News & events > New Zealand government launches $175m arts and music recovery package
11 Jun 2020

New Zealand government launches $175m arts and music recovery package

The NZ government has announced a $175 million package to boost the arts and creative sector in the wake of Covid-19. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced a jobseekers programme and four new funds to help the arts and music sector.

"The arts and music sectors have been decimated by Covid-19," Ardern said in a statement.

"Treasury forecasts suggests that without government intervention, the cultural sector will be hit roughly twice as hard as the rest of the economy, and 11,000 jobs could be lost within a 12-month period."

The Careers Support for Creative Jobseekers programme will be given $7.9m of the total and build on the Pathways to Arts and Cultural Employment (PACE) programme.

The government expects it could help up to 2000 people in creative jobs over four years.

Ardern said the intiatives would help provide more opportunities for those in the sector to keep earning an income and rebuild their careers.

"We know many of our creatives get income from multiple sources and it is an ongoing challenge to piece together the gigs and commissions to earn a livelihood."

The government had also announced almost $100m of a funding boost on the previous day towards the arts and cultural sector to recover from the impacts of Covid-19.

The rest of the money in this announcement will be divided among the four new funds:

  • Creative Arts Recovery and Employment Fund: $70m over three years for supporting the rebuild of the creative industries by commissioning and supporting creative projects at a national and local level.
  • Cultural Innovation Fund: $60m over three years for a contestable fund to support new ways of operating, cross-sector partnerships, and create new ways to add value to the economy, particularly through digital exports. This will include supporting innovative approaches to Māori artforms and traditional knowledge.
  • Cultural Capability Fund: $20m for a focus on immediate needs in response to Covid-19, such as legal services, online delivery and audience development.
  • New Zealand Music Recovery Fund: $16.5m specifically directed towards the contemporary popular music industry (including $7.1m to boost NZ on Air's New Music programmes, $5m for a Live Music Touring Fund, $3m immediate support for safe music venues which will be administered by the NZ Music Commission, and $1.4m to help musicians recoup lost income via Outward Sounds and NZ Music Month.)

The news was welcomed by Creative New Zealand

“Arts and creativity will be fundamental to our country’s ongoing recovery from COVID-19, so we’re delighted to have this additional investment to deliver to our hard-working arts community – a community that’s core to the heart and soul of Aotearoa New Zealand. It’s terrific to see the Government’s confidence and appreciation of the role of creativity and culture in our society. This investment will enable us to build on what we’ve delivered already under urgency.”

Arts Council Chair Michael Moynahan

The government also announced an extra $60 million over two years for the nation's libraries.

The funding was designed to ease the burden on councils by paying librarians' wages, providing free internet and reducing other library costs.

The government expected the New Zealand Music Recovery Fund to help sustain 2900 jobs over two years, produce 455 new song releases and 150 live music tours throughout New Zealand.

The first wave of funding would available from July 2020.

Further information: Creative New Zealand