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Hon Maggie Barry

Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage

26 May 2016

$11.6m new funding for the arts

Three major arts organisations will receive a funding boost in Budget 2016, Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Maggie Barry says.

The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra (NZSO), Royal New Zealand Ballet (RNZB) and Te Matatini Kapa Haka Aotearoa will share $11.6 million of new operating funding over the next four years - a permanent increase of $2.9 million a year for the arts.

“All three of these Crown-funded organisations are producing truly world-class work and are part of our national culture. This new funding represents a significant, long term boost to their budgets, allowing them to push artistic boundaries and reach out to more New Zealanders,” Ms Barry says.

The RNZB annual grant will increase by 23 per cent to $5.4 million from 2016/17, enabling it to increase its touring programme, including the popular Tutus on Tour, and educational outreach work.

“I've attended several Ballet performances since becoming minister and it always impresses. It has a commendable funding model - around 65 per cent of its revenue comes through its own box office, philanthropy and commercial partnerships.”

NZSO funding will increase from $13.4 million to $14.6 million from 2016/17, to allow it to perform more concerts and undertake more regional tours.

“Our national orchestra took New Zealand culture to the world this year, winning a prestigious Grammy nomination for Best Orchestral Recording,” Ms Barry says.

Funding for Te Matatini, the national kapa haka organisation, will rise from $1.2 million per year to $1.9 million from 2016/17 - a 56 per cent increase.

This will allow Te Matatini to increase community involvement in traditional Māori dance and promote its health and social benefits, as well as taking the best of kapa haka to the world as it did at the recent Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

“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.”

Media contact: Alex Fensome 027 2772 313

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