Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage

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Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage
Coat of arms of New Zealand.svg
Flag of New Zealand.svg
Jacinda Ardern, 2018.jpg
Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern

since 26 October 2017
Ministry for Culture and Heritage
StyleThe Honourable
Member of
Reports toPrime Minister of New Zealand
AppointerGovernor-General of New Zealand
Term lengthAt Her Majesty's pleasure
PrecursorMinister for Culture and Heritage; Minister for Cultural Affairs; Minister for Arts and Culture; Minister for the Arts
Formation12 December 1975
First holderAllan Highet

The Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage is a minister in the government of New Zealand with responsibility for arts, culture, heritage, and broadcasting, and is in charge of the Ministry for Culture and Heritage. The position was established in 1975 as Minister for the Arts.

The present Minister is Jacinda Ardern, the current Prime Minister and leader the Labour Party.[2]


The Third National Government of New Zealand established a ministerial portfolio with responsibility for the arts at its election in 1975. This reflected a growing interest of the Government in the cultural sector.[3] The name of the portfolio changed to "Minister for Arts and Culture" in 1987. During this period, the portfolio was serviced by the Department of Internal Affairs.[3]

A separate portfolio, Minister responsible for the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, was established in 1987. This was held first by Jonathan Hunt (24 August 1987—9 February 1990)[4] and subsequently by Margaret Austin (also the Minister for Arts and Culture; 9 February 1990—2 November 1990)[4] before being subsumed back into the responsibilities of the Minister for Arts and Culture.

A standalone agency, the Ministry for Cultural Affairs, was established by the Fourth National Government in 1991, which necessitated the change of title to "Minister for Cultural Affairs." With the creation of the Ministry for Culture and Heritage in 1999, which brought together cultural and heritage responsibilities in the same agency, the portfolio title changed to match its department. The present name was adopted in November 1999 at the election of the Fifth Labour Government.

List of Ministers[edit]


  National   Labour

No. Name Portrait Term of Office Prime Minister
As Minister for the Arts
1 Allan Highet EP-NZ Obits-H-Highet Allan-tn.jpg 12 December 1975 26 July 1984 Muldoon
2 Peter Tapsell Peter Tapsell (cropped).jpg 26 July 1984 24 August 1987 Lange
As Minister for Arts and Culture
3 Michael Bassett Michael Bassett.jpg 24 August 1987 9 February 1990 Lange
4 Margaret Austin Margaret Austin 2012.jpg 9 February 1990 2 November 1990
5 Doug Graham No image.png 2 November 1990 3 October 1991 Bolger
As Minister for Cultural Affairs
(5) Doug Graham No image.png 3 October 1991 16 December 1996 Bolger
6 Christine Fletcher No image.png 16 December 1996 12 September 1997
7 Simon Upton Simon Upton 01 crop.jpg 12 September 1997 31 August 1998
8 Marie Hasler No image.png 31 August 1998 1 September 1999
As Minister for Culture and Heritage
(8) Marie Hasler No image.png 1 September 1999 27 November 1999 Shipley
As Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage
9 Helen Clark Helen Clark 2.jpg 27 November 1999 19 November 2008 Clark
10 Chris Finlayson Chris Finlayson-Net Hui 2011.jpg 19 November 2008 8 October 2014 Key
11 Maggie Barry Maggie Barry crop.png 8 October 2014 26 October 2017
12 Jacinda Ardern Jacinda Ardern, 2018.jpg 26 October 2017 Incumbent Ardern

List of Associate Ministers[edit]

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appointed two Associate Ministers:[2]

No. Name Portrait Term of Office No. Name Portrait Term of Office Prime Minister
Associate Minister of Arts, Culture and Heritage

(Minister of Sport and Recreation)[5]

Associate Minister of Arts, Culture and Heritage Ardern
1 Grant Robertson Grant - Aro Valley candidates meeting crop.JPG 26 October 2017 Incumbent 1 Carmel Sepuloni Carmel Sepuloni cropped.jpg 26 October 2017 Incumbent


  1. ^ "Parliamentary Salaries and Allowances Determination 2016" (PDF). Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Ministerial List". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Retrieved 26 October 2017.
  3. ^ a b "History of Government involvement in culture". Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 26 February 2017.
  4. ^ a b G.A. Wood (ed.). Ministers and Members in the New Zealand Parliament (2nd ed.). Dunedin: University of Otago Press. pp. 68–76.
  5. ^ "Our Ministers | Ministry for Culture and Heritage". Retrieved 28 June 2018.

External links[edit]