Some sound advice on making the NZSO profitable: shorten the programmes and fire some fiddlers

July 24, 2012

Let’s start by trimming the string section.

Gotta wonder about Chris Finlayson, sometimes.

Yep, he’s a Nat sure enough. But he just doesn’t seem to get it, when it comes to doing what must be done to restore the Budget balance to surplus as we’ve promised.

Someone at the Ministry of Culture and Heritage has been taking a hard look at orchestras and produced a discussion paper on the not-unimportant matter of their running costs.

The discussion paper (here) tells us those running costs burn up a few bucks.

Central government is the primary public funder of New Zealand’s professional orchestra sector. Its total funding
to the sector in 2010 was $17.1m, accounting for 56% of all
of the sector’s revenue. This represents an increase from
$10.9m (51%) in 2000.

And…

Of all its support for any area of the performing arts
– the government’s most substantial investment is
in the NZSO. In 2000 the NZSO received $8.8m from
government. Since 2008/09 funding from this source
has been $13.4m p.a. Over the past three years
this has represented between 71% and 77% of the
NZSO’s total annual revenue, depending on its other
income. For 2011, $13.4m also amounted to 79% of
government funding to the orchestra sector.

Ah, but maybe there are lots of jobs in the orchestra biz.

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