Survey: Wellington's Heart is in the Arts

30 May 2012

A new survey reconfirms Wellington as the Arts and Culture Capital, showing we attend more art events, more frequently than elsewhere in New Zealand.

The survey, commissioned by Creative New Zealand and Wellington City Council, also shows Wellingtonians were significantly more engaged with the arts online than others.

Mayor Celia Wade-Brown says: "These results show Wellingtonians value creativity - as participants and audience. As well has attending more arts events than most, we're also buying tickets to these events online or viewing the arts on the web more often compared to other New Zealanders - showing that arts and culture is part of every day life for our residents. More than half of our cosmopolitan population take part in the arts as well as a huge majority that value culture in the Capital"

The survey was carried out by Colmar Brunton for Creative New Zealand, with Wellington City Council commissioning further questions to gather specific local data.

Wellingtonians continue to show more support for the arts than other New Zealanders, with 94% agreeing that 'the arts are good for you' compared to 87% nationally.

The survey showed:

  • Wellington residents are frequent arts attendees, with 89% having attended at least one arts event in the past year, above the national average of 80% percent.
  • Wellington has more frequent attendees, with 45% attending more than 10 times, compared with 32% nationally.
  • Residents are significantly more engaged with the arts online than other New Zealanders - 49% have purchased a ticket online compared to 39% nationally and 63% having viewed an art form online compared to 51% nationally.
  • 80% of Wellingtonians consider their community would be poorer without the arts, compared with 69% nationally.
  • Wellingtonians' participation in the arts is consistent with the national average and younger Wellingtonians are much more involved, with 37 percent of 15 to 29-year-olds actively involved the past year, compared to just 23 per cent of over-30s.
  • 83% of residents consider creativity to be important to Wellington's identity as a city.

Councillor Ray Ahipene-Mercer, the Council's Arts and Culture portfolio leader, says the survey shows that even in tough times Wellingtonians still value the city's arts and culture.

"Since the global economy went downhill in 2008, it's been a challenging few years for Wellington but this survey confirms the city's residents are still getting out there and supporting the many diverse events in and around the city. A good example is this year's International Arts Festival where attendance was up 10% on the previous 2010 festival."