The Government needs to urgently develop a support package for New Zealand’s live events and creative arts sector, National’s Arts, Culture and Heritage spokesperson Jonathan Young says.
“Our country has a proud cultural history forged by decades of talented people, many of whom have kept us entertained during the lockdown. Their future is now looking grim due to Covid-19.
“Whether it’s drama, dance, music or fine arts – the creative sector is facing a substantial loss in revenue because of the cancellation of live performances and exhibitions.
“I congratulate radio stations who are encouraging listeners to donate to the MusicHelps charity, which supports people and organisations facing hardship due to Covid-19, but more needs to be done.
“The Government should support artists in the creative industries sector by helping with their costs and extending support measures. They will be among the last to resume activities once restrictions are eased, which will likely be well after the wage subsidy scheme ends.
“It has been estimated that the sector contributes about $17.5 billion to New Zealand’s GDP through both creative industries and the creative input to general business activities. This equates to more than 130,000 jobs.
“The creative sector supports our hospitality industry and will be a significant contributor towards the return of domestic tourism in our cities and regions.
“New Zealand is richer for the contributions of our artists and their productions. It’s time for the Government to show they are loyal too.”