Coming from one of the country’s most creative and historic regions, I’m thrilled to be named the National Party’s new Arts, Culture and Heritage.
This portfolio adds to my existing responsibilities in Energy & Resources, and Regional Development (North Island).
Taranaki has a vibrant arts scene and it’s been said there are more artists per capita than anywhere else in the country. That’s not hard to believe – you just need to visit our many galleries as well as take a drive around the coast, or check out the Taranaki Arts Trail.
The New Plymouth Operatic Society continue to produce world class shows, driven by the passion of local Taranaki people.
From a strong base of grass roots talent, the region has developed an enviable reputation and facilities like Puke Ariki, the Govett-Brewster/Len Lye Centre have secured our premier status overseas.
Each year I’m an enthusiastic participant in WOMAD and the other events that are so well organised by the Taranaki Arts Festival Trust. I’m looking forward to working even more closely with Suzanne Porter and her talented team.
I’m conscious that arts, culture and heritage aren’t always about the past either, which is one of the reasons then-Prime Minister Bill English announced a $5 million dollar Government contribution to St Mary’s Cathedral in 2017. Looking to the future, the Project will see the Cathedral at the centre of a significant heritage, education and visitor destination.
I’m excited about this new role and look forward to advocating on behalf of the talented artists, avid historians who celebrate who we are as New Zealanders.
MP for New Plymouth
National Party Spokesperson: Energy & Resources
National Party Spokesperson: Regional Economic Development (NI)
National Party Spokesperson: Arts, Culture & Heritage