Delamere Delighted With Kapahaka Funding

  • John Delamare
Associate Treasurer

Te Tai Rawhiti MP and Associate Treasurer, Hon Tuariki Delamere, said today he was delighted that traditional Maori performing arts were being formally recognised by the Government as an integral part of New Zealand's culture.

Mr Delamere and the Minister of Cultural Affairs, Hon Simon Upton, announced today that the Aotearoa Traditional Maori Performing Arts Society, which runs a biennial Festival attracting an audience of 50,000 people, will receive $1.103 million in the May 14 Budget. This is the first time Maori performing arts have received a Budget allocation.

Mr Delamere said "Not only is the actual funding significant, but of equal importance is the fact that the Festival Society will get a direct line item in the Budget.

"This means the money is specifically allocated and not aggregated with other cultural funding. This will allow the society to plan with certainty over a period of years, rather than having to rely on the vagaries of sponsorship and annual funding applications to Creative New Zealand," he said.

In the past, the winning group of each Aotearoa Festival has generally represented New Zealand at a high profile event overseas. The support provided by Government will give security of funding for future international representation.

A group from the Aotearoa Festival will now be able to represent New Zealand at the Commonwealth Cultural Festival in Kuala Lumpur during September 1998.

The Minister of Cultural Affairs will be responsible for the Government's support of the Aotearoa Festival. The Minister will now oversee funding for a group of performing arts companies which includes the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and the Royal New Zealand Ballet, which has just received additional funding in excess of $1 million in the 1998 Budget.

Mr Delamere said he was delighted that Maori performing arts were being recognised as an integral part of the arts sector in New Zealand. "I am pleased that my efforts at getting funding for ballet and Maori performing arts have borne fruit," he said.