The Government’s Arts and Culture COVID Recovery Programme shows the first full year of funding (to 30 June 2021) has helped protect the cultural sector from the worst early impacts of COVID-19, an impacts report has shown.
“The Government’s strong economic management and investment in the arts and culture sector in response to COVID-19 has protected jobs, supported livelihoods and cushioned the blow for the arts and culture sector,” Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni said.
“The report shows, that up to 30 June 2021, our Government’s significant investment in the sector has created over 1,500 jobs, many of these in the Arts and Creative sector,” Carmel Sepuloni said.
“In addition to creating and protecting jobs, the results show that our Government’s focus on securing the recovery has helped cultural organisations stay afloat, and encouraged New Zealanders’ ongoing participation in, and enjoyment of, the arts.
“Right across the sector, we’ve seen great resilience and adaptability. If we look at Te Papa for example, they used the circumstances to further connect with domestic audiences, delivering a summer programme tailored to Kiwis. The result was a huge boost in New Zealanders discovering, or rediscovering, the magic of Te Papa.
“Of course, some parts of the sector were more vulnerable to COVID-19 conditions. This data paints a picture of a cultural sector still in recovery, but one that is making strides towards building back better,” Carmel Sepuloni said.
The latest sector employment forecast to March 2021 estimates a 1.7% decline in employment, which would have been significantly higher without Government support.
“The data provides heartening optimism and shows that the financial support provided by Government to the sector over the next several years will have a positive impact on employment and economic activity in the arts and culture sector and wider economy.
“Delta has changed the rules of the game considerably, which is why when Delta hit, we worked as fast as we could to reprioritise funding to meet the cultural sector’s need for urgent support.
“In the new year, I’ll look to undertake bilateral meetings with my counterparts across the globe to compare our responses to COVID-19 in the arts and culture sector, as we continue to evolve and adapt our approach in a rapidly changing environment.
“As we continue to face the challenges posed by the pandemic, it’s encouraging to see our Government’s support is paying off with the positive impact reflected in the data,” Carmel Sepuloni said.