Covid-19: Jacinda Ardern unveils more than $70m for arts, bailout for Te Papa

Derek Cheng, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Thu, 28 May 2020, 3:29PM

Covid-19: Jacinda Ardern unveils more than $70m for arts, bailout for Te Papa

Derek Cheng, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Thu, 28 May 2020, 3:29PM

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced more than $70 million for the arts sector, including an $18 million package to keep national museum Te Papa afloat.

It is part of a broader package for the sector, which has been crippled by the Covid crisis.

The $18 million for Te Papa was a substitute for the revenue for the cafe, koha and events at the premises.

"The cultural sector was amongst the worst hit by the global pandemic," said Ardern, who is also Minister of Arts, Culture and Heritage.

Arts venues were more than just cultural, they were destinations, Ardern said.

They're also a place where people get a lot of wellbeing, she said.

The money would go to both maintaining and creating jobs.

"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."

Two arts festivals were about to start when Covid hit - the Comedy Festival and the Film Festival.

Having summer events, like Rhythm and Vines in Gisborne, was critical because of what they contributed to local economies.

Te Papa was "a real treasure" for New Zealand and being able to visit again is really important.

Ardern said it wasn't fair to characterise the $18 million as a "bailout" because they hadn't been able to operate.

"That's not a fair characterisation."

Ardern said it was a "very lucky choice" New Zealanders have to holiday at home and urged Kiwis to treat this long weekend like any other holiday and visit tourist attractions, cafes and adventure tourism destinations.

The funding announced today includes:

• $18 million for Te Papa

• $25 million for Creative New Zealand

• $11.364 million to Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga

• $1.4 million for the Antarctic Heritage Trust

• $2 million for the Museum Hardship Fund, for museums, galleries and heritage organisations nationwide

• $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

The money for Creative New Zealand will support artists, creative practitioners and arts organisations over the next two years.

Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Grant Robertson said the money would save jobs.

"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 transtasman bubble."