October 16, 2006


Bill Sheat             posted 16 Oct 2006, 11:49 AM

I don’t want to comment about the play but about John Smythe’s gratuitous comment that it was staged after “many years of National Party indifference to the arts”. Perhaps he was not in the country but to mention just a couple of Impotant events he seems to have missed: the National Government appointed the first Minister of the Arts,  Allan Highet and in 1978 set up the Film Commission. Some indifference!

Bill Sheat

John Smythe      posted 16 Oct 2006, 07:02 PM / edited 17 Oct 2006, 11:29 AM

Fair comment Bill. I could argue Allan Highet was the key to that shift and – as ex Labour minister for privatisation then leader of ACT Richard Prebble so eloquently noted in the run-up to the 1999 election – the Arts vote in the annual Budget remained so pitiful that even to abolish it completely would have been of no value to any other sector.  Which is not to say it’s sufficient now …

But what interests me more is points people may have to make about state and/or bureacratic inteference in the artistic process.  Does Creative New Zealand do its job or exceed its mandate in doing as it does? I keep hearing stories that suggest CNZ exerts a great deal of power over the actual content of seasons proposed by recurrently funded theatre companies. Is this so – and if so, is it fair?

Be brave people – we owe it to ourselves and the future.

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