New Zealanders with lived experience of disability

Key findings on attitudes, attendance and participation in the arts by adults (aged 15+) with lived experience of disability in 2020.

People with lived experience of disability participate highly in the arts, but providing more access and inclusive environments would help.

Read the full Colmar Brunton report (pdf 1.6MB) [55 pages]

Read the HTML summary below or Read the A3 summary (pdf 1.3MB)

Perspectives from people with lived experience of disability are also captured in our research summary:

Easy Read Research Summary 2020 (pdf 2.4MB) [31 pages]

Plain Text Research Summary 2020 (docx 110KB) [50 pages] or Plain text Research Summary 2020 (pdf 400KB)

Arts and culture have supported my wellbeing since the COVID-19 crisis. 33% of New Zealanders with lived experience of disability agree.      The arts are an important way of connecting with my culture. 55% of New Zealanders with lived experience of disability agree.      My <span class='highlight_content'><a data-is-glossary-term='true' data-glossary-href='/glossary/13' class='m-content--glossary tooltip' href='/find-funding/glossary#community' data-title='Community'>community</a></span> would be poorer without the arts. 50% of New Zealanders with lived experience of disability agree.       The arts help improve New Zealand society. 59% of New Zealanders with lived experience of disability agree. 76% of New Zealanders with lived experience of disability have attended or participated in the arts in the last 12 months (data wasn’t collected in 2017 to allow a comparison to be made). Engagement by New Zealanders with lived experience of disability is in line with the national average of 75% in 2020 (the national average for engagement in 2017 was 80%).

Some findings from the research relating to engagement with and views on the arts from New Zealanders with lived experience of disability

Engagement with the arts by New Zealanders with lived experience of disability 

76% of New Zealanders with lived experience of disability have attended or participated in the arts in the last 12 months (data wasn’t collected in 2017 to allow a comparison to be made). Engagement by New Zealanders with lived experience of disability is in line with the national average of 75% in 2020 (the national average for engagement in 2017 was 80%). 

Views on the arts from New Zealanders with lived experience of disability 

  • Has your view of the arts changed in the past 12 months? 25% of New Zealanders with lived experience of disability said more positive (significantly higher than the national average), 63% said there was no change (significantly lower than the national average), 5% said more negative, and 7% said “don’t know” (significantly higher than the national average). This compares to the national average of 17% saying more positive, 75% saying no change, 3% saying more negative, and 5% saying “don’t know”. 
  • Arts and culture have supported my wellbeing since the COVID-19 crisis. 33% of New Zealanders with lived experience of disability agree. 
  • The arts are an important way of connecting with my culture. 55% of New Zealanders with lived experience of disability agree. 
  • My community would be poorer without the arts. 50% of New Zealanders with lived experience of disability agree.
  • The arts help improve New Zealand society. 59% of New Zealanders with lived experience of disability agree. 

Quote from a research participant: “The arts is a way to unwind and be creative with no bounds, you don't have to conform and can simply be who you are.” (This quote comes from a woman, aged between 15 and 17, who identifies as New Zealand European and who lives in Manawatū-Whanganui.) 

Engagement and attitudes vary across the regions, showing the different ways we approach the arts 

This section highlights key findings on attitudes, attendance and participation in the arts by adults (aged 15+) living in different parts of New Zealand. 

As part of the 2020 survey, Colmar Brunton has collated regional reports for 12 parts of the country: 

  • Northland 
  • Auckland 
  • Waikato 
  • Bay of Plenty 
  • Taranaki 
  • Hawke’s Bay 
  • Manawatū-Whanganui 
  • Wellington Region 
  • Nelson, Tasman and Marlborough 
  • Canterbury 
  • Otago 
  • Southland. 

Sample sizes were too small, and margins of error too high, to produce reliable regional reports for the West Coast and Te Tairāwhiti.

Reports for five cities have also been prepared – Auckland, Tauranga, Palmerston North, Wellington and Dunedin – with support from those cities’ local councils. 

Overall engagement (attendance and participation) in the regions broadly mirrored the New Zealand average of 75%. Four regions experienced significant drops on 2017 engagement levels: Auckland (down 5% on 2017); Wellington (down 6% on 2017); Nelson, Tasman and Marlborough (down 8% on 2017); Otago (down 12% on 2017).  

Despite Wellington Region's overall engagement level dropping by 6% on 2017, it was the only region to sit significantly higher than the national average (80% compared to 75%). 

Attendance 

In most regions, attendance is on par with New Zealand as a whole (68%); only the Wellington Region shows significantly higher attendance levels than the national average (73% compared to 68%).  

No regions experienced significant increases on their 2017 attendance levels, and four regions experienced significant declines: Auckland (down 6% on 2017); Nelson, Tasman and Marlborough (down 11% on 2017); Canterbury (down 9% on 2017); and Otago (down 13% on 2017).  

In terms of artforms, there are a number of shifts at a regional level. For example, Otago saw significant decreases in attendance for visual arts (down 11% on 2017), performing arts (down 10% on 2017) and craft/object art (down 14% on 2017). Attendance for ngā toi Māori grew significantly in: Auckland (up 3% on 2017); Bay of Plenty (up 8% on 2017); Taranaki (up 11% on 2017); and Nelson, Tasman and Marlborough (up 13% on 2017).  

Frequency of attendance also varies by region. More people didn't attend arts events or locations in 2020 compared to 2017 in: Auckland (up 6% on 2017); Nelson, Tasman and Marlborough (up 11% on 2017); Canterbury (up 9% on 2017); and Otago (up 13% on 2017). At the other end of the scale, people attending or visiting 11 or more arts events or locations grew significantly in the Bay of Plenty (up 7% on 2017) and in Taranaki (up 14% on 2017). 

Participation 

As with attendance, regional participation is broadly similar to Aotearoa as a whole – no regions showed a significant difference to the national average of 52%, and only the Wellington Region showed a significant drop on 2017, down to 55% (down 8% on 2017).  

There's much less variation between regions in terms of artform participation compared to artform attendance. Auckland saw significant decreases in participation for visual arts (down 6% on 2017) and literary arts (down 3% on 2017) compared to 2017.  

In relation to all of New Zealand, craft/object art participation was significantly higher in Manawatū-Whanganui (30% compared to the national average of 24%), and Pacific arts participation was significantly higher in Auckland (17% compared to the national average of 13%). 

Attitudes 

Like attendance and participation, New Zealanders’ attitudes towards the arts vary region by region. For example, in the Waikato region, fewer people are likely to agree that their community has a broad range of arts and artistic activities they can experience (42% agree compared to the national average of 47%). For Nelson, Tasman and Marlborough, it’s the opposite (56% agree compared to 47% nationally).  

Agreement with local councils giving money to support the arts has grown significantly on 2017 levels in: Northland (up 11% on 2017); Auckland (up 5% on 2017); Waikato (up 13% on 2017); Bay of Plenty (up 7% on 2017); and Southland (up 18% on 2017).  

In terms of arts and culture having a vital role to play in the future of where people live, there's significantly more agreement with this in the Wellington Region (74%) and in Canterbury (70%) than the national average (66%). There's less agreement in Waikato (57%), Manawatū-Whanganui (60%), and Nelson, Tasman and Marlborough (55%). 

COVID-19 and digital access 

Some places were more likely than the national average (31%) to agree that the arts and culture have supported their wellbeing during COVID-19. These are residents from: Wellington Region (37%) and Wellington City (42%); and Dunedin City (40%) and Otago Region (37%).  

Again, people in Dunedin City (36%) and Wellington City (37%) were more likely to have watched more arts and culture activities online since the March 2020 lockdown, compared to the national average (28%).