“Ideological activists within Creative New Zealand (CNZ) are trying to cancel Shakespeare’s works in New Zealand because of its alleged “canon of imperialism”. The board that signed this off will be gone under ACT,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“After 10 years of funding the Sheilah Winn New Zealand secondary school Shakespeare Festival, CNZ have this year refused the $30k in funding. Their reason? They question whether the great bard “is most relevant for a decolonising Aotearoa in the 2020s and beyond.”

“CNZ doth protest too much, methinks. The assertion that Shakespeare is irrelevant to New Zealand is nonsensical. His works are hugely influential on the English language. He coined some of the most famous phrases - green eyed monster, cruel to be kind, wild goose chase, love is blind.

“This is activist ideology trying to remake New Zealand. If we are going to respect all cultures, that means all cultures.“They’re happy to provide $107k to “The Savage Coloniser Show’ which claims to “address James Cook with fury” and “breaks the colonial lens wide open”, but they won’t provide less than one third of the funding to a successful festival that celebrates one of the greatest influences on the English language.

“CNZ actually admitted the festival’s success in their funding assessment document, which stated that it has strong youth engagement and positive impacts on participants. But apparently since it doesn’t fit in their neat ideological box it doesn’t matter.

“The United Kingdom and Australia are reporting in disbelief that New Zealand is cutting funding for Shakespeare’s works because of concerns of ‘imperialism’ and ‘colonial views’. We are becoming a laughing stock on the world stage.

“All cultures deserve respect in New Zealand, not just those that fit with the left’s ideology.”

Press Contact

[email protected]