Arts and Culture minister affirms commitment to New Zealand Symphony

Posted on: July 24, 2012

Tuesday (7/24) on the New Zealand news site, Katie Chapman reports, “Arts, Culture and Heritage [Minister] Chris Finlayson says disestablishing the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra is unthinkable. The idea has been put up for discussion, among others, in a review of the country’s orchestras by the Culture and Heritage Ministry. The review highlights a need for change, amid concerns that rising funding and falling ticket sales are making the sector unsustainable. The four regional orchestras—in Wellington, Auckland, Christchurch and Dunedin—along with the NZSO, receive about $17 million a year from the Government. The ministry released the discussion paper yesterday and invited feedback on four scenarios … for a new management structure. This includes switching to a ‘city and community orchestra network’, with no government-owned, national touring orchestra. There would be at least one orchestra of international standard. … Ministry deputy chief executive Katherine Baxter said the scenarios were meant to spark debate, but how they would work in practice was unknown. … Finlayson has already ruled out getting rid of the NZSO. ‘The NZSO is a jewel in the cultural crown. There is no question of its survival under this Government.’ ”

Posted July 24, 2012