Buller District Council

Cultural Wellbeing Walk Shop By Cr Shayne Barry

2nd August, 2019









Venue – Old Wellington Museum

What is cultural wellbeing?

It is describe by the Ministry for Culture and Heritage as below:

Cultural well-being is the vitality that communities and individuals enjoy through:

  • Participation in recreation, creative and cultural activities; and
  • The freedom to retain, interpret and express their arts, history, heritage and traditions.


The Cultural wellbeing walk shop which was delivered in the novel form of a court trial.

Judges, lawyers and complainant were all local actors and witnesses were a range of local government representatives.

Basically a disgruntled rate payer was questioning why his rates were being spent on cultural wellbeing, when that money would be far better off being spent on roads and footpaths or just sport… and rugby in particular!

Bonita Bigham who is chair of Te Maruata spoke of the importance of culture to Maori and of telling the Maori story and was very passionate and moving in her speech. While Stephen Wainwright, the CEO for Creative NZ gave many examples of the importance that New Zealanders place on cultural wellbeing.

The group discussion at the end of the court session saw many of us give examples of how cultural wellbeing had benefited our regions.  Latham Martin (Deputy Mayor Westland) and I had a really good discussion about how we saw the Pounamu trail project, benefitting our whole region if it comes to fruition. Overall it was a great way to get a message across, the complainant lost the court case and we all left with no doubt in our minds of the importance of cultural wellbeing to our communities!


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