Tēnā koutou, I am writing to share an update on the mahi Recorded Music has been doing to foster a positive culture within our workplace and the initiatives and events that we support.

We have been actively working on these issues for some time and we recognise that this is long term work.  It requires a real commitment to lead from the front and stand up for our core values, but also to listen to the experiences of people in our recorded music community, and to change where that’s needed.

When it comes to creating a positive culture, we need to acknowledge the problems and challenges in our music community.  Media and social media stories this year, along with published research, have shown us that there is a serious problem with sexual harm in our music community and many people are not safe in their workplaces.

We want to acknowledge the harm suffered by those people and the bravery of those who have come forward, while accepting that it is the culture of the music industry that has allowed these problems to happen.

In that respect we welcome the independent report Creating culture change around sexual harm in the music community in Aotearoa published recently by SoundCheck Aotearoa.  The report summarises feedback from across the music community and highlights the problems and challenges, as well as recommendations for everyone in the music community to play their part in driving change.  We will be taking up a number of the independent expert recommendations from that report and integrating them into our workplan.

The initiatives and plans outlined below are ongoing but only a starting point.  Recorded Music is mindful that we are at the beginning of a journey.  There is work ahead to embed the shared values of respect, safety and inclusion into all of our activities, in a way that best reflects the changing needs of you as members.

First and foremost we acknowledge that as a national representative music body we want to create true and meaningful partnership with tangata whenua, in addition to our activities that are supporting the revitalisation and growth of waiata reo Māori.  We will be working with advisors and the Māori Music Industry Coalition to take this mahi forward.

While we play a role in the wider music community, Recorded Music exists to serve its members.  We would love to hear from you on these issues.  If you have questions, comments or feedback, please get in touch.  You can email me directly on damian@recordedmusic.co.nz or use info@recordedmusic.co.nz.  We plan to give our members a structured opportunity to tell us what you think, and we will share more about that soon.

Recorded Music Code of Conduct

Recorded Music’s Code of Conduct outlines the expectations that we have of those that work for us and those we work with, both inside and outside the organisation.  The Code of Conduct includes principles around respecting others, acting lawfully and with integrity and acting safely and responsibly.

We are in the process of embedding the Code of Conduct across our activities, and you can expect to see more about it when you engage with us or attend our events.  For example, we expect recipients of music grants to comply with the Code of Conduct and to promote its values across the activities that we fund and support.

Safety – sexual harassment, harassment, and bullying

In the area of safety in the workplace, we have been informed by the work of SoundCheck Aotearoa.

An update on a few things we have done recently:

  • Prevention of and response to sexual harassment policy: We have adopted a policy on the prevention of and response to sexual harm. The policy addresses legal requirements and sets out our commitment to prevention, as well as a clear process for reporting incidents of sexual harassment, and a process for how we will deal with reports and complaints that we receive.  We have also set up a confidential channel for those who don’t want to formally report.
  • Prevention of and response to bullying and harassment policy:  We also adopted a policy on prevention of and response to non-sexual bullying and harassment.
  • Professional Respect training: All of our staff have attended SoundCheck Aotearoa Professional Respect training days to gain an understanding of prevention of and response to sexual harm.  Our Board and Committee members will also attend the training so we can bring prevention to life in our activities.
  • Recorded Music Grants scheme:  While we expect our music grants recipients to comply with our Code of Conduct and laws generally, from September 2021 we will explicitly require recipients to be aware of and comply with their obligations under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015.  These include obligations to manage the risks of sexual harassment, harassment and bullying as per WorkSafe guidance

Aotearoa Music Awards

We are proud to be the host and kaitiaki of the Aotearoa Music Awards, and as such we want everyone involved to celebrate and enjoy themselves, but also to feel safe, included and respected within the environment that we create.  That’s why in 2021 we have introduced a Statement of Expectations for the music awards, which applies to everyone involved with the awards, both in the lead up and at the event itself.

We are in the process of embedding the Statement of Expectations across all our contracting partners for the awards, and we are also working hard to implement best practice for safety at the event itself.  In doing so we will be drawing from the recommendations from the independent report Creating culture change around sexual harm in the music community in Aotearoa.

Representation and Inclusion

Recorded Music NZ has a small staff of 15 people but we recognise we have a wider impact as a leadership organisation in the music community and we need to do more to drive better representation and inclusion both internally and externally.

Some of the initiatives we have started:

  • We have adopted a policy statement on Representation and Inclusion and we are working to implement it across our organisation and activities.  Applicants to our grants scheme are required to consider representation and inclusion within their funded activities, and we are actively promoting it within the Aotearoa Music Awards.
  • We have recently joined Diversity Works NZ and we are auditing all of our internal policies and procedures for staff and hiring to see where we can improve our practices.
  • We are looking at how we can embed our partnership with tangata whenua, and better representation and inclusion, into our Board and structure as a whole.  We acknowledge that this mahi will take some time to work through and implement but I will be updating you before our next AGM in April 2022.

Ngā mihi maioha
Damian Vaughan
Kaiwhakahaere Matua | Chief Executive Officer
Puoro Rekoata ki Aotearoa | Recorded Music NZ

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