Good news for performing arts in New Zealand

Things have been pretty bleak for Australian arts recently, but there is some good news for its antipodean neighbour New Zealand: three of its main performing arts companies will get a significant funding boost over the next four years.

Royal New Zealand Ballet (RNZB), New Zealand Symphony Orchestra (NZSO) and Te Matatini – the national organisation for kapa haka in New Zealand – will share NZD11.6m (€7m) to help them ‘push artistic boundaries and reach out to more New Zealanders.’

RNZB executive director Frances Turner welcomed the news: ‘This is the first central government funding increase since 2009-10…it will stabilise us, enable us to confidently build on our successes and to invest artistically and operationally to not only maintain our high artistic standards but to achieve new heights.

‘It will also enable us to reach further into the regions and to provide more New Zealanders with the opportunity to experience, learn about and be inspired by live classical and contemporary ballet, performed by New Zealand’s national company.’

Arts, Culture and Heritage minister Maggie Barry added that: ‘The Government recognises the importance of the arts, and this support shows our commitment to ensuring our leading cultural institutions can maintain their high level of quality and all New Zealanders can have the chance to see them.’

The money breaks down to an additional NZD1m per year for RNZB (a 23 per cent increase), NZD1.2 million per year for NZSO (a nine per cent rise) and a 56 percent funding increase for Te Matatini – up from NZD1.2 million to NZD1.9 million per year.