit from the Government’s investment. A thriving cultural system requires fit for purpose Crown entities.

Budget 2024 is taking place in the context of a challenging fiscal and economic environment. There has been a downturn in Government revenue, as well as slowing domestic and global growth and rising cost pressures. The Ministry has begun work on Budget 2024, including engagement with our funded entities to better understand their cost pressures and potential savings options.

We would like to discuss with you, as Minister responsible for Vote Arts, Culture and Heritage (including the Broadcasting and Media appropriation), the approach to Budget 2024 and how this aligns with Government priorities and fiscal plans.

Modern and streamlined regulation

Modernising legislation can be used to create savings and encourage more effective investment in the sector.

The Ministry is responsible for administering 20 Acts of Parliament (listed in Appendix 4). Many of these are outdated and no longer deliver for New Zealanders. For example, the Broadcasting Act 1989 is older than the internet and is not effective, creating an uneven playing field for New Zealand companies and creatives. Another example is the Film Commission Act, that dates from 1978 – well before people had personal devices that they could consume content on, including films.

[Paragraph redacted under s 9(2)(f)(iv) of the OIA Act]

When legal frameworks do not keep pace with changes in our population, economy, and technology, it often results in inefficiencies and increased costs. A system view to driving efficiencies could be used to ensure New Zealanders have a modern and fiscally sustainable cultural sector.

Supporting Auckland’s cultural aspirations

The Ministry is working towards developing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Auckland Council to deliver greater alignment on cultural heritage matters.

As part of this, the Ministry will work closely with Auckland Council as they consider appropriate legislative arrangements to support key cultural institutions. This may include proposals to reform Auckland Council’s relationship with key regional organisations, including Auckland War Memorial Museum and the Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT).

Growing skills and attracting talent

An economically sustainable cultural system can be an important contributor to New Zealand’s prosperity. There is an opportunity to grow the skills of the cultural sector and attract international talent to benefit the broader economy.

Over the past four years, the Ministry has worked with the Ministry for Social Development (MSD) to deliver the Creative Careers Service pilot programme, which supports creatives to develop non-creative skills, including business and financial literacy skills, to help them build sustainable careers in their chosen creative field. There is an opportunity to build off the insights learned through this pilot and expand this programme further to continue to grow the skills of creatives, increasing productivity and the sustainability of the sector.

There is an opportunity to develop new approaches to skills and people’s development through Treaty partnerships. This could include developing toi Māori skills and creating pathways to tertiary qualifications to safeguard and revitalise indigenous knowledge and practises, ensure continuity of artform practice and skills, and support intergenerational knowledge transmission.

Following in-principle support from the screen sector, the Ministry is considering economically sustainable ways to support skills and workforce development through the New Zealand Screen Production Rebate. Options include potential requirements for rebate recipients to contribute to a ‘skills levy’ or develop and implement a ‘skills plan’. This work is joint with MBIE and involves collaboration with the New Zealand Film Commission and Toi Mai, the relevant workforce development council.

Drive technology and innovation

Digital platforms open up Aotearoa NZ’s arts, culture, and heritage to the world as consumers of knowledge and experiences. Global access and understanding supports NZ Inc on the world’s stage. This includes growth in digital art forms (for example, interactive media and electronic music), and a growth in digital engagement with traditional artforms such as streaming music online. However, the rapid development of digital technologies comes with both risks and opportunities. There are challenges for iwi, hapū and Māori communities to preserve and protect their mātauranga and taonga, and the media sector is struggling to be viable online.

There are emerging issues relating to artificial intelligence and intellectual property. For example, there are ongoing debates about the extent of human involvement necessary to enable works to be eligible for copyright protection, how to protect Māori data sovereignty, and how local news content can be protected and monetised in the new environment.

Encourage trade and investment

Strategic policy interventions can ensure that people and organisations who are delivering real value within the cultural system are being rewarded fairly, therefore reducing the need for direct investment by government.

The Ministry is currently working on implementing the New Zealand Artist Resale Royalty scheme, that will enable visual artists to have their work recognised and rewarded when their work is resold on the secondary art market. The scheme will commence on or before 1 December 2024.

Ongoing Government funding of journalism is not sustainable in the long term and has come under pressure due to perceptions that the independence of the media system has been undermined. The Fair Digital News Bargaining Bill (the Bill) is intended to create a fair bargaining environment for news publishers. The Bill supports a free and independent news media sector by providing news publishers with a pathway to be viable in a digital marketplace without direct Government funding. The Economic Development, Science and Innovation Committee (EDSI) has received public submissions, which closed on 1 November. Parliament and the Government will need to consider the next steps and officials would like to discuss the Bill with Ministers.

International investment in screen productions

A key area within this portfolio that draws international investment is our screen production sector. International screen productions provide crucial investment in our local workforce and help grow capability and capacity to produce culturally valuable New Zealand content. Domestic productions can also benefit from direct international investment, including in relation to export success.

The Ministry works closely with the New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC), other content funders, and Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) to ensure that Government investment and regulatory settings support the screen sector’s continued vibrance, sustainability, and strategic growth.

This work could include reviewing and updating our suite of official co-production agreements with other film-producing jurisdictions. These agreements support projects of larger scale, skills development, and cross-border relations. The NZFC has identified several of our 17 existing co-production agreements that would benefit from updating and has reiterated calls to resume work on a new treaty with Brazil. Officials are working with the NZFC and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade on these matters.

Growing tourism at heritage places through Tohu Whenua

The relationship between international and domestic tourism and culture is strong and mutually dependent. Our cultural heritage helps drive tourism through events and attractions, while in turn tourism helps to support and sustain our cultural heritage.

The Ministry supports tourism through the Tohu Whenua programme. Tohu Whenua is a nationwide visitor programme that promotes a growing network of significant historic and cultural sites. The programme works closely with iwi, local Government, regional tourism organisations and private tourism ventures. Tohu Whenua supports international visitors while also connecting New Zealanders with their heritage. It enhances national identity, supports the teaching of New Zealand history in schools and encourages domestic tourism in regional New Zealand. The programme is administered by Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga (HNZPT), in partnership with the Ministry and the Department of Conservation, and with support from Te Puni Kōkiri and MBIE.

Building infrastructure for growth

The Ministry is the steward of New Zealand’s system for protecting, supporting, and celebrating New Zealand’s heritage places. We are working across Government to ensure that the heritage protection system avoids delays to important infrastructure projects and minimises unnecessary loss of heritage values. A sustainable, resilient heritage protection system will allow New Zealand’s heritage places to contribute to economic growth, increased productivity, and enhanced outcomes for all New Zealanders.

The Ministry is working closely with HNZPT to enhance the heritage protection system. These changes are being delivered through improving regulation (including engaging with any future reform of the resource management system, with particular focus on national direction for local authorities on heritage matters and ensuring heritage protection orders are fit for purpose).

Based on experience from both the United Kingdom and Australia, the introduction of long-term City and Regional infrastructure deal programmes could provide opportunities for central Government to support cultural heritage projects that are most valued by communities. In a New Zealand context, these projects could deliver social and economic benefits, including increased tourism, increased foot traffic in town and city centres, and supporting owners to meet legislated deadlines for seismic strengthening.

The Ministry can also support the Government’s commitments to deliver high-quality infrastructure for the future and drive technology and innovation by helping to demonstrate the retrofit potential of historic buildings in achieving emission reductions, seismic strengthening and heritage preservation goals. This would simultaneously accelerate energy efficiency, sustainable building management and heritage protection outcomes.

Blueprint for a better environment

The Ministry has a range of programmes scoped or underway that present opportunities to advance the Government’s priorities and foster an emissions-efficient and climate-resilient cultural sector. Recent climate related events have demonstrated that culture and the community bonds it provides is critical in supporting communities at times of need. There is an opportunity for the sector to take more of a leadership role in climate response and recovery, given its special ability to support innovative responses, encourage community engagement, and communicate with impact.

As extreme weather events like Cyclone Gabrielle become more common, adaptation to protect lives, properties and infrastructure will become increasingly pressing. To support New Zealand’s climate resilience, the Ministry is mandated to lead four actions identified in the National Adaptation Plan, including one ‘critical action’ to support kaitiaki communities to adapt and conserve taonga/cultural assets.

There are also opportunities to strengthen adaptive capacity and personal responsibility through enabling people and communities to self-determine the future of their cultural infrastructure and place-based heritage and make better-informed risk-based decisions to reduce the vulnerability of these assets to natural hazards and extreme weather events. This would foster climate resilience, empower communities and increase speed and efficiency of recovery.

Faster and fairer disaster recovery can also be better achieved by growing skills and talent to provide guidance and practical assistance on heritage matters during severe weather events and other natural disasters so that vital post-disaster recovery and cultural heritage conservation work can be achieved at pace. There is also an opportunity to support Māori communities to increase the capability and capacity of young leaders and ensure that iwi and hapū can adapt to future climate change impacts and protect taonga.

Celebrating our cultural heritage

Supporting Te Ao Māori and embedding Te Ao Māori at the centre of the cultural system builds a prosperous economy and a thriving New Zealand. The Ministry is responsible for administering commemorations, legislation, and providing support for toi Māori. The following paragraphs outline these responsibilities and future opportunities:

Treaty settlement commitments

The Ministry is working to deliver Treaty settlement commitments. There are 216 commitments held by the Ministry and recorded in Te Haeata – the Settlement Portal. As at 7 September 2023, 60% of our commitments are complete or on track to be completed [1].

Mānawatia a Matariki!

The Ministry is responsible for the Te Ture mō te Hararei Tūmatanui o te Kāhui o Matariki 2022/Te Kāhui o Matariki Act 2022. This includes both the public holiday and the Matariki Ahunga Nui Fund. We also support the Chief Advisor Mātauranga Matariki, Professor Rangi Mātāmua, who was appointed by, and reports to, the Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage.

Waitangi Day funding

The Ministry administers annual funding that helps New Zealanders to commemorate Waitangi Day and Te Tiriti o Waitangi/the Treaty of Waitangi across the country. In 2040, we will mark the bicentenary of the signing of te Tiriti. This is an opportunity for the creation of durable and tangible markers of the bicentenary, alongside a compelling, inclusive, and future-facing narrative.


The Ministry works alongside the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa (Te Papa) to support the repatriation of Māori and Moriori ancestral human remains held in New Zealand [2] and overseas institutions [3].

Taonga tūturu - Protected Objects Act 1975

The Ministry administers the legislation that controls the export of protected New Zealand objects and the import of overseas movable cultural property. It also sets out the Crown’s responsibilities for taonga tūturu, which is the Act’s term for taonga which whakapapa to te ao Māori. These responsibilities include the care and conservation of found taonga tūturu, and repatriation (both physical and legal ownership) of found taonga to iwi and hapū.

WAI 262 – protection and revitalisation of arts, culture and heritage mātauranga and taonga Māori

The Ministry is participating in Te Tumu mō Te Pae Tawhiti, the all-of-Government response to the Waitangi Tribunal’s Wai 262 report Ko Aotearoa Tēnei, led by Te Puni Kōkiri. Te Pae Tawhiti work programme is focused on building the foundations for a system where mātauranga Māori can flourish in accordance with tikanga Māori, both here and abroad. It provides an opportunity to improve how Government works effectively with and for Māori, to build a thriving Aotearoa for everyone.

Ngā toi Māori, including support for kapa haka

We support Māori to achieve their aspirations for toi Māori through authentic partnership and whanaungatanga. Our initial focus has been to strengthen kapa haka, and Budget 2023 delivered $34 million over two years to Te Matatini to implement a regional kapa haka model.

[1] The Ministry is working to deliver on the 35% of commitments with the status ‘delivery issues’. Examples of ‘delivery issues’ are where a letter of introduction is yet to be sent or a relationship agreement is yet to be signed.

[2] Under the Ngākahu National Repatriation Partnership.

[3] Te Papa undertakes this work on behalf of the Government under the Karanga Aotearoa Repatriation policy (2003).

Part four: Role of the Ministry for Culture and Heritage

The Ministry is focused on supporting the performance of the cultural system and harnessing its wider benefits for all New Zealanders.

Ministry support to portfolio Minister(s)

The Ministry supports Minister(s) to perform their duties and realise their priorities for the cultural system, including media and communications. The Ministry support for portfolio Minister(s) includes:

  • providing free and frank advice on portfolio issues
  • supporting you to develop and implement policies and strategies to deliver on portfolio objectives and to support the Government’s wider priorities
  • monitoring Crown funded agencies, including articulating Government policies and Ministerial expectations
  • providing Minister(s) with regular status reports, briefings and officials meetings on key matters and policy decisions
  • supporting Minister(s) to work with Ministerial colleagues to build connections with other portfolios and to leverage the many wider benefits of cultural activity.

The Ministry also provides Private Secretary support for portfolio-related matters and to act as the interface between Ministerial offices and the Ministry.

Ministry people

The Ministry had a total of 192 headcount or 182.2 full-time-equivalent employees as at 30 June 2023. As at 8 November 2023, the headcount is 181 or 172.025 FTE.

Departmental costs are small in comparison to the Vote, making up around $30m of the $610m administered by the Ministry.

The Ministry Chief Executive and Secretary for Culture and Heritage, Leauanae Laulu Mac Leauanae, is your main point of contact. He is responsible to our portfolio Minister(s), and for the financial management, performance, and sustainability of the Ministry under the Public Finance Act 1989.

Te Kāhui Mataaho is the Ministry’s leadership team and will support you to implement your vision for the portfolio.

  • Leauanae Laulu Mac Leauanae
    Tumu Whakarae 
    Chief Executive and Secretary
    • Strategic direction
    • Organisational performance
  • Emily Fabling 
    Pou Mataaho o Te Aka 
    DCE Policy & Sector Performance
    • Policy and sector performance advice
    • Monitors the Government’s interest in Crown-funded cultural sector agencies and appointments
    • Research and evaluation
  • Glenis Philip-Barbara
    Pou Mataaho o Te Hua 
    DCE Delivery
    • Administering our legislation
    • Commemorations and memorials (including for Erebus and March 15)
    • Preserving communities’ stories
    • Protecting taonga
  • Mere-Hēni Simcock-Rēweti 
    Pou Mataaho o Te Pae Huarewa
    DCE Māori Crown Relations
    • Strengthening Māori Crown capability
    • Māori Crown engagement & partnerships
  • Joe Fowler
    Pou Mataaho o Te Aka Tūhono
    DCE Investment & Outcomes
    • Managing the Cultural Sector Regeneration and Heritage EQUIP funds and the Cultural Diplomacy International and Creatives in Schools programmes
    • Leading the Operational Management Group
    • Regional Culture and Heritage Fund
  • Sarah Hardy 
    Pou Mataaho o Te Iho
    DCE Organisational Performance
    • Ministerial services
    • Corporate services

Te Rautaki o Manatū Taonga, the Ministry’s 20-year strategic framework

The Ministry stewards the cultural system to make a difference for New Zealanders. This is reflected in our vision statement: Culture is thriving, the people are well (Ki te puāwai te ahurea, Ka ora te iwi).

Our vision and the intentions about how to achieve it are explained in the Ministry’s 20- year Strategic Framework, Te Rautaki o Manatū Taonga (Te Rautaki). Te Rautaki guides us to 2040, the bicentenary of the signing of Te Tiriti o Waitangi, a significant milestone in New Zealand’s history.

Ki te puāwai te ahurea, ka ora te iwi Culture is thriving, the people are well

Te whāinga Where we want to get to

  • Culture is inclusive and reflective, supporting people to connect and engage with each other, their community and society.
  • The cultural system is resilient and sustainable.
  • People can access and are participating in cultural activities and experiences.
  • Iwi and Māori are supported to achieve their cultural aspirations and Māori culture is recognised, valued and embraced.
  • Cultural activity is valued, supported and nurtured.

Te Arataki: Our Māori strategy

  • He ngākau titikaha 
    Striving for confidence across Manatū Taonga.
  • He hononga tangata
    Creating opportunities for all New Zealanders to connect with Māori culture.
  • He hononga Tiriti
    Working in collaboration with our Treaty partners, sector, government and agencies to support iwi and Māori priorities.

Monitoring function

The Ministry drives sector performance for the benefit of all New Zealanders. Our role as a monitor is to support the responsible Minister(s) to perform their role in monitoring the performance of and managing risks to the Crown; and answering to Parliament on the performance of Crown Entities. As monitors, we are also responsible for administering appropriations, administering legislation, and providing independent advice to Minister(s), including advice on the performance of Crown entities.

National memorials, commemorations, and other cultural infrastructure

The Ministry is responsible for many memorials and developing policy and programmes for national commemorations. This work includes:

  • Care of Pukeahu National War Memorial Park (Pukeahu), other monuments, war graves and historic graves throughout New Zealand and overseas
  • Delivery of military commemorations at Pukeahu (as part of an interagency team)
  • Building a National Erebus Memorial
  • Strengthening the earthquake-prone Carillon tower of the National War Memorial
  • [Information redacted, under s 9(2)(f)(iv) of the OIA Act]
  • Working with the Fale Malae Trust to support the potential establishment of a focal point for Pacific culture on the Wellington waterfront.

Online publications

The Ministry maintains, and is developing, a number of websites and online publishing projects. Te Tai Whakaea Treaty Settlement Stories programme, for example, works in partnership with iwi and hapū to support them to share their history and te Tiriti settlement experiences, supporting their cultural aspirations through bilingual digital storytelling and capability building.

Our online work includes:

  • Developing an online historical platform to preserve and share Pacific community stories of the Dawn raids period of the 1970s. This is a tangible outcome of the Government apology delivered in 2021.
  • Host and maintain a suite of history and reference websites that help New Zealanders engage with, and understand, their histories, culture and heritage.

Funding and partnership programmes

The Ministry continues to monitor projects worth approximately $70 million that are funded through the COVID-19 Cultural Recovery Package (CRP), with funded activity expected to be complete by the end of 2024.

Separate to the CRP, the Ministry continues to have a role in both distributing funding with other agencies to deliver joint initiatives. This includes the Commemorating Waitangi Day Fund, Matariki Ahunga Nui Fund, Regional Culture and Heritage Fund, Ngā Kōrero Tuku Iho, Piki Ake! Kake Ake! New Zealand Oral History Grants and the Whiria Te Mahara New Zealand History Grants. We also continue to manage funding agreements from the legacy Heritage EQUIP programme.

The Ministry also manages the Government indemnity scheme for touring exhibitions, which helps reduce the costs of insurance for international exhibitions visiting New Zealand.

Appendix 1: Relationship to Vote Sport & Recreation

The Ministry is responsible for Vote Sport and Recreation.

The Ministry administers appropriations under Vote Sport and Recreation, is the Crown monitor for the three Sport and Recreation-related Crown entities, and assists with appointments for some Sport-related trust boards.

While the Ministry administers the appropriations, Sport New Zealand (Sport NZ) is the primary Sport and Recreation policy adviser to the Minister. Sport NZ also administers the three Sport and Recreation related Acts of Parliament: Integrity Sport and Recreation Act 2023; Sport and Recreation New Zealand Act 2002; and Sports Anti-Doping Act 2006.

Our legislation.


For Vote Sport and Recreation, a total of $163.028 million has been appropriated for 2023/24. This includes funding for sport and recreation programmes ($71.085m), High Performance Sport ($74.542m) and sports anti-doping ($4.758m).

Priority work for the Ministry

The Ministry is involved in the work to disestablish Drug Free Sport New Zealand (DFSNZ) and is establishing the Integrity Sport and Recreation Commission in its place.

The Integrity Sport and Recreation Act 2023 is proposed to commence on 1 July 2024, or earlier if by an Order in Council. The new Act disestablishes Drug Free Sport New Zealand (DFSNZ), revokes the Sports Anti-Doping Act 2006, and establishes the Integrity Sport and Recreation Commission.

A Ministerial Advisory Committee, the Integrity in Sport and Recreation Board (Establishment Board), is in place and overseeing the transition process. The Ministry has begun work on appointments to be made by the Minister for Sport and Recreation to the 7–9-member Commission. Further information, including key actions required by the Minister for Sport and Recreation will be outlined in further briefings.

Appendix 2: International connections in the portfolio

Free Trade Agreements

The Ministry engages with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and supports it in its negotiation of Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) where those agreements affect the cultural system. For example, the FTAs with Europe and the UK commit New Zealand to introducing a reciprocal artist resale royalty scheme.

Cultural Diplomacy International Programme

The Cultural Diplomacy International Programme (CDIP) helps establish and/or maintain a New Zealand cultural presence in key overseas regions or countries to boost our profile and economic, trade, tourism, diplomatic and cultural interests. CDIP’s appropriation from 1 July 2022 to 30 June 2025 was $2.248 million. CDIP is supported by a cross-agency Steering Group [1].

Pacific Regional Culture Strategy 2022–2032

The Ministry leads New Zealand’s contribution to the Pacific Regional Culture Strategy, led by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community. The Strategy is an important guide to advance shared priorities and a vision for culture in the next 10 years – ‘a future where Pacific region cultures are vibrant, visible, and valued for the empowerment, wellbeing and prosperity of our people’. The next meeting of Pacific Ministers of Culture is proposed to be held during the Festival of Pacific Arts and Culture (FestPAC) scheduled for 6–16 June 2024 in Hawai’i.

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

The Ministry engages with the New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO on New Zealand’s commitments to UNESCO conventions and international discussions on arts, culture and heritage. New Zealand is a founding member of UNESCO, being the second country to sign the constitution in 1946. The Ministry will support the National Commission’s attendance at the 42nd UNESCO General Conference in Paris from 7–22 November 2023 by contributing briefings related to arts, culture and heritage items.

International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM)

ICCROM is an intergovernmental organisation dedicated to the preservation of cultural heritage worldwide through training, information, research, cooperation and advocacy programmes. New Zealand is one of approximately 130 member states and has been since the 1980s. The Ministry pays an annual contribution to ICCROM.

Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC)

Founded by Royal charter in 1917, CWGC is a global organisation responsible for the commemoration of the 1.7 million men and women of the Commonwealth who died in two World Wars. The graves and memorials are found in 23,000 locations across 150 countries. The Ministry contributes around $3 million per year, an amount based on the percentage of the New Zealand casualties commemorated.



[1] Made up of representatives from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, Tourism New Zealand, Te Puni Kōkiri, Education New Zealand and New Zealand Story.

Appendix 3: Monitoring of funded agencies and sector performance

Independent Crown entities

Generally independent of Government Policy.

  • Minister for Sport and Recreation or Minister for Broadcasting and Media recommends Board Appointments to the Governor General, and provides advice to the Governor General for removal of Board members, in consultation with the Attorney General.
  • Minister for Sport and Recreation or Minister for Broadcasting and Media sets direction and annual expectations.
  • Agency must ‘give effect to’ the whole-of-Government approach if directed by Ministers of Finance and Public Service.

Broadcasting Standards Authority

Chair: Suzie Staley. Chief Executive: Stacey Wood.

  • Oversees New Zealand’s broadcasting standards regime; considers complaints about broadcasters.
  • Publishes and conducts research on broadcasting standards.
  • Quasi-judicial tribunal established by the Broadcasting Act 1989. 2023/24 Vote $0.859m.

Drug Free Sport New Zealand

Chair: Tim Castle. Chief Executive: Nick Paterson.

  • Anti-doping organisation committed to protecting and promoting a culture of clean, drug free sport.
  • Responsible for administering the World Anti-Doping Agency Code in New Zealand.
  • Established under the Sports Anti-Doping Act 2006.
  • Will be disestablished on or before 1 July 2024 and replaced by the Integrity Sport and Recreation Commission.

2023/24 Vote Sport and Rec: $4.758m.

Integrity Sport and Recreation Commission

Chair: Yet to be appointed. Chief Executive: Yet to be appointed.

  • Enhances integrity within sport and physical recreation to protect and promote the safety and well-being of participants and fairness of competition.
  • Entity will commence on or before 1 July 2024.
  • Will be responsible for the role previously performed by DFSNZ.
  • Parent Crown entity of High-Performance Sport New Zealand Ltd (Subsidiary).
  • Established by the Sport and Recreation Act 2002. 2023/24 Vote Sport and Rec: $7.879m.

Crown agents

Must give effect to Government policy when directed by the Responsible Minister

  • Responsible Minister determines Board appointments (via Cabinet) and (with discretion) can remove Board members.
  • Responsible Minister sets direction and annual expectations.
  • Responsible Minister can direct on Government policy, and the agency must ‘give effect’ to the policy that relates to the entity’s functions and objectives if directed to do so.
  • Agency must ‘give effect to’ the whole-of-Government approach if directed by Ministers of Finance and Public Service.

Sport New Zealand

Chair: Raewyn Lovett. Chief Executive: Raelene Castle.

  • Primary sport and recreation policy provider for the Minister.
  • Allocates funds to sport and recreation bodies.
  • Kaitiaki of sport and recreation sector.
  • Parent Crown entity of High-Performance Sport New Zealand Ltd (Subsidiary).
  • Established by the Sport and Recreation Act 2002.

2023/24 Vote Sport and Rec: $163.028m. Forecast LGB funding: $66.000m.

Crown owned companies

Owned by Shareholding Ministers (Minister of Finance, and Responsible Minister).

  • Shareholding Ministers determine Board appointments (via Cabinet).
  • There is no ability under the Crown Entities Act 2004 for Shareholding Ministers to direct the companies.
  • Shareholding Ministers set direction and annual expectations.
  • The companies have their own legislation.
  • Companies must ‘give effect to’ the whole-of-Government approach if directed by Ministers of Finance and Public Service.

Radio New Zealand

Chair: Dr Jim Mather. Chief Executive: Paul Thompson.

  • New Zealand’s independent public service broadcaster.
  • Is monitored by both the Ministry and Treasury. The Ministry is the lead on Policy.
  • Minister for Broadcasting and Media, and Minister of Finance are shareholding Ministers.
  • Established under the Radio New Zealand Act 1995. 2023/24 Vote: $3.825m. From NZ On Air: $66.606m.

Television New Zealand

Chair: Alistair Carruthers

Chief Executive: Brent McAnulty (Acting).

  • Shares the moments that matter to New Zealanders through commercial broadcasting.
  • Established under the Television New Zealand Act 2003.
  • Is monitored by Treasury, with the Ministry as the lead on policy.
  • Minister for Broadcasting and Media, and Minister of Finance are shareholding Ministers.
  • Appointments to the Board are led by the Treasury.

2023/24 Receives no direct Crown funding but receives contestable funding from NZ On Air.

Autonomous Crown entities

Must have regard to Government policy when directed by the Responsible Minister.

  • Responsible Minister determines Board appointments (via Cabinet) and (with discretion) can remove Board members.
  • Responsible Minister sets direction and annual expectations.
  • Responsible Minister can direct on Government policy, and the agency ‘must give effect’ to policy that relates to the entity’s functions and objectives if directed to do so.
  • Agency ‘must give effect’ to the whole-of-Government approach if directed by the Ministers of Finance and Public Service.

Creative New Zealand

Chair: Caren Rangi. Chief Executive: Stephen Wainwright .

  • National body for the arts, whose purpose is to encourage, promote, and support the arts in New Zealand for the benefit of New Zealanders.
  • Established under the Arts Council of NZ Toi Aotearoa Act 2014. 2023/24 Vote: $16.689m. Forecast NZLGB funding: $49.500m.

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

Chair: Hon Dame Fran Wilde. Chief Executive: Courtney Johnston.

  • Responsible for collecting, conserving, storing, and exhibiting tangible and intangible taonga and works of art.
  • Established by the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa Act 1992 and Crown Entities Act 2004.

2023/24. Vote: $43.575m (Opex). $9.800m (Capex).

New Zealand Symphony Orchestra

Chair: Ainsley Walter. Chief Executive: Peter Biggs CNZM.

  • Provides national touring of orchestral music performed to an international standard, and community and education programmes across the country.
  • Provides opportunities and professional development for New Zealand creatives.
  • Established by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra Act 2004. 2023/24 Vote: $18.131m.

Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga

Chair: Hon Marian Hobbs. Chief Executive: Andrew Coleman.

  • Responsible for the identification, protection, preservation, and conservation of historical and cultural heritage.
  • Established by the Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga Act 2014. 2023/24 Vote: $17.151m.

New Zealand Film Commission

Chair: Alastair Carruthers. Chief Executive: Annie Murray.

  • Supports the New Zealand film industry by investing in films, providing professional development for New Zealand filmmakers, and promoting both New Zealand films and the screen production industry.
  • Established by the New Zealand Film Commission Act 1978.

2023/24 Vote: $5.401m (plus an estimated $70m domestic screen production rebates 2023/24). Forecast NZLGB funding: $21.500m.

NZ On Air

Chair: Dr Ruth Harley. Chief Executive: Cameron Harland.

  • Provides funding for scripted and non-fiction content as well as platforms and music.
  • Independent Government funding agency.
  • Established under the Broadcasting Act 1989.

2023/24 Vote: $218.503m (includes $66.606m for RNZ and $38.737m for Game Development Sector Rebate scheme from Vote Business, Science and Innovation).

Non-Government organisations

  • Receives vote funding to provide certain services.
  • The Ministry enters contractual relationships with these entities for service delivery or to support service delivery.
  • The Crown entities Act does not apply.
  • The responsible Minister does not appoint Board members.

Antarctic Heritage Trust

Chair: HE Datuk Mark Stewart MNZM, PJM (Kehormat). Executive Director: Francesca Eathorne.

  • Engaged in conserving the bases and artefacts of Antarctic explorers such as Sir Earnest Shackleton and Captain Robert Falcon Scott and educating and inspiring young people.
  • An independent charitable trust (NGO) governed by the Charitable Trusts Act 1957 and Trust Deed.

2023/24 Vote $1.526m.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Co-chair: Emily Loughlin and Lynell Tuffery. Chief Executive: Honiana Love.

  • Responsible for collecting, conserving, storing, and making accessible New Zealand’s film, television, and radio material.
  • Independent charitable trust governed by the Charitable Trusts Act 1957 and Trust Deed. 2023/24 Vote: $13.070m (Opex), $6.958m (Capex). Forecast NZLGB funding: $1.700m.

New Zealand Music Commission

Chair: Victoria Blood. Chief Executive: Cath Andersen.

  • Supports and promotes contemporary New Zealand music domestically and overseas.
  • Independent trust governed by the Charitable Trusts Act 1957 and Trust Deed. 2023/24 Vote: $2.228m.

Royal New Zealand Ballet

Chair: Dame Kerry Prendergast DNZM, CNZM. Executive Director: Tobias Perkins.

  • Performs a broad dance repertoire for audiences.
  • Connects through audiences and the education, community, and accessibility programme.
  • Provides opportunities and professional development for dancers, choreographers, and designers.
  • Independent charitable trust governed by the Charitable Trusts Act 1957 and Trust Deed. 2023/24 Vote: $7.134m.

Te Matatini

Chair: Selwyn Parata. Chief Executive: Carl Ross.

  • Supports the long-term development of Māori performing arts through fostering excellence in kapa haka.
  • An incorporated society governed by the Incorporated Societies Act 1908 & Rules. 2023/24 Vote: $19.972m.

Appendix 4: Legislation administered by the Ministry

Arts, culture and heritage

Arts Council of New Zealand Toi Aotearoa Act 2014

Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga Act 2014

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa Act 1992

New Zealand Symphony Orchestra Act 2004

Resale Right for Visual Artists Act 2023 (commences on a single date appointed by the Governor-General by Order in Council; or on 1 December 2024, if it has not commenced by then)

Moveable cultural heritage, heritage property, memorials

Cultural Property (Protection in Armed Conflict) Act 2012

Flags, Emblems, and Names Protection Act 1981 (section 20 is administered by the Ministry of Justice)

Massey Burial-Ground Act 1925

National War Memorial Act 1992

National War Memorial Park (Pukeahu) Empowering Act 2012 

Protected Objects Act 1975

Seddon Family Burial Ground Act 1924

Cultural Property (Protection in Armed Conflict) (Convention Emblem) Regulations 2013 

Cultural Property (Protection in Armed Conflict) (Forms) Regulations 2013

ANZAC Gazette notices issued under the Flags, Emblems, and Names Protection Act

New Zealand Flag Notice 1986 (SR 1986/133) (as at 12 April 2022) Contents – New Zealand Legislation issued under the Flags, Emblems, and Names Protection Act 1981


Anzac Day Act 1966

Broadcasting Act 1989 (Parts 1 to 4 and section 81) 

Sovereign’s Birthday Observance Act 1952

Te Ture mō te Hararei Tūmatanui o te Kāhui o Matariki 2022 / Te Kāhui o Matariki Public Holiday Act 2022

Waitangi Day Act 1976

Broadcasting, media and film

New Zealand Film Commission Act 1978 

Radio New Zealand Act 1995

Television New Zealand Act 2003

Radio New Zealand (Assets) Order 1992

Television New Zealand (Separation of Transmission Business) Order 2003

Television New Zealand (Assets) Order 1994

Bills in progress

Fair Digital News Bargaining Bill

Appendix 5: Research & Evaluation release programme FY2023/24

Strengthening evidence and insights

The Ministry’s Research and Evaluation Team provide key insights to support evidence-based delivery, policy and decision making.

Currently, the Ministry is working in collaboration with cultural agencies to develop a cultural system measurement model. This model will strengthen how data and evidence are collected to provide a more holistic and robust understanding of the attributes, quality and contribution of the cultural system.

Over the next six months, the Ministry will be publicly releasing a series of research and evaluation outputs that provide new insights into New Zealand’s media sector, the impacts of ACH investments and New Zealanders’ cultural participation.

This began with the release of the Infometrics 2022 Sector Profiles in mid-November, which provide economic data on the GDP, business and employment characteristics of the arts and creative sector.

The Ministry will work with your office on timing and opportunities around future releases.

Upcoming Research & Evaluation outputs

ProjectIndicative timing
Mātauranga Māori in the Media 
This research, jointly commissioned by the Ministry, Te Puni Kōkiri and the Broadcasting Standards Authority, examines how mātauranga Māori is treated in the media, including a review of legislation and guidelines for broadcasting.
December 2023
COVID Cultural Recovery Programme – Mātauranga Māori Te Awe Kōtuku Evaluation 
This evaluation provides an in-depth examination of the outcomes of the COVID Cultural Recovery Programme’s Mātauranga Māori Te Awe Kōtuku Programme, delivered from 2021–23. This includes an assessment of ongoing risks to mātauranga and opportunities relating to digital/online spaces.
January 2024
COVID Cultural Recovery Programme – Cultural Activators Evaluation
This evaluation looks at the impacts and outcomes of the Cultural Activators Pilot, a programme funded through the COVID Cultural Recovery Programme’s CARE Fund, delivered in 2021–22.
January 2024
COVID Cultural Recovery Programme – Sector Transformation Evaluation This evaluation looks at the effectiveness of the delivery model and outcomes of the Innovation Fund, an Ministry-administered fund delivered in 2021–23.January 2024
Strategic Framework for a Sustainable Media System – Outcomes Monitoring Framework 
This project includes the development of a monitoring framework and baseline report to assess the health of the media system in relation to the Ministry’s Strategy for a Sustainable Media System.
February 2024
New Zealanders’ Cultural Participation in 2023 
This national survey investigates adult (aged 18+) participation in a range of activities across arts, culture, heritage and media, including enablers and barriers to participation. The research builds on the findings of previous surveys run in 2020 and 2022.
February 2024
Growing Up in New Zealand Year 12 Analysis of Cultural Participation 
Growing Up in New Zealand is New Zealand’s largest contemporary longitudinal study of child development. This project explores the findings from the Year 12 survey to better understand youth participation in cultural activities outside of school.
February 2024
Matariki Spending Analysis 
This research looks at the economic impact of the Matariki public holiday in 2022 and 2023 through an analysis of consumer spending data.
March 2024
Matariki National Survey 2023 
This survey examines New Zealanders’ attitudes towards and engagement in Matariki in 2023. The survey builds on the results of a module examining knowledge and behaviours around celebrating Matariki included in the 2022 New Zealanders’ Cultural Participation survey.
March 2024
COVID Cultural Recovery Programme Impacts Report 2022/23 
This is the third and final report in a series examining the overarching outcomes and impacts of the COVID Cultural Recovery Programme and its initiatives. This report will look back across the Programme to identify key lessons for future policy and delivery.
April 2024

Redacted content

Some parts of this briefing would not be appropriate to release and, if requested, would be withheld under the Official Information Act 1982 (the OIA). Where this is the case, the relevant sections of the OIA that would apply have been identified. Where information has been withheld, no public interest has been identified that would outweigh the reasons for withholding it.

9(2)(a) to protect the privacy of natural persons

9(2)(ba)(i) to protect information where the making available of the information would be likely to prejudice the supply of similar information, or information from the same source

9(2)(f)(iv) maintain the constitutional conventions for the time being which protect the confidentiality of advice tendered by Ministers of the Crown and officials

Official Information Act 1982 (NZ Legislation)