Building A Vibrant Creative Sector – Green Party


The Green Party will push for better conditions, more certainty, and greater opportunities for New Zealand’s artists and creatives as part of the next Government, Co-leader of the Green Party, James Shaw said today.

James Shaw was visiting the Raglan Creative Market this afternoon where he announced the party’s arts and culture policy. This includes a Living Wage for those involved in publicly-funded creative projects, and a commitment to work with councils, Iwi and local groups to ensure there are accessible venues all over Aotearoa, so more people can enjoy all forms of art in their local community.

“Raglan Creative Market is an outstanding example of a community getting behind its local artistic and creative talent, and providing a space for it to be enjoyed by everyone. It was great to see just how much talent there is around Raglan. I’m sure communities across Aotearoa are brimming with similar levels of creativity. We just need to give it the space to flourish.

“However, we know that all over Aotearoa artists are working without the certainty of a stable income, and many don’t even know if there will be a suitable venue to showcase what they have achieved. A significant reason for this is the fact that previous governments have starved the sector of necessary funding. That, coupled with the impact of COVID-19 on paying audiences, has left too many of our most talented people facing an uncertain future.

“As part of the next Government, and in partnership with Labour, we will push to make sure artists and creatives all over Aotearoa are supported to succeed. This means making sure artists and creatives earn enough to live on, as well as funding artists properly and supporting the local venues that are critical for musicians and creatives trying to build an audience.

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“Our plan for a Guaranteed Minimum Income will also provide much needed help so struggling artists can cover their basic expenses,” James Shaw said.

The Green Party will also support the next generation of New Zealand artists by funding arts, culture, and creativity in schools, including supporting the Creatives in Schools programme.

“Encouraging our children to express themselves through art and creativity can be a great way to help them to explore their connection to the world around them. School is a great place to do this and funding arts, culture, and creativity in schools, will give our kids the chance to learn new skills and ways of expressing themselves that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives. It will also employ artists who will help to deliver the Creatives in Schools programme,” James Shaw said.

The Green Party would also push to make sure creativity is recognised in future Wellbeing Budgets and the Treasury’s Living Standards Framework, so it influences policy-making right across government.

“As anyone who has listened to music, watched a movie, or made something of their own, creativity is hugely important for our wellbeing and our economy. We all benefit from using our imagination – whether it’s drawing, dancing, singing, or even baking. With the Greens at the heart of the next Government, we will work to make sure this is better reflected in the decisions we make. This will ensure we harness the full wellbeing benefits of creative activities,” James Shaw said.

Further information

The Green Party will also:

  • Require public funding goes directly to artists themselves
  • Make donations to non-profit art and creative organisations tax-deductible, like charities are
  • Support and fund more locally made content on television, radio and online
  • Ensure funding of arts and culture organisations does not solely rely on gambling revenue, and work with venues to secure revenue that doesn’t rely solely on alcohol consumption
  • Support Aotearoa’s artists to tour overseas, when safe to do so

A copy of the Green Party’s Policy Vision Document Think Ahead, Act Now: Our Green Vision for Aotearoa is available at


  1. Finally a bit more creativity in policy from the Greens, pity they did not champion the arts while they were in power. It might be too little, too late. Any NZ citizen who graduates from an arts program in NZ who works within the arts (privately or publicly in music, fine arts, dance, performance) or has significant work/talent should qualify for an arts UBI to kick start a much more creative, dynamic NZ.

    This is the dire NZ arts scene – where artists are forced to be labourers to earn a living.

    Note that the specialist arts library was the first to be destroyed at Auckland University and the books to be destroyed, while the university chancellor was paid over $600,000 p/a – one of the highest paid public servants in NZ.

    No book burning, but some may face shredder – Auckland uni

    (Note none of the Greens seem to bother to show up to stop the travesty above).

    • Also Labour/Maori Party should steal a pro active arts policy. Even Helen Clark seemed to do more for the arts than the current Labour government.

      With Covid, now is the time to have an arts UBI for NZ citizens who graduate from an arts program in NZ who works within the arts (privately or publicly in music, fine arts, dance, performance) or has significant work/talent should qualify for an arts to kick start a much more creative, dynamic NZ and actually foster local artists talent, national identity in NZ.

      Domestic tertiary students have been declining in NZ, this could help stop some of the decline and empower those in NZ, to turn to the arts.


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