Arts, Culture & Heritage COVID-19 Delta Relief Funding Package Announced

September 29th 2021
The NZ Music Commission Te Reo Reka O Aotearoa welcomes the COVID-19 Delta Relief Funding announced today by Hon Carmel Sepuloni, Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage to support the immediate needs of venues, performing artists and others in the arts community impacted by the current COVID outbreak.

The music community across Aotearoa has been severely impacted by the current COVID Delta outbreak, particularly in live music with hundreds of shows cancelled or postponed since 17 August.


Manatū Taonga, the Ministry for Culture & Heritage, is leading the COVID response with a range of initiatives and investments to support the arts sector in New Zealand through re-prioritising uncommitted funds from 2022/23 in the existing Arts & Culture COVID Recovery Programme.


Victoria Blood, Chair of the Music Commission, says “the COVID-19 Delta Relief Funding package announced by Minister Sepuloni will give much-needed support to the cultural sector in Aotearoa in the short term, and greater medium-term certainty and confidence to plan for music and other events over the coming summer months.”


The Music Commission will be delivering the music-specific components of the government’s COVID-19 Delta Relief Funding package. This includes:


  • A second round of the NZ Music Venue Infrastructure Fund will open, focused on music venues where there have been NZ artist performances of original music cancelled or postponed since 17 August. Full details will be posted on our website when applications open on 1 October.


  • The Aotearoa Touring Programme will be expanding its capacity to support grant recipients who incurred costs for shows which were cancelled or postponed since 17 August. Artists impacted will be contacted directly and further details will also be available on the Music Commission website from 1 October.


  • The NZ Music Commission will work alongside the charity MusicHelps to ensure NZ artists and music workers affected by the current Alert Level shifts can be supported if suffering hardship.


Music Commission Chief Executive, Cath Andersen, said “Tours supported through the Aotearoa Touring Programme alone have seen over 160 shows affected to date, with many, many other performances unable to take place nationwide. Gathering restrictions are an important part of the health response, but it means that artists, venues and other live music workers have incurred huge costs with no event income until they are able to reschedule at a later date, if at all. The Music Commission is looking forward to working with Manatū Taonga to deliver quick turn-around support focused on the live music sector in the coming weeks.”


Other organisations distributing funds as part of the package announced today are Creative New Zealand, Te Papa and the NZ Film Commission, and cross-sector support will be available directly through Manatū Taonga.


Full details of the Manatū Taonga COVID-19 Delta Relief Funding package is available on their website here:

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