New Zealanders place great value on culture and engaging in cultural activities. Public entities in the arts, culture, and heritage sector play an important role in ensuring that all New Zealanders have access to the arts and their heritage, and in supporting and developing artists and arts organisations. Some of these entities are also responsible for conserving many of our national treasures and artefacts.
The Government provides about $500 million to the sector each year. Local authorities provide about another $500 million.
The theme of my work programme for 2014/15 is Governance and accountability. As part of this theme, I wanted to look at whether entities in the sector have effective governance arrangements to help them fulfil their responsibilities. Governance arrangements in the arts, culture, and heritage sector play an important role in maintaining freedom of artistic expression and ensuring that the preservation of heritage is not unduly influenced by personal interests.
We looked at the effectiveness of governance arrangements in six public entities – two art galleries, a museum, a museums trust, and two funding agencies. For each entity, we assessed the governance arrangements according to five aspects of effective governance:
- strategic direction;
- leadership and culture;
- monitoring and review;
- risk management; and
- internal controls.