Launch of the toi iho Maori Made Mark

  • Judith Tizard
Arts, Culture and Heritage

Tihei Mauri Ora.
E nga mana, e nga reo, e nga iwi, o te motu, Nga hau e wha,
Tena Koutou, Katoa.
Nau mai haere mai ki te whenua o Tamaki Makaurau, ki te hui no “Toi Iho Maori
Made mark”.
Nau mai, haere mai, haere mai ra.

Sir Hugh Kawharu and representatives of Ngati Whatua, especially Takutai Wikiriwhi, who welcomed us all here tonight.

Dr Pakaariki Harrison and the Maori artists who worked on the Mark and those who gathered here

Elizabeth Ellis & Pita Sharples and other members of Te Waka Toi past and present.

Peter Biggs and others from Creative New Zealand

Murray Shaw, Chair of the Arts Board of Creative New Zealand

Parliamentary colleagues

And the many artists and arts supporters here tonight

Chris Saines – Auckland Art Gallery

·Greetings from the Prime Minister Helen Clark the Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage.

·Also the greetings of Hon Parekura Horomia, the Minister of Maori Affairs.

·In May 2000, the Labour-Alliance Government made a significant injection of funding into the arts – the Cultural Recovery Package

·This launch tonight is the result of that funding being used to fulfil a dream that many Maori artists and Te Waka Toi have had for many years. But more of that in a minute.

·The Government made this commitment to arts, culture and heritage for three main reasons.

·Firstly, the arts are about passion, communication, confrontation and identity.

·Secondly, the arts are about how we describe our culture, and our turangawaewae. Our arts, culture and heritage play a huge role in defining our nation. In a globalising world, it is important that we continue to tell our own stories. If we don’t know who we are, how, as a trading nation, do we know what’s for sale and what’s not?

·We do have a special, unique story to tell

·Thirdly, creative industries are about innovation and are one of the keys to growth. Creative industries can make a significant contribution to New Zealand’s social and economic well-being. They are a rich source of employment, foreign exchange earnings, they promote increasing productivity and cultural tourism.

·So we put up more than $80 million in the first year of the Cultural Recovery Package announcement, with extra funding increases of over $20 million in each of the next three years.

·In the Cultural Recovery Package was a $20 million injection of funding into Creative New Zealand.

·Of the many initiatives that we have seen carried out with Cultural Recovery Package funding, the Toi Iho Maori Made Mark is one that clearly reflects all of the reasons we have made the arts a priority – intrinsic worth, identity and economic necessity.

·The Toi Iho Maori Made Mark initiative is part of Creative New Zealand’s Seriously Maori Strategy which has been developed with funds from the Cultural Recovery Package. The components of the Seriously Maori Strategy evolved from Te Waka Toi’s extensive consultation with Maori over several years

·Ill-informed detractors of the Mark, - who did not wait for its launch to wade in with their criticism – ignore the history of the initiative and complain that this is, once again, “special treatment”.

·It’s not – This is a first step to protect the cultural and intellectual property of artists in New Zealand.

·We started here because it’s simple – Maori art is unique to New Zealand. It has evolved over more than a thousand years, it predates European settlement and is not only an integral part of New Zealand life. It is the base upon which our culture stands.

·As a nation, we need to preserve traditional Maori arts and encourage contemporary expression of those arts.

·More access and information, and an informed awareness of Maori art by all New Zealanders, will enhance the cultural literacy and confidence of all New Zealanders.

·There is a burgeoning interest in Maori art and culture both in NZ and internationally

·The Maori Made Mark will assist Maori to create careers as practicing artists

·The mark will not only benefit Maori artists, and those who work alongside them, it also will benefit buyers and retailers

·Assurances of authenticity and quality have been lacking in the tourism industry for many years; the Maori made mark provides this to New Zealanders and visitors from overseas.

·In our 1999 election policy, “Uniquely New Zealand”, we stated that we believe that by delivering appropriate support to the sector, significant growth can be achieved in a sustainable way.

·The Labour-Alliance Government is pleased to support this important initiative for Maori artists, which will have far reaching, long-term benefits and effects.

·I want to emphasise that strategic partnerships are vitally important in the arts. I would like to particularly thank Creative New Zealand and Te Waka Toi for their work in developing this valuable tool.

·I also want to thank the artists, the iwi and business people who have supported this work.

·I’m delighted to be able to launch this major initiative for Maori art and artists. Here is the video presentation, which launches toi iho, the Maori Made Mark.