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Arts, Culture and Heritage

Marlborough District Council defines "culture" as encompassing the customs, practices, languages, values and world views that define social groups in Marlborough. Cultural wellbeing is thus the strength and vitality of the things that define our culture, and our identity. The Marlborough culture is unique;  nowhere else in the world is there the same combination of people, place, and practice.

Cultural identity - the sense of connection with other people through a shared culture - can make a strong contribution to a person's overall wellbeing. Identifying with a particular culture gives people a sense of belonging and security. It also provides people with access to social networks which provide support and shared values and aspirations. These can help break down barriers and build a sense of trust between people, contributing in turn to more effective relationships within and between communities. Our culture can also be a source of economic strength, not just through the provision of cultural goods and services, but also by enabling productive engagement between people, and by adding a unique value and differentiation - the Marlborough brand - to our exports.

Practices such as arts, design, and architecture reflect and create our cultural identity. Likewise, the way in which we approach and understand our heritage shapes our image of ourselves, and the image we convey to future generations.

In keeping with the broad scope of this activity, Council has a variety of roles to play. The Council's Arts & Culture Strategy, and its Heritage Strategy, set out these roles in detail, and the ways in which Council proposes working with the community to achieve positive outcomes for culture and heritage. These include:

  • Forming partnerships with organisations and institutions that contribute to cultural wellbeing.
  • Supporting projects that reflect and strengthen Marlborough cultural identity.
  • Managing the cultural and heritage assets and resources that it is responsible for in a sustainable manner.

Council maintains a register of significant heritage resources (including buildings, sites and trees), which are recorded in the Marlborough Resource Management Plans.

It is important that the Council, as it develops future plans, has a good grasp of the heritage information that the community regards as important.

For example, some of our buildings may, at first glance, seem ordinary but after digging a little deeper, there are layers of social history to be revealed.

The information that is gathered assists Council planners in forming an overall picture of our heritage resource.

If you know of any heritage places in Marlborough that you think should be evaluated for future scheduling in the Resource Management Plans, please let the Council know.

Go to Heritage nomination form.

The following links provide further information on the cultural sector in Marlborough, and in New Zealand:

Marlborough Art Sites:

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