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Creativity is the cornerstone of Arts, Culture and Heritage; from there it flows through to stimulate new perspectives, ideas and innovations in other sectors.

The economic value is clear with over 130,000 New Zealanders working in creative jobs or jobs supporting the creative sector, generating over $17 billion to our GDP and employing over 6% of our national workforce.

That is already a substantial economic value. Collectively we can increase this economic contribution by developing creative career pathways that are more sustainable in terms of the salaries earned, and also in the way they offer professional development and career progression.

We see the importance of making these careers sustainable when we look at British research from 2016 that showed up to 87% of jobs relying on creativity were not susceptible to replacement by automation and artificial intelligence.  Moreover, in 2018 the World Economic Forum found that creativity will increase from fifth place to third on the list of skills desired by employers by 2022.

These creative thinkers and entrepreneurs contribute additional economic value to business by developing unique, quirky and eye catching ways to enhance otherwise standard products and services. Just look at how Lewis Road Creamery is rethinking and rebranding chocolate milk, or how Air New Zealand grabs your attention in quirky safety videos.

More significantly, Social Value is evident when we see how arts, culture and heritage improve social connectedness and mental wellbeing. Individual and collective expressions that highlight our shared values across communities encourage New Zealanders to engage one another. And while we all share our different artistic and cultural heritage; whether you are proudly tangata whenua, or our most recent arrival – our communities from Greymouth, to Greytown to Grey Lynn proudly share our similarities and our differences as shared expressions of our beliefs, our values and most importantly our identity as New Zealanders.

Time and again we see this shared expression in times of crises and tragedy. Events that unify New Zealanders across distinct communities. Following this year’s tragic mosque attack in Christchurch, we showed our grief by sharing artworks or prose online, and joined together in old and new cultural practices at vigils and memorials as we express ourselves and connect with our fellow New Zealanders.

I am focused on finding ways we can grow the value of Arts, Culture and Heritage. I want to engage you in debate, get your thoughts, test different ideas, and question the status quo to find better ways to grow the sector’s value, and turn those ideas into action. 

So click here to complete our Arts, Culture & Heritage Sector Survey.

Best wishes,