8 Mar 2009

Government to scrap art royalties legislation

4:21 pm on 8 March 2009

The Government is to ditch legislation proposed by the former Labour-led government to introduce resale royalties to artists.

The bill aimed to ensure that artists benefit from the rising value of their work, by introducing a 5% royalty on resales of more than $500.

The Government Administration select committee has been considering the bill. Its report back to Parliament says the Minister of Arts, Culture and Heritage, Chris Finlayson, is to withdraw the legislation.

Sculptor Greer Twiss says the move indicates that New Zealand does not value its artists. He says auctioneers use an artist's name to enhance the financial worth of art works, and artists should be compensated for that.

John Mowbray, who owns an auction house in Otaki, says the legislation would have been unworkable and uneconomical. He says the idea of applying to the art world the same type of system as music royalty rights is far fetched.