Social Capital

Participation in the arts

The social, cultural, educational, and health impacts of arts and cultural activities are supported by a large evidence base [25,26]. Regular participation in arts events and activities is associated with greater life satisfaction and general happiness [23]. In particular, research suggests that regularly engaging in arts activities that involve active participation (such as playing an instrument or acting in a play) has positive effects on wellbeing [27].

This indicator presents overall participation in the arts, based on participation in the following art forms in the last 12 months: visual arts, craft and object arts, performing arts, literature, Pacific arts and Māori arts. Participation is defined as active involvement in the making or presentation of art forms.

The figure shows that 52 percent of Canterbury respondents to the 2020 New Zealanders and the Arts survey had participated in at least one art form in the 12 months prior to November 2020. This proportion is consistent with the proportion for all respondents (New Zealand overall, 52%). Participation among Canterbury respondents was highest for craft and object arts (26%), followed by the visual arts (25%), Ngā Toi Māori (17%), performing arts (15%), literary arts (13%), and Pacific arts (11%). Participation by Canterbury respondents in all six art forms is in line with participation by all New Zealand respondents (New Zealand art form data not shown).

Data Sources

Source: Creative New Zealand.
Survey/data set: New Zealanders and the Arts survey to 2020. Access publicly available data from the Creative New Zealand website
Source data frequency: Every three years.

View technical notes and data tables for this indicator.

Updated: 17/01/2023