An Overview


Start: 2013-05-17, Publication: 2013-07-10



Name:Owen Ambur


Name:Ministry for Culture and Heritage



  • Our MinistersThe Ministry is accountable to the Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, Hon Christopher Finlayson. The Ministry is also charged with advising and providing services to the Minister of Broadcasting, Hon Craig Foss, in relation to broadcasting issues and the Minister for Sport and Recreation, Hon Murray McCully, in relation to Crown-funded sports agencies.

  • Christopher FinlaysonChristopher Finlayson attended Victoria University, Wellington, where he graduated with a BA in Latin and French and a Masters Degree in Law. For 25 years he has practised law becoming a barrister sole in 2003. He is currently a member of the Rules Committee of the High Court which regulates court procedures in New Zealand. Christopher served on Creative New Zealand's Board for six years and chaired the Arts Board from 1998 - 2001. He was also a Trustee of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra Foundation and is well known for his sponsorship of the arts. Christopher entered Parliament in 2005 as a National Party Member of Parliament and assumed his current roles in the John Key Government after the November 2008 election. In December 2012, he was appointed Queen's Counsel.

  • Craig FossHon Craig Foss, Minister of Broadcasting -- Craig Foss was elected as the Member of Parliament for Tukituki at the 2005 General Election. Craig has a Bachelor of Commerce and Administration from Victoria University. In 1985, Craig was hired by the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) treasury in Wellington. Craig also managed the BNZ Singapore treasury office for six months in 1990. Credit Suisse Financial Products, London, (CSFP), employed Craig in 1993. After managing the financial risks across many European markets, he was appointed to Director of European Trading in 1996. In 1998 Craig moved to Tokyo, to manage CSFP's Japan and Pacific trading operations.

  • Murray McCullyHon Murray McCully, Minister for Sport and Recreation -- Mr McCully entered Parliament in the 1987 General election. He was first appointed a Minister in October 1991. He has held the Customs, Housing, Tourism, ACC, and Sport, Fitness and Leisure (including responsibility for the America's Cup and Millennium events) portfolios. He holds an LLB and is a qualified barrister and solicitor. Prior to entering Parliament, he was principal of a major public relations company.

  • Ministry Leadership Team

  • Lewis HoldenLewis Holden, Chief Executive -- I am the Ministry's Chief Executive. I liaise with Ministers and oversee the running of the Ministry, developing and facilitating new initiatives for the Ministry and cultural sector. My job is varied, and reflects the diversity of the sector and the Ministry's work. Before joining the Ministry, I held Deputy Secretary positions at the Ministry of Economic Development and other senior roles at The Treasury and Washington DC's World Bank. History and literature are great interests of mine. I've studied journalism, history and politics, and hold a Masters degree from Yale University in Public and Private Management.

  • Ronald MilneRonald Milne, Deputy Chief Executive, Heritage Services Branch Manager -- I am one of two Deputy Chief Executives and the Heritage Services Branch Manager. I lead a team which has a strong track record of delivering high quality publications (including websites), and acting as a guardian of New Zealand's heritage. Examples of our products include the authoritative and accessible online national encyclopedia, Te Ara, oral history projects, and websites such NZHistory, the 28th Māori Battalion and QuakeStories. I joined the Ministry in December 2011 after a career working in research libraries. Most immediately, I came from the Alexander Turnbull Library, where I was Associate Chief Librarian (Research Collections). I had previously worked in the UK at the British Library, and also at a number of other institutions with rich heritage collections, including Trinity College Cambridge and the University of Oxford. Though my expertise is in the documentary heritage, my cultural and heritage interests are wide-ranging. I particularly enjoy listening to music (mostly ‘classical'), have an interest in photography and a librarian's enthusiasm for books, both their content and as artefacts. I am a graduate of University of Edinburgh, with a degree in German, and hold an MA in Library and Information Studies from the University of London.

  • Matt ArcherMatt Archer, Corporate Services Branch Manager -- I joined the Ministry as Finance and Administration Manager in 1992. The role broadened into Corporate Services Manager as the Ministry grew, and I now head the Corporate Services Branch, overseeing the running of key support services including communications, finance, human resources, information management and legal. The Corporate Services Branch is also responsible for accountability documents and reports to the Government about the outputs of the Ministry. I've worked in government for the last 30 years, and before joining the Ministry I had finance roles in the Department of Internal Affairs, the Department of Māori Affairs and the Ministry of Transport. I have a BCA and a Master of Public Management from Victoria University of Wellington.

  • Katherine BaxterKatherine Baxter, Deputy Chief Executive, Cultural Policy Branch Manager -- I am one of the two Deputy Chief Executives and the Cultural Policy Branch Manager, leading a team of people who provide advice to Ministers on a challenging range of issues, including: supporting a vibrant and viable cultural sector, demonstrating the contribution of heritage, arts and broadcasting activity to New Zealand's economy, and how best to protect and ensure access to our cultural heritage. Before joining the Ministry in July 2009, I spent a year in Ireland reviewing and working with a partnership programme aimed at supporting marginalised communities. In a similar vein, my policy roles in New Zealand have focused on bringing the voice of particular sectors into mainstream policy development. I've worked for the Ministry of Social Development as General Manager responsible for the Office for Disability Issues, the Office for Senior Citizens and the Office for the Community and Voluntary Sector, and earlier as Policy Manager with the Ministry for Women's Affairs. I am a life member of the New Zealand Childcare Association and chaired the Board of the Early Childhood Development Unit /Nga Kaitaunaki Kohungahunga for its first three years. My cultural passions include theatre, dance and film. I have a BA in English from Victoria University of Wellington and a Masters in Public Administration through the Australia and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG) programme.

  • Ripeka EvansRipeka Evans, Pou Ārahi Whakahaere -- I've worked as a strategic leadership, communications and management consultant for 25 years, including roles in Television New Zealand, the Department of Māori Affairs, Industry New Zealand, for iwi runanga and tribal trust boards, and for Māori and community health and research and economic development organisations. From 1993 to 1996 I was the inaugural Chief Executive of Te Māngai Pāho. In my role as Pou Ārahi Whakahaere at the Ministry, I continue to strengthen the Ministry's Māori engagement strategy Te Rautaki Taonga Māori and provide leadership across the sector. I have a passion for the written and spoken word, films, music and art history, so I've landed in a great workplace. My iwi affiliations are Ngāpuhi, Te Aupouri, Ngāti Kahu and Ngāti Porou. I hold a Masters of Business Administration from Massey University and am a graduate of the Paulo Freire Institute for the Development of People in Paris. I've also taught at Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi.

  • Our Work UnitsThe Ministry is organised into three branches.

  • Corporate ServicesWe undertake the large number of activities that support our busy Ministry. These activities include communications, finance, human resources, information management and legal services.

  • Cultural PolicyWe provide policy advice to the government on arts, culture, heritage, broadcasting, and sports and recreation. We do this by working on policy proposals, legislation and reviews that are significant to the sector. We also monitor the government's interests in the cultural sector agencies who receive crown funding. We offer additional support through our appointments and governance service.

  • Heritage ServicesOur historians, writers, researchers and advisers help make information about New Zealand history easy to find and create opportunities for New Zealanders to engage with their heritage. We look after monuments and war graves throughout New Zealand.

  • Our SpecialistsInformation on New Zealand society and culture can be found on the Ministry's Te Ara and NZHistory websites. Teachers and students of history will also find The Classroom of interest. If you have any queries, please e-mail us at Media are welcome to contact us at Other details can be viewed at

  • Alison ParrSenior Oral Historian, Heritage Services Branch: Area of interest is oral history -- particularly with New Zealanders who lived through the Second World War

  • Ashley Mackenzie-WhiteAdviser, Heritage Operations, Heritage Services Branch -- Area of interest are the New Zealand Coat of Arms, the New Zealand Flag and National Anthems

  • Basil KeaneDirector, Māori Digital Projects, Heritage Services Branch -- Areas of interest are Māori history and Māori language on the web

  • Ben SchraderHistorian, Te Ara - the Online Encyclopedia of New Zealand Heritage Services Branch -- Areas of interest are urban and housing history

  • Brodie StubbsManager, Heritage Projects, Heritage Services Branch -- Areas of interest are national monuments and memorials, commemorations and New Zealand's emblems.

  • Damien FentonSenior Historian, Heritage Services Branch -- Areas of interest are military history and the Cold War.

  • David ButtsManager, Heritage Operations, Heritage Services Branch -- Areas of interest are museums, art galleries, taonga tūturu, heritage places and memorials.

  • David GreenEditor/Historian, Heritage Services Branch -- Areas of interest are the New Zealand Wars, history of government and sports history.

  • Gavin McLeanSenior Historian, Heritage Services Branch -- Areas of interest are maritime, military history, constitutional/politics, business, heritage, local history and publishing.

  • Honiana LoveSenior Adviser, Māori, Heritage Services Branch -- Areas of interest include Māori heritage, working with iwi, and taonga tūturu.

  • Imelda BargasSenior Historian, Heritage Services Branch -- Areas of interest are historic building and sites, World War I home front and Antarctica.

  • Jamie MackayTeam Leader, Content Manager, Web Team, Heritage Services Branch -- Areas of interest are cycling history and exploring new ways to present history on the web.

  • Jock PhillipsSenior Editor, Te Ara - the Online Encyclopedia of New Zealand, Heritage Services Branch -- Areas of interest are social and cultural history, family history, memorials and royal tours.

  • Margaret MarksSenior Adviser (War Graves), Heritage Services Branch -- Areas of interest are war and historic graves and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

  • Mark DerbyHistorian, Te Ara - the Online Encyclopedia of New Zealand, Heritage Services Branch -- Areas of interest are are labour and film history.

  • Megan CookHistorian, Te Ara - the Online Encyclopedia of New Zealand, Heritage Services Branch -- Areas of interest are women's and labour history.

  • Nancy SwarbrickHistorian, Te Ara - the Online Encyclopedia of New Zealand, Heritage Services Branch -- Area of interest is the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography.

  • Neill AtkinsonChief Historian, Heritage Services Branch -- Areas of interest are are labour history, politics, railways and maritime history.

  • Paul RileyCurator, National War Memorial -- Areas of interest are the National War Memorial and other Wellington national monuments.

  • Steve WattersSenior Historian-Educator, Heritage Services Branch -- Areas of interest are education, sporting history, 19th century history and ‘hands on history' such as field trips.

  • Timothy HurdCarillonist, National War Memorial -- Areas of interest are teaching and playing carillon music.