February 02, 2016

The government spends a half billion dollars on arts, culture and heritage each year but has little indication of what the public actually wants from public expenditure. At present mainly ‘experts’ decide what cultural goods and services should be supplied from the public purse.

With New Zealand’s rapidly changing demography, low barriers to finance, production and distribution of cultural goods and services, and new technology to assist funding decisions, there is an opportunity to improve the match between public spending and public preferences.

Simple tools are becoming available to ensure that public preferences are taken into account and that demand-side policies redress a supply side imbalance.