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Source: New Zealand Government

The Government’s ground-breaking COVID-19 recovery programme Te Urungi: Innovating Aotearoa is continuing to revitalise arts and culture through innovation in more regions across the country, Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni said.

“COVID-19 has been enormously challenging for Aotearoa’s arts and culture sector, particularly in our regions where the smaller-scale population base and local economy is harder hit by the impacts of the pandemic.

“In recognising this, the Government are funding 41 arts, culture and heritage projects across the Hawkes Bay, Waikato and Nelson regions, following the latest round of Te Urungi: Innovating Aotearoa events,” Carmel Sepuloni said.

“Ensuring a vibrant and resilient arts and culture sector is critically important to our wellbeing and our local sense of identity. The Government recognises that we must protect what we have, and support our arts and culture sector to develop the tools they need to survive and thrive. Championing innovation across the arts and culture sector is an essential part of this work.

Te Urungi recognises both the economic value and the critical importance of arts in our everyday lives, and fosters new ways of thinking and creating that will drive the recovery and resilience of our arts, culture and heritage sector.

“The arts and culture sector contributes approximately $10.9 billion to the New Zealand economy, making up about 3.4 percent of GDP. Arts and culture also contribute positively to the wellbeing of people and both these aspects mean the sector is critical to our country’s post-Covid recovery.

“This is why the Government has committed nearly a half billion dollars to the arts and culture sector, firstly through the $374 million Arts and Culture COVID-19 Recovery Programme announced in May 2020, and more recently with the $121 million Omicron support package for the arts and culture sector,”

Since May 2021, 146 innovative projects across Aotearoa New Zealand have been supported to bring their innovative ideas to life.

“The potential of these projects for transformational impact is very exciting. Many of them have found innovative ways to safeguard and transmit Mātauranga Māori. Some are going to make an impact locally through providing better access to our stories. Other projects are developing solutions that many practitioners and institutions can use,” Carmel Sepuloni said.

The projects most recently awarded funding include:

  • Small Hall Sessions – awarded $250,910 for a project which will bring musicians of national and international repute to the community halls of Hawke’s Bay
  • Toi o te Tau Hou – awarded over $145,454 to develop a digital platform enabling Māori and Pasifika creative practitioners to strengthen and leverage Matariki as a time to celebrate creative practitioners’ role in communicating mātauranga.
  • Te Āwhina Marae – awarded $500,000 for a project to revitalise knowledge base for the restoration of Ngā Toi Māori in Te Tauihu, foster an inter-generational succession plan, protect regional mātauranga Māori, and create recognised pathways for visual and practical arts communities.