Museums Aotearoa welcomes FENZ levy exemption for museums and galleries

08 April 2024

Media release

Tuesday 9 April 2024

Museums Aotearoa welcomes FENZ levy exemption for museums and galleries

Museums Aotearoa has welcomed the announcement from DIA that museums and galleries have an exemption from paying levies to Fire and Emergency on the insured value of their collections.

Adele Fitzpatrick, Museums Aotearoa chief executive, said she has argued strongly for museums and galleries to be exempt from these levies.

“The level of the proposed levy was vastly disproportionate to the potential benefit museums and galleries receive from FENZ due to the high insurance value of their collections,” Fitzpatrick said.

“We estimated an additional cost to the sector at around $6 million per annum, based on insured value and insurance premiums. Insurance for some of our museums and galleries has tripled in recent years and an additional levy increasing in line with values and premiums would add a financial burden the sector wouldn’t be able to sustain.”

The Government announced exemptions on Monday that will apply from 1 July 2026, when a redesigned insurance levy commences. Exemptions will ensure that those not benefitting from Fire and Emergency services do not pay a levy.

“Art and collections held by cultural heritage bodies are thankfully on that list,” says Fitzpatrick.

“While this is not a permanent exemption, we can have confidence that the sector won’t be subject to levies until potentially June 2029 when a review may occur. We hope this exemption will remain into the future.”

About Museums Aotearoa

Museums Aotearoa is the professional membership organisation for museums and those who work in or have an interest in museums and the museum sector. The 'museum sector' includes museums, public art galleries, historical societies, science centres and historic places open to the public. Museums Aotearoa members include these institutions and people who work within them and individuals connected or associated with the arts, culture and heritage sector in New Zealand. The museum sector comprises 476 institutions throughout New Zealand.

Museums Aotearoa seeks to promote excellence in museums and galleries and support the ongoing development of a vibrant, creative and relevant sector.

Public museums and galleries:

  • care for and provide access to and education about New Zealand’s culture and heritage for current and future generations. Our members hold our national collections of visual arts, decorative arts, documentary history, military objects and collections, social history, technology, natural history, taonga Māori, archaeology and ethnology. Much of our museum and gallery activity takes place in heritage buildings, in locations dictated by historic significance and locations; and
  • make essential contributions to education, tourism, social cohesion and our sense of nationhood.

For more information contact Museums Aotearoa.