Thursday, March 19, 2015


The Ministry for Culture & Heritage and Creative New Zealand have just published An economic profile of the arts in New Zealand. They say it's a working paper. That could mean they're looking for feedback (although we didn't find a specific request) but there's not a lot to go on. The question is, does it work as a stimulus to ideas and discussion? There are so many disclaimers and excuses, it’s hard to see how.

Apart from a don't-blame-us-for-any-mistakes clause from MC&H and CNZ, how about these four game-breakers that kick the project off:

“Government support for the arts (both central and local government) is difficult to quantify, as there are multiple funding streams and it’s not always possible to identify funding for specific arts-related activities within the broader ranges of activities supported.” i.e. it's hard to identify arts funding.
“Because the research is limited to secondary data analysis (that is, the data wasn’t collected specifically for the purpose of this analysis), the data and the way in which it was collected were not the most ideal for this analysis.”

“Creative design activities such as graphic design and fashion design were excluded from the research, as most of the output of this type of activity involves mass commercial production.”

“Most of the data used in this research is drawn from Statistics New Zealand datasets and is reported according to their coding classifications for occupations and industries. 
Under that classification system a significant proportion of arts activities are not captured with sufficient detail to allow them to be readily identified and analysed.”

So, at the very least, buyer beware and probably best to wait for V 2.0