National | Art

New royalty scheme will lift Māori and Pasifika artists' incomes - Carmel Sepuloni

Ralph Hotere’s Godwit/Kuaka.  Photo: Alden Williams / Stuff

Artists will receive royalties every time their work is resold on the secondary art market ensuring they benefit from their creations on an ongoing basis, Arts Minister Carmel Sepuloni is proposing under a new bill introduced to parliament this week.

The Artist Resale Royalty Scheme will see a five percent royalty collected each time an artist's work is resold on this market.

"Artists have some of the lowest median incomes in New Zealand and have limited opportunities to benefit from their work on an ongoing basis," Sepuloni said in a statement Wednesday.

“Currently, if an artist’s reputation grows and their art attracts a higher price on the secondary market, the artist does not receive any of the profit in recognition of their intellectual property, hard work, or success."

The Arts Minister said Māori and Pasifika artists will benefit under the royalty scheme, with the bill "considering New Zealand’s unique context".

“This is seen in the definition of visual artwork in the Bill, where visual works of cultural expression of Māori and Pacific peoples are included in the scheme. I’m proud this Bill has been developed specifically acknowledging our country’s vibrant and unique visual arts scene.”

Sepuloni said Australia had put a similar scheme in place more than a decade ago generating $11 million Australian dollars in royalties for visual artists.