RNZB receives a significant funding boost – Budget 2016

The Royal New Zealand Ballet, a not for profit, publicly and crown-funded organisation, is delighted to have received a significant funding boost from the Ministry of Culture and Heritage in today’s Budget 2016.

Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Maggie Barry announced that the national ballet company’s annual funding will increase by 23 percent to $5.384 million.

“We are thrilled with this increased investment from the Government.  The annual baseline increase of $1 million will enable us to continue to deliver world class performances around the country and to inspire New Zealanders of all ages with a love of dance through our community and education activities.” says Frances Turner, the RNZB’s Executive Director.

“This is the first central government funding increase since 2009/10, and is greatly welcomed. It will stabilise us, enable us to confidently build on our successes and to invest artistically and operationally to not only maintain our high artistic standards but to achieve new heights.   It will also enable us to reach further into the regions and to provide more New Zealanders with the opportunity to experience, learn about and be inspired by live classical and contemporary ballet, performed by New Zealand’s national company.”

“This new commitment from the Government is a great endorsement of the valuable contribution the RNZB makes to New Zealand’s national story, at home and on the world stage.”

Today’s funding increase caps off a very positive year to date for the Royal New Zealand Ballet: Speed of Light, the company’s contemporary mixed bill featuring some of the world’s most important choreographers won acclaim from audiences and critics alike and was one of the highlights at both the New Zealand Festival and the Auckland Arts Festival; and The Ryman Healthcare Season of The Wizard of Oz, which is currently touring the country, has sold out in eight centres with only limited tickets now available in Auckland.

“The RNZB is in good heart and excited about the opportunities the additional funding allows.  Meanwhile we are preparing for the upcoming season of the internationally acclaimed Giselle which returns to New Zealand after tours to China, the USA, the UK and Italy. This hauntingly beautiful classical production which was created by former artistic director Ethan Stiefel and Johan Kobborg in 2012, and turned into a feature film by Toa Fraser, has become a signature work for the RNZB and we can’t wait to share it again with New Zealand audiences in seven centres,” says Frances Turner.


The Ryman Healthcare Season of The Wizard of Oz:  4 May – 12 June 2016: Wellington, Christchurch, Invercargill, Dunedin, Blenheim, Rotorua, Auckland, Palmerston North, Napier

Giselle 11 August – 9 September:  Wellington, Napier, Christchurch, Dunedin, Auckland, Rotorua, Palmerston North

The Royal New Zealand Ballet (RNZB) was founded in 1953 by Danish dancer Poul Gnatt, as a touring professional ballet company for all New Zealanders. Now based at Wellington’s St James Theatre, the RNZB is an intrinsic part of New Zealand’s national heritage, and has the largest following of all New Zealand performing arts companies. The RNZB continues to invest in live music, performing with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Wellington, the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and the Dunedin Symphony Orchestra.  The RNZB enjoys a reputation for strong and unique interpretations of full-length dramatic works. To this base the RNZB has added many masterworks and major ballets of the 20th century, such as Balanchine’s works and the Stravinsky ballets. The company has an enviable track record in commissioning new works from New Zealand and international choreographers. The RNZB regularly represents New Zealand on the international stage, with recent tours to the UK, Australia, China, USA and Italy. The RNZB is funded by central government, local government, commercial partners, charitable trusts and the New Zealand public. Around 65% of our operating income is generated through box office, philanthropy and commercial partnerships.