Cultural Spending Up - Despite The Dominion's Gaffe

  • Simon Upton
Cultural Affairs

Cultural Affairs Minister, Simon Upton, restated the arts funding situation after a wildly misleading headline in the Dominion muddied the waters.

The overall Cultural Affairs vote falls from $67 million in 1997/8 to $46 million in 1998/9, but that is only because the Museum of New Zealand has been finished. A fact obvious to the 723,000 visitors who have already flocked to its precincts.

"In reality, excluding the construction costs of Te Papa, baseline funding for cultural affairs has increased by over $4 million, from $34.9 million to $39.1 million. That's an increase of over 10%.

"New money has been provided for the Royal New Zealand ballet, Kapa Haka, and the New Zealand Film Archive.

"On top of the baseline increase nearly $3 million will be spent improving the Otago Museum over the next two years.

Mr Upton concluded, "in a difficult budgetary environment the arts and culture sector has done rather well."