So National has adopted Labour’s arts, culture and heritage policy essentially unchanged. Good.
The flourishing of New Zealand’s arts and culture we’ve seen over the last eight and a half years hasn’t come about by chance, it’s been fostered by generous and targeted funding to give talented people the opportunity to get their work out there in a way that had previously been impossible in a small market like New Zealand.
Cultural cringe is now a thing of the past. Kiwis are proud of our identity, and we don’t want to see arts funding cut. National’s realisation of this fact, however belated, can only be welcomed.
One question remains though – what does National mean when it says it will maintain arts funding “at current levels”? If it’s not inflation-adjusted that means an effective 4% cut in arts funding next year, and a similar cut every year thereafter. It would also make a mockery of their entire policy.
Chris Finlayson – if you’re reading, d’ya reckon you could flick us an email to clear this up?