Cultural Identity In Young People's Hands

  • Marie Hasler
Cultural Affairs

We need to preserve and foster our own New Zealand cultural identity and young people have a defining role in this, Cultural Affairs Minister Marie Hasler says.

Celebrating today's launch of the draft arts curriculum in schools, Ms Hasler said its holistic approach is vital to preserving our national culture.

"Cultural education gives our young people the skills and self-confidence to get the most out of cultural experiences, and gives our artists the skills they need to maintain our cultural traditions, care for our heritage and develop new forms of expression.

"Nurturing our young artists is crucial if we are to maintain our national identity in an environment where much of our life is dominated by influences from outside New Zealand. The need to foster and protect our own cultural heritage and potential is becoming increasingly important.

"This is the first long hard look at the arts curriculum and it gives an important new and comprehensive focus to the way the arts are taught and appreciated in schools.

"The curriculum will be a spring board for our young people to further develop their artistic talent in dance, drama, music and the visual arts as well as appreciate the rich and culturally diverse nation we live in.

"As people involved in the arts and cultural sector have the opportunity to comment on this draft curriculum, before it becomes compulsory in 2002, we can be assured of a comprehensive application."