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Māori Arts helps drive national engagement with arts to a record

Press Release – Creative NZ
New Zealanders’ increasing attendance and participation in Ngā Toi Māori (Māori Arts) has contributed to a record high 80 % national arts engagement, according to new research.

Findings released today from New Zealanders and the Arts 2017 show growing Ngā Toi Māori engagement contributed to an increase in national arts engagement, up from 77 % in 2014.

Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Jacinda Ardern announced key findings from the triennial survey today at Nui Te Kōrero, a capability building event for arts organisations held in Wellington.

These showed participation in Ngā Toi Māori, including artforms such as kapa haka, te reo Māori, raranga, taa moko, and whakairo, increased from nine to 12 %. Attendance increased to a record high with around one in five people attending a Māori arts event during a twelve month period.

Arts Council Māori Committee Chair Suzanne Ellison said the findings illustrated the increasingly important role Māori have in developing the arts in New Zealand through advancing Ngā Toi Māori.

“It is no surprise that Ngā Toi Māori is not only helping to enrich the lives of more New Zealanders but is also playing a significant role in helping define our distinctiveness as Aotearoa – New Zealand.”

The findings showed 60 % of respondents felt Nga Toi Māori helps shape our national identity, with a significant minority of respondents believing Nga Toi Māori supports well-being and encourages people to speak Te Reo. The survey was the first to canvas attitudes towards Ngā Toi Māori.

The results also showed Māori are more engaged in the arts compared to others and their engagement is deeper, with Māori attending or participating in the arts more frequently than most.

“Together with the findings of our recent series of national hui, where we engaged with artists, communities and organisations kanohi ki te kanohi (face-to-face) across the country, these results give us a deep body of knowledge from which to draw on to develop a new, by Māori for Aotearoa, national Māori arts strategy,” she said.

About the survey

New Zealanders and the arts: Attitudes, Attendance and Participation in 2017 was an online survey conducted by Colmar Brunton consisting of more than 6,000 respondents with a margin of effort of +/- 1.3%. Survey questions relating to Nga Toi Māori were funded by Te Puni Kōkiri – Ministry of Māori Development. In 2017 the survey methodology changed from telephone to online which had an impact on the results. To allow the 2017 data to be compared with previous surveys a parallel “lite” telephone survey was conducted alongside the online survey. Findings from the previous telephone surveys have been re-weighted to an online equivalent. A companion, Audience Atlas New Zealand 2017, has also been published. It provides a detailed insight into New Zealanders’ relationship with arts, which arts and cultural organisations can use to increase audience engagement. More information on New Zealanders and the Arts 2017 can be found on the Creative New Zealand website.

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