Since the filing of New Zealand's last periodic report in 2012, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage has developed the Cultural Sector Strategic Framework which sets out the Ministry's approach to leading and working with the Cultural Sector in New Zealand to achieve our vision of ‘New Zealand's distinctive culture enriches our lives’.
Our vision recognises that our distinctive culture is core to what makes New Zealand a great place to live. Cultural expression, engagement and understanding are fundamental to a vibrant and healthy society and help define what it is to be a New Zealander. Māori culture makes New Zealand unique in a globalised world and is central to our sense of place, identifying us as a nation. Active participation by Māori in distinct te ao Māori activity will ensure Māori culture is protected and flourishes.
Culture is produced by creative and innovative individuals, groups and organisations. The activities, goods and services they create, produce and distribute have a value which is cultural, social and economic. Cultural expression expands individual capacities, helps bind society and provides jobs and innovation in the economy.
Government makes a significant contribution to the broad cultural sector each year in order to ensure that public value is realised and distributed for the benefit of everyone. In 2013/14, the Ministry invested almost $400 million in arts, heritage, media and sport through Vote Arts, Culture and Heritage and Vote Sport and Recreation. Additional support to the cultural sector is provided through other public sources including the education sector and local government. The cultural sector contributes to achieving positive outcomes across a wide range of other government portfolios outside the sector.
One of the key challenges in implementing the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions is that the way New Zealand promotes its culture and heritage does not always fit easily into the framework of the Convention. While New Zealand legislation and policies do not formally refer to the Convention, the principles and aspirations of the Convention are incorporated into New Zealand's legislative framework including the Treaty of Waitangi, the Human Rights Act and the Bill of Rights Act.
The role of protecting and promoting the diversity of cultural expression is the responsibility of a number of government departments and agencies, including:
- Ministry for Culture and Heritage and our funded agencies
- Te Puni Kōkiri - Ministry for Māori Development
- Office of Ethnic Communities
- Human Rights Commission
- Ministry of Pacific Peoples
- Office of Treaty Settlements