Government invests in New Zealand’s cultural recovery

  • Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern
  • Hon Grant Robertson
  • Hon Carmel Sepuloni
Prime Minister Arts, Culture and Heritage

Thousands of artists and creatives at hundreds of cultural and heritage organisations have been given much-needed support to recover from the impact of COVID-19, Prime Minister and Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Jacinda Ardern announced today.

“The cultural sector was amongst the worst hit by the global pandemic,” Jacinda Ardern said.

“Museums, galleries and heritage sites closed, and individual artists and arts organisations like dance and theatre companies saw their incomes decimated almost overnight.

“Funding announced today will help them get back on their feet. New jobs will be created, and the sector will innovate and connect with new audiences.

“Now more than ever we need a thriving arts and cultural sector. We saw in the aftermath of the Canterbury earthquakes the potential of creativity and culture to create jobs, drive economic recovery and enhance social wellbeing, and they can help us do it again.

“Today’s announcement sees Creative New Zealand receive an additional $25 million in funding to support artists, creative practitioners and arts organisations over the next two years.

“National organisations like Te Papa Tongarewa, Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga, Royal New Zealand Ballet, Antarctic Heritage Trust, Waitangi National Trust Board and Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision will receive increases in their funding to help them maintain their core operations in the face of the challenges posed by COVID-19.

Associate Minister for Arts Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni says: “In the development of this package the sector have expressed a deep desire to contribute proactively to the rebuild of New Zealand’s economy and we know they have a pivotal role in this. Creative New Zealand has already exhibited leadership through its $16 million Emergency Response Package this funding will be important to support them to continue that work.

“Alongside my Associate Arts Culture and Heritage role, as Minister of Social Development I continue to look for opportunities to support artists.

“Whether it’s our performing arts or our museums, stakeholders have told me they are keen and able to keep New Zealanders working and get the sector moving again – this funding shows that we are backing them to do just that," Carmel Sepuloni said. 

Associate Minister for Arts Culture and Heritage Grant Robertson says: “This funding for our national organisations will safeguard jobs, and ensure they are able to continue to care for our taonga and provide opportunities for New Zealanders to access the cultural experiences that are so important to our wellbeing.

“A further $2 million Museum Hardship Fund will be available to support museums, galleries and heritage organisations across Aotearoa.

“Our regional museums and galleries protect taonga and stories important to our communities. They provide jobs and important educational opportunities.

“They are major tourist attractions in our cities and regions, which will be important as we see the return of domestic tourism and look towards establishing a trans-Tasman bubble,” Grant Robertson said.

Budget funding initiatives for the cultural sector include:

  • $25 million for Creative New Zealand
  • $1.4 million for the Antarctic Heritage Trust
  • $11.364 million to Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga
  • $18 million for the Museum of New Zealand Te papa Tongarewa
  • $2 million for the Museum Hardship Fund to be administered by Te Papa


  • $31.8 million for Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision (including funding to prevent the loss of the audio and visual collection which is rapidly deteriorating)
  • $2.03 million for Royal New Zealand Ballet
  • $4 million for Waitangi National Trust Board

Full details of the funding are available at