Cultural well-being enshrined in New Zealand law
News from Creative New Zealand on how a recent change in NZ law places obligations on local government to focus on 'the four well-beings' and recognise the importance of arts and culture to local communities there.
Creative New Zealand welcomes the return of a formal well-being focus for local government, through the Local Government (Community Well-being) Amendment Bill which became law this week. The new law has seen the four aspects of community well-being – cultural, social, environmental and economic – brought back into the Local Government Act.
Bringing back the well-beings will mean councils have a legislative responsibility to promote the cultural well-being of their communities. Arts, culture and creative activity have a huge contribution to make to this, as well as other aspects of well-being.
“Local councils play a really key role in providing opportunities for all New Zealanders to engage with the arts, wherever they live,” says David Pannett, Senior Manager for advocacy.
“The reinstatement of the four well-beings is formal recognition that councils have a significant role to play in lifting the quality of life of our people, and the health of our environment,” Local Government New Zealand President Dave Cull said in a recent statement.
Healthier people, improved education outcomes, greater social cohesion and an increase in job opportunities are all examples of how engaging with the arts improves the lives and well-being of New Zealanders.
Creative New Zealand’s Creative Communities Scheme (CCS) is delivered in partnership with all 67 territorial authorities around Aotearoa. CCS supports cultural well-being in communities by funding projects that encourage participation, support diversity and enable young people.
Image: CubaDupa 2018 - Photography by Oliver Crawford