The New Zealand music sector  has welcomed the Government’s announcement of a package of measures to support the arts and culture sector back to recovery following the impact of Covid-19.

The package will create a jobseekers programme for the creative sector similar to the previous PACE scheme, to provide an income to artists and creative practitioners while engaged in creative activities.  The government is working through the details of how this will be implemented.

There will also be four new funds, including $16.5 million for a New Zealand Music Recovery Fund specifically directed at the contemporary popular music industry.  The NZ Music Recovery Fund includes:

  • $7.1m additional funding to boost NZ On Air’s New Music programmes,
  • $5m for a Live Music Touring Fund to support NZ acts on the domestic circuit as alert levels permit, to be administered by the NZ Music Commission
  • $3m immediate support for music venues to have safe environments for audiences, workers and artists, to be administered by the NZ Music Commission
  • $1.4m to help musicians recoup lost income via Outward Sound and NZ Music Month, via the NZ Music Commission.

The remaining funds – a Cultural Capability Fund, Cultural Innovation Fund and Creative Arts Recovery and Employment Fund – are not limited to music and will be administered by Ministry for Culture and Heritage.

The package announced on Friday is part of a series of announcements affecting the music sector.  Last week the government announced increased funding for Creative NZ, and further work is underway on support for mass events such as concerts and music festivals.

The criteria and process for applications to the various funds will be worked through by the different agencies over the coming weeks, and published on their websites when ready.  Further details are available from:

Damian Vaughan of Recorded Music New Zealand said:

Music has always had the power to unite and to heal us and many kiwis have found comfort in New Zealand music in these unprecedented times. At the same time, covid-19 has had a devastating impact on the music industry, stopping live performances and reducing licence revenue. The government’s package will help the industry to recover, supporting the 3000 people employed in Aotearoa’s music industry, from artists and songwriters, to the small businesses, technicians and crew who support them.

Anthony Healey of APRA AMCOS said:

This government recognises the value that music brings to the economy and to New Zealanders in times of crisis. They’ve recognised particularly, in the case of live music, that it was the first industry to be impacted and will be the last to recover. They’ve recognised how important it is to New Zealand.

The whole creative sector will be critical to New Zealand’s recovery. We will, more than ever need to hear our stories, see ourselves on screen and be healed by our music. To support and recognise those who make our music and art is a very important step.

Brent Eccles of NZ Promoters Association said:

The New Zealand Promoters Association joins with Recorded New Zealand Music and APRA AMCOS to thank the Government for the industry support package announced today.  We appreciate the time they have taken to fully understand the depth and breadth of the New Zealand entertainment industry, from the artists, managers, promoters, and all its suppliers, to see just how badly it has been affected by the Covid-19 shutdown.  While this package represents a boost for the music ecosystem, we await the details of possible government support for mass events such as music concerts and festivals, which are being considered separately.  We are all looking forward to bringing back the music!

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