The Government is spending an extra $4 million on boosting the creative learning programme for kids in schools - a move Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says will provide jobs for 300 artists.
The programme is designed to pair experienced artists and creatives with school children, to teach them how to express themselves creatively through art, dance, drama and music.
Education Minister Chris Hipkins said: "The Creatives in Schools programme is designed to enhance students' wellbeing, improve skills in communication, collaboration and creative thinking and raise their awareness of creative careers."
• Watch: Parody video of Jacinda Ardern Covid-free dance goes viral
• Covid-19 coronavirus: Jacinda Ardern returns home, finds two-month-old milk in the fridge
• Covid 19 coronavirus: Jacinda Ardern reveals when NZ will move to alert level 1
• Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern 'angry' at The Warehouse for axing more than 1000 jobs
He added that the programme was particularly important in the wake of Covid-19 – "the value of creative learning experiences cannot be over-estimated".
The additional $4 million over the next three years will expand the Creatives in Schools, from the current 304 projects to 510.
The Government expects it will employ 300 more artists to help teach the extra 206 courses.
She said the cultural sector has been hard hit by Covid-19, so it's important that the Government focuses on rebuilding the sector.
"Covid-19 has had a significant impact on the cultural sector, with some forecasts showing that more than 10,000 jobs could be gone in the next 12 months without Government intervention," Ardern said.
"We want to keep growing the music and arts industries in New Zealand and it's important that young people are aware of the opportunities in the creative industries."
Today's $4m boost for the programme is on top of the $175m the Government has already allocated to the creative sector.
As well as art programmes, the new funding will provide opportunities for students to learn about visual arts, dance, drama and music.
"The programme provides opportunities for creatives to share their expertise in areas including film making, game design, fashion design, spoken word, and expertise in ngā toi Māori," Hipkins said.