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Source: New Zealand Government

Government support for the cultural sector to help it recover from the impact of COVID-19 has resulted in more cultural sector jobs predicted through to 2026, and the sector performing better than forecast.

The latest forecast by economic consultancy ‘Infometrics’ reflects the impact of Government investment in keeping people in work and highlights how resilient the cultural sector and its workers are, Arts Minister Carmel Sepuloni said.

“The cultural sector has benefited from the Government’s health and economic management of the pandemic, which included a $374 million recovery programme specifically designed to support arts and culture.

“The updated forecast is for a decrease in the number of available jobs in the sector of just one percent in the year to March 2021. Infometrics also predicts an increase in cultural sector jobs through to 2026. This is despite forecasts in March 2020 of an estimated decline in cultural sector employment of 11.7 percent (around 11,000 jobs) as a result of COVID-19.

“The updated forecast shows that our Government’s continued focus on growing our economy through the COVID-19 economic interventions we’ve put in place has boosted the recovery for important sectors such as the arts and culture.

A separate report aimed at understanding audience participation in the cultural sector in late 2020, show how keen New Zealand audiences are to get back to cultural activities, Carmel Sepuloni said.

Commissioned by Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage, it found New Zealanders are eager to return to shows, museums, art galleries, and other cultural sector events.

“The findings provide encouragement for groups and organisations within the cultural sector. COVID-19 alert levels and restrictions have prevented people from attending events, but the new research suggests people were very keen to re-engage at COVID alert level one.

“For example, while only 12 percent of people attended a New Zealand music event in late 2020, 41 percent said they would attend at least occasionally in the next 12 months.

“What we can take from this is that COVID-19 has not dampened New Zealanders’ appetite for cultural pursuits and activities,” Carmel Sepuloni said.

MIL OSI