Finance Minister puts on his arts hat to invite applications for funding from a culture trough

Taxpayers were called on to cough up $87,994 million in the 2019 Budget, accounting for much of the $120,984m which the Treasury estimated would be collected in government revenue this financial year.

In his Budget speech, Finance Minister Grant Robertson said:

So, today in this first Wellbeing Budget, we are measuring and focussing on what
New Zealanders value – the health of our people and our environment, the strengths of our communities and the prosperity of our nation. Success is making New Zealand both a great place to make a living, and a great place to make a life.

This week, Robertson sounded a hog call for oinkers to gather around a trough he cares for as associate minister of arts, culture and heritage.

He was inviting us– or some of us – to get our snouts into a $7 million swill titled the Regional Culture and Heritage Fund.  

Employment Minister Willie Jackson, meanwhile, was dishing out money from another trough, the He Poutama Rangatahi (HPR) scheme.

How much?

Jackson didn’t give a firm figure in his press statement, but the headline on it said “over $1 million”.

All up, the total being dished out by Robertson and Jackson is a spit in a $120 billion  spending bucket.

It’s over to readers (and taxpayers) to judge whether it is being well spent –

Applications invited for $7 million Regional Culture and Heritage Fund

Applications are now open for the fifth round of the Regional Culture and Heritage Fund Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Grant Robertson announced today.  

“I am delighted to open this year’s fund which has some $7 million available to support performing arts venues, galleries, museums and whare taonga throughout Aotearoa,” Grant Robertson says.

“Through the fund the Government is able to consider requests from these entities to make sure their significant capital projects are completed.

“Since its establishment the fund has supported 16 capital projects across the country, by awarding a combined total of $30.1 million.  

“Cultural institutions benefitting from the fund include the soon to be open Rakiura Heritage Centre on Stewart Island and the Hawke’s Bay Opera House in Hastings, and the recently reopened Lawson Field Theatre in Gisborne and Nelson Centre of Musical Arts.

“The Government is pleased to support the continued success of these regional cultural establishments as they are vital to the wellbeing of our communities.

“Institutions which have a significant role in housing major collections and offering unique cultural experiences, are also important regional economic contributors through domestic and international tourism,” Grant Robertson says. 

Applications, for capital projects with genuine funding shortfalls, are invited to apply by 5pm on Friday 20 March 2020 with decisions to be announced in early June.

Over $1 million to help Tairāwhiti youth into employment

Employment Minister Willie Jackson announced today that Tairāwhiti rangatahi will benefit from an investment made by the Government’s He Poutama Rangatahi (HPR) scheme.

The funding will go to the Tautua Village, Kauneke programme and the Matapuna Supported Employment Programme which will fund 120 rangatahi over two years.

“Both programmes work to help young people in danger of long term unemployment find their feet in the world of work,” Willie Jackson said.

“Tautua Village is focussed on helping develop leadership skills, using a Te Ao Māori and Pasifika framework to teach work readiness skills, while the Kauneke project is an expansion of that vision to build employment readiness amongst hard to place rangatahi including Māori, Pacific, Rainbow and those with a disability.

The Matapuna project is also an expansion on an existing successful programme and will work with rangatahi who are in danger of becoming unemployed when they turn 18.

The programme will be delivered in partnership with Trust Tairawhiti and will not only help develop essential employability skills but will also support those that complete the programme into sustainable employment.

“These are brilliant examples of local people working hard to help local rangatahi. It’s essential that Government funds the right programmes, led by the community to help tackle the significant economic and social challenges that Tairāwhiti faces” said Willie Jackson.

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