An introduction to New Zealand cultural policy

Cabbage tree Otago peninsulaIn recent years New Zealand’s employment in creative cultural occupations has grown faster than total employment. This is in stark contrast with Australia, where creative arts occupations have taken a dramatic plunge.

Could the difference simply be due to a ‘lag’ in New Zealand data, or does it signal something more substantial? Have New Zealand’s cultural policies been more successful in promoting cultural sector sustainability? Or has New Zealand benefited from its special citizen-in-residence, film-maker Peter Jackson?

If the strong growth in cultural employment is due to the ‘Jackson effect’, then New Zealand cultural policymakers face an unusual succession planning problem: what to do when Jackson’s run ends.

In An introduction to New Zealand cultural policy I look at New Zealand’s cultural policy system and take a quick scan of recent policy developments and issues.

The online version of the article is in two parts: Part 1 and Part 2. Or alternativly you can read the whole thing in one lump in my collection of essays Cultural Policies Australasia (PDF 1.8 MB).

This is the third in a series of article I have written for the Culture360 magazine. The others are An introduction to Australian cultural policy and Policies for boosting arts demand (see also the supplemental post Modelling the economic impacts of cultural policies).

The article follows up on some of the issues raised in my editorials for the special Australasian edition of cultural trends.