Arts and Culture


  • While patronage by wealthy individuals and families has always been a feature of arts funding in capitalist countries, the market-driven competitive ethos that prevailed in New Zealand during the 1990s led to an arts world that was even more dependent on corporate sponsorship to survive.

  • More funding is going to ‘the arts’, but much of it goes to traditional establishment art and performance and to arts organisations such as regional arts trusts. Little, if any, funding foes to people involved in community-based art, or those trying to demystify or broaden the reach of art to people in general.

  • The funding system is bureaucratic and depends upon managerial committees made up of mostly bourgeois members awarding grants on the basis of what their members perceive as merit. This system rewards a small group of artists and writers again and again.

  • We spend more on the armed forces than the arts, despite cultural activities being a high priority activity for many New Zealanders.

We stand for the following policies

  • The establishment of community-based arts centres, as part of our commitment to building community participation, ownership and engagement with arts and cultural resources, especially in rural areas and working class urban areas.

  • Dedicated funding for the cultural development of Maori art, dance and theatre.

  • A commitment to public art, including funding for sculptures, murals, free musical, dance and other artistic performances.

  • Ensure that state funding reaches as many artists as possible to enable them to publish or produce their works, either as individuals or as groups, and to publicise them.

  • The overhauling of Arts funding mechanisms to make them more democratic, simplified and community-oriented.

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