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Source: Taxpayers Union

The New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union is questioning the value of the Arts Continuity Grant, a COVID-19 response fund which has so far paid out $16 million in grants to a variety of questionable short-term arts projects.
Since March, Creative NZ has offered grants of up to $50,000 for ‘a short-term arts project, or the stage of a project, that can be delivered within a changed and evolving environment as a result of COVID-19.’
New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union spokesman Louis Houlbrooke says, “Many of the descriptions of these projects are, frankly, incomprehensible. It’s hard to see how bureaucrats in Creative NZ can make an objective judgment on which art is worthy of funding, and which is not.”
“The resulting handouts speak for themselves. Creative NZ is fighting COVID-19 by spending taxpayer money on plays about menstrual cycles, Māori ‘healing theatre’, and ‘Indigenised Hypno-soundscapes’. That’s madness and it reflects terribly on the Minister of Arts Culture and Heritage – who happens to be Jacinda Ardern.”
“These grants are massively unfair to taxpayers, with the benefits skewed toward politically-connected Wellington weirdos. Handouts for fringe interest groups mean less money is available for tax relief that would reward productive work.”
637 projects have received taxpayer funding under the Arts Continuity Grant, including the following:
Eamonn MarraTo research and write the first draft of a novel about male affection in hypermasculine spaces.AWARDED: $13,000
Fireplace Arts & MediaTowards the composition, recording and production of music inspired by the psychogeography of the West Coast.AWARDED: $34,900
Julia GrayTo support the personnel costs and post-production editing for an art documentary based on Papua New Guinea tattoo practice and revival.AWARDED: $27,500
Donovan BixleyTowards one phase of illustrating a biography of Leonardo da Vinci.AWARDED: $21,080
Alison Foster, Catherine CooperTowards writing a children’s picture book (text only) about sustainable community activist Helen Dew.AWARDED: $3,200
Glitter GardenTo create and develop an online publication, arts learning resources and musical content based on children’s drag theatre show, The Glitter Garden.AWARDED: $18,000
Jess JohnsonTo create a new series of collaborative quilts with my mother, textile artist Cynthia Johnson.AWARDED: $17,850
Kate NewbyTowards intensive artistic research and development.AWARDED: $49,368
Kath BeeTowards the composition and instrumental arrangement of 10 songs for children, from ideas given by children.AWARDED: $24,600
Tamara Neilson-TetzlafTowards a live event watch party and livechat with fans online.AWARDED: $24,153
Tayi TibbleTowards writing poetry that explores indigeneity and love in the time of climate change.AWARDED: $17,798
Duncan SarkiesTowards writing a novel about the collapse of democracy in an association of alpaca breeders.AWARDED: $26,000
Kimberley YoungTowards a dance concept video showcasing the impact Coronavirus has had on the New Zealand Chinese community.AWARDED: $24,500
Rosemarie KirkupTowards the development of a first draft of a play that explores the menstrual cycle.AWARDED: $16,766
Nicole DuckworthTo record and livestream a performance from Fat Freddy’s Drop.AWARDED: $44,007
Khali Philip-Barbara, Te Kahureremoa TaumataTowards an Indigenised Hypno-soundscape to take you to the imagined worlds of our Kōrero Pūrākau.AWARDED: $49,999
Connor MasseursTowards development of a movement technique that guides and empowers the participants in becoming specialists in their own body.AWARDED: $4,530
Iain GordonTowards 3 x hour-long live-streamed electronic music performances with live visual animations, from a kitchen in Paekakariki.AWARDED: $47,703
Mad AveTowards a wananga for Maori healing theatre practitioners.AWARDED: $50,000
New Zealand Comedy TrustTo examine what changes need to be made to better support a more diverse and sustainable comedy industry in Aotearoa.AWARDED: $49,780
Benedict FernandezTowards composing and recording ten original compositions inspired by emotions felt during the Covid-19 lockdown.AWARDED: $8,885
Imogen TaylorTowards development of a new body of work exploring modernism, feminism & queerness, with specific reference to the Otago region.AWARDED: $30,089
Claire O’LoughlinTowards revision and editing of a sailing memoir.AWARDED: $7,200
Jared KaneTowards a Māori, queer, young adult novel adaptation of Hamlet based on my innovative unproduced screenplay ‘Hamarete’.AWARDED: $21,000
Indigenous Design and Innovation AotearoaTowards designing new Māori typefaces for print and digital.AWARDED: $22,110
Peter DaubéTowards the writing, arranging and preproduction of music that forms a song-cycle from the suburban labyrinth.AWARDED: $21,800