The Ministry of Cultural Development yesterday had its appropriation in the 2019/20 Budget passed before the committee of supply in Parliament.
The ministry has been provided with a gross appropriation of about $2 million this financial year to deliver the plans they have in the coming months.
Part of the new funding is $200,000 per year to help with Cook Islands’ participation in various overseas and domestic cultural events.
Additional funding has also been provided to resource the ministry to progress with the digitisation of audio and visual project in Wellington.
The salary adjustment for the Ministry of Culture staff is allocated for 2020/21.
Ministry of Cultural Development secretary Anthony Turua said he was pleased with the funds allocated to his ministry.
“We have got some great increases in both our operation budget, personnel and also our POBOC (Payments on Behalf of Crown) funding,” Turua said.
“I have an annual budget I can access to help all my cultural events apart fromTe Maeva Nui. As we have a number of cultural events during the year and I had to rely on lot of sponsors but now I have secured an annual budget of $200,000 which will assist our operation together with support from the sponsors.
“I’m really grateful and honoured to receive this ongoing budget for the next three years.”
Turua said the appropriation would also help with the ongoing staff restructure within the ministry.
The restructure will take place in three phases over three years due to budget constraints, he said.
“I can only bring on a number of personnel for the first and second year and we should have a complete new staff structure by 2021. I’m looking at a minimum of 33 staff to run the Ministry of Cultural Development. This restructure came out of the capacity assessment of the ministry which links into our National Culture Policy and Strategy 2017-30.”