The Ministry for Culture and Heritage (MCH) (Māori: Manatū Taonga) is the public service department of New Zealand charged with advising the government on policies and issues involving the arts, culture, heritage, sport and recreation, and broadcasting sectors, and participating in functions that advance or promote those sectors.
The Ministry was founded in 1999 with the merger of the former Ministry of Cultural Affairs and the history and heritage functions of the Department of Internal Affairs, as well as some functions from the Department of Conservation and Ministry of Commerce. The purpose of the merger of functions and departments was to create a coherent, non-fragmented overview of the cultural and heritage sector, rather than spreading services and functions across several departments.
Minister for Cultural Affairs Marie Hasler oversaw the transition of functions into the new agency. Opposition Labour MP Judith Tizard, who would later serve as an Associate Minister for the ministry in the Fifth Labour Government of New Zealand, accused the restructure of being "all hype, no substance," lacking the funding and human resource necessary to be effective.
The Ministry of Cultural Affairs had been created in 1991; prior to this, the Department of Internal Affairs had provided oversight and support for arts and culture functions.
The ministry advises the government on policies and issues relating to the arts, culture, heritage, sport and recreation, and broadcasting sectors. It funds 17 other agencies which also support these sectors, looks after monuments and war graves throughout New Zealand and is involved in a number of projects promoting and documenting New Zealand history.
In 2014 the ministry became the guardian of the TVNZ Archive collection on behalf of the crown. It appointed Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision as the initial archive manager. The TVNZ Archive collection contains over 600,000 hours of television spanning almost 55 years of New Zealand's public television history. It includes iconic New Zealand content such as documentaries, dramas, sports programmes and every TVNZ news broadcast from December 1986 to 2014. In a 2014 briefing to Minister Craig Foss, the ministry noted that the long-term preservation of the TVNZ Archive collection did not align with the broadcaster's business needs and that transferring the collection to the crown would allow for the proper preservation of the collection. Both the ministry and TVNZ explicitly wanted to ensure the archive was preserved and that it was made increasingly available for re-use through online streaming and other means.
History and heritage
The ministry supports research into and promotion of New Zealand history. This includes publication of New Zealand history books and e-books, and a number of websites. The ministry's managed sites include:
David Green, a historian working for the ministry, discovered that significantly more New Zealand personnel were engaged in the Gallipoli Campaign than had been recorded in Fred Waite's official history, The New Zealanders at Gallipoli. Waite's number of some 8,500 men was corrected to approximately 13,000 in September 2013.
↑ Foss, Craig (July 31, 2014). Draft speech(PDF) (Speech). Function to mark the transfer of responsibility for the TVNZ Archives to the New Zealand Film Archive. Wellington, New Zealand. Retrieved 2017-12-16.