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Aucklanders value the arts, research shows

Published: 23 May 2018

Satellites, NIGHT SAFARI, Sandringham Reserve (2017). Photography: Julie Zhu

Research released this week shows Aucklanders are positive about the arts in their city, with participation at its highest recorded level.

The results come from a 2017 national survey undertaken by Creative New Zealand to gauge New Zealanders’ attendance of, participation in and attitudes to the arts. It was supplemented by Auckland Council commissioning additional interviews with residents across the city’s local board areas.

The national survey results were launched today as part of Creative New Zealand’s annual arts hui Nui te Kōrero, by Prime Minister and Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Jacinda Ardern.

The report reveals nearly half of all Aucklanders (48 per cent of respondents) now participate in the arts compared to 43 per cent in 2014, and 79 per cent of Aucklanders have attended or participated in at least one arts event in a year.

Additionally, two-thirds of Aucklanders believe the arts help create economic growth, develop local identity and promote community and personal wellbeing.

“It is encouraging to see that so many Aucklanders value the arts and see the benefits they deliver to our region and communities,” said Councillor Penny Hulse, chair of the council’s Environment and Community Committee.

“It confirms the importance of investing in a culturally rich and creative Auckland where everyone has opportunities to participate and enjoy arts and culture.”

The research also shows there is room to grow engagement and to address the challenges some Aucklanders experience in accessing the arts. Cheaper seats, better transport options, more locally accessible activities, and being able to go with someone were important drivers encouraging attendance at arts events.

The survey results will be used to inform council’s arts strategy and ongoing support for arts and culture, including looking at ways to make the arts more accessible for all Aucklanders.

Read the Aucklanders and the Arts summary report

Read Creative New Zealand’s full national survey, New Zealanders and the Arts.