Whanganui's art and heritage scene was the centre of attention on Wednesday as National MP Jonathan Young stopped by to tour the city's most famous attractions.
The party's Art, Culture and Heritage spokesman is responsible for overseeing his party's policy on the sector. He was in town to visit attractions in the lead up to Whanganui Heritage Month, beginning next Thursday.
While in town, Young toured the Whanganui Regional Museum alongside local MP Harete Hipango, which he says he was impressed with.
"I think it's fabulous. A lot of people come and visit here from the Whanganui region but also outside of it. This needs to be promoted, particularly because of its rich history," Young said.
"These are our most important learning centres to understand not just our past, but also our future."
Across the aisle, the current Minister of Arts, Culture and Heritage is Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. The fourth-term National MP says that while the current government has done "pretty well" in supporting the sector, the post-Covid support package announced by Ardern isn't being distributed fast enough.
"There is always the case of working out the details and trying to get that funding to institutions and practitioners as quickly as possible."
"I think at this point in time the due diligence around the arts, culture, and heritage funding is getting a few people frustrated."
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As well as holding the Arts, Culture and Heritage portfolio, Young is also the MP for New Plymouth, a city he says has a strong relationship with Whanganui.
"We have a really good relationship. We share the commonality of being two regions connected. Having such similar histories, not always that wonderful as we know, we're at a point where I think is a juncture point for the region to start being forward focused around our cultural heritage.
"The Whanganui and Taranaki stories, when people get to look at them, research them, read them, and understand them, its clear they're stories that can be told right around the world."