May 16, 2022 /

Announcing The Winners Of The 2022 NZ Children’s Music Awards

APRA AMCOS and Recorded Music NZ are all wiggly with excitement to announce the winners for the 2022 NZ Children’s Music Awards – celebrating music written and recorded for children.

APRA Best Children’s Song winner:
– Kath Bee, Ryan Beehre, Luke Epapara for E Tū Tāngata – Stand Together performed by Mika Elley ft. Kurnel MC

Recorded Music NZ Te Kaipuoro Waiata Tamariki Toa / Best Children’s Music Artist winner:
– Music with Michal for Summer Days

NZ On Air Best Children’s Music Video winner: 
– Chris Lam Sam for Song About Nothing video produced by Mukpuddy Animation

Also celebrated was Luke Nola, this year’s recipient of the Baysting Prize for Children’s Champion.  Passionate ideas guy, former ad agency creative, backyard inventor and ultimate goober, Luke Nola has been an inspirational television producer and vociferous advocate for the possibilities of young imaginations in Aotearoa. He is the creator of The Goober Brothers, the internationally renowned, BAFTA and Emmy nominated TV format, Let’s Get Inventin’, Kea Kids News and Nano Girl and the Imaginauts amongst others.

The awards were held this afternoon (Sunday 15 May) at a special family friendly event at Tuning Fork, Spark Arena.  Opened by Suzy Cato and hosted by a gaggle of gorgeous tamariki and rangatahi, the celebration was opened with a mihi whakatau by tamariki from Newton Central School, followed by more of our kiwi kids presenting finalists and winners, from the What Now Studios, and Kids Radio Stations, from around the country, via video.  Guests were treated to live performances by Music with Michal, Loopy Tunes Preschool Music, Levity Beet and Kath Bee. Following the awards, tamariki experienced creative musical activities and an atrium full of imaginative play times.  The afternoon concluded with a celebratory afternoon tea for whānau courtesy of Spark Arena.

Presented by Recorded Music NZ, APRA AMCOS NZ and NZ On Air, the awards have the support of Kiwi Kids Music, the national association of children’s songwriters, creators and producers.  Formed by some of the most passionate creators of music for Kiwi Kids, the association supports NZ children’s music creators and seeks to advance the potential of all our children to live healthy fulfilling lives.

Thanks to all the performers and presenters, Spark Arena and NZ On Air who have created a special Spotifty playlist celebrating this year’s finalists available here.

Chris Lam Sam is one of Aotearoa’s most recognisable musical entertainers for young families.  Since 2003 he has been a member of NZ children’s musical supergroup, The Funky Monkeys, who have performed more than 900 shows, produced seven albums and won the inaugural APRA NZ Best Children’s Music Video Award in 2008.  Released on 26 September, Silly Funny Songs For Kids is his first independent album. Chris continues to tour and perform original music for young families in his independent show, Mr. Lam Sam’s Musical Mayhem Show.

Kath Bee has been writing songs for school-aged children for 20 years and has won several APRA awards including ‘Children’s Song of the Year’ in 2020, with “I Love Life” co-written by Doug Stenhouse.  E Tū Tāngata commissioned Kath to write a song to add to their kete of resources for primary/intermediate schools, tackling ‘Tall Poppy Syndrome’ in Aotearoa, to transform communities.  To add a ‘Kiwi/Pacifica’ feel, Kath asked Luke Epapara, aka Kurnel MC, a NZ rapper living in the UK and Ryan Beehre aka Serpico, a producer/musician and one of the founding members of pioneering electronica band, Minuit, to help her create this song.  The song is sung by

Mika Elley and includes many wonderful children’s voices, all from the Nelson region.

Michal Bushwith an exceptional four nominations this year, is a Christchurch singer-songwriter performing as ‘Music with Michal’.  Known for her catchy, beautiful and often meaningful (sometimes silly) songwriting – Michal’s music is making waves both locally and internationally with her song ‘Brave’ winning Best Children’s Song in the 2021 NZ Childrens Music Awards and currently sitting as a finalist in the International Songwriting Competition. Michal has released two full length albums and a series of emotional wellbeing videos, while also publishing five children’s picture books. In 2020, Michal begun collaborating with production duo and multi instrumentalists Victoria and Andrew Knopp.  The duo have their own indie pop project The Response and work with various NZ acts to help them shape and develop their sound.


April 30, 2022 /

2022 Best Folk Artist Tūī awarded to Troy Kingi

Multi-award-winning musician Troy Kingi (Te Arawa, Ngāpuhi, Te Whānau-ā-Apanui) has been awarded the 2022 Te Kaipuoro Taketake Toa | Best Folk Artist Tūī for his album Black Sea Golden Ladder.

A collaboration between himself and award-winning singer/songwriter/producer Delaney Davidson, the album consists of free-form compositions set to ten original poems documenting the life cycle of humankind.

Kingi has also collaborated with Hi Mama Productions to produce a thought-provoking visual representation of the album that explores an existential life experience.

Recorded Music NZ Kaiwhakahaere o Ngā Tohu Puoro o Aotearoa Sarah Owen congratulates Kingi on his win, Black Sea Golden Ladder being his first dive into folk music as part of his aspirational 10 10 10 series: a challenge to produce 10 albums, in 10 different genres, over 10 years.

“Troy is an exceptionally talented musician who has proven his musical prowess with albums spanning a range of genres,” says Owen.

“We’re extremely excited to see what Troy brings us next, and congratulate him again on adding the 2022 Te Kaipuoro Taketake Toa Tūī to his long list of achievements.”

The other finalists for the 2022 Best Folk Artist Tūī were Miles Calder for his album Autopilot Life and folk duo We Mavericks for their album Grief’s a Gardener.

Te Kaipuoro Taketake Toa is usually presented to the recipient at the Auckland Folk Festival. However, due to COVID-19 restrictions, the winner was announced live on Radio New Zealand’s Music 101 this afternoon.



The Tūī for Best Folk Artist 2022 is for recordings released in the 12 months to 30 September 2021. The Folk category was first introduced to the Awards in 1984.

Recent previous winners of the Tūī for Best Folk Album

  • 2013 – Great North – Halves
  • 2014 – Tattletale Saints – How Red Is the Blood
  • 2015 – Great North – Up In Smoke
  • 2016 – Holly Arrowsmith – For The Weary Traveller
  • 2017 – Guy Wishart – West By North
  • 2018 – Albi & The Wolves – One Eye Open
  • 2019 – The Frank Burkitt Band – Raconteur
  • 2020 – Mel Parsons – Glass Heart
  • 2021 – Tattletale Saints – Dancing Under the Dogwoods


Finalists’ websites

Miles Calder:

Troy Kingi:

We Mavericks:

March 14, 2022 /

Dates Announced For Recorded Music NZ Board Elections

We have published the dates for the upcoming elections for the Independent Rights Holder Representative Director and Artist Representative Director positions on the Board of Recorded Music NZ.  Independent shareholders of Recorded Music are eligible to vote in the elections and to nominate candidates.

Upcoming dates are:

Friday 1st April – Cut off for eligible right holders who are currently not shareholders of Recorded Music NZ to elect to become a shareholder. Once a shareholder you are eligible to nominate and vote in the upcoming elections.

For those who are eligible and currently not a shareholder we have contacted you by a separate email.

Monday 4th April – Nominations open for the Independent Rights Holder Representative Director and Artist Representative Director positions on the Board of Recorded Music NZ.

The full set of dates and process following this is available HERE.

The role of the Board is to set the high-level strategic goals of the company and to monitor the implementation of those goals by the management team in line with the Vision, Mission, and Core Principles.  This includes providing financial oversight, ensuring responsible use of resources, enhancing relationships with stakeholders, and monitoring legal compliance.

There is work ahead for the Board to help us navigate the complex challenges of maximising income in the uncertain environment of COVID-19, while continuing to provide excellent services to right holders and recording artists and creating a truly inclusive organisation to serve all the people that make up our recorded music community.

We value a diverse range of voices and experiences represented on the Board and we encourage eligible candidates from all backgrounds to consider being nominated.

Further information about the role of the Board, eligibility requirements and how to be nominated is available HERE.

March 4, 2022 /

Another record year for local music airplay on New Zealand radio in 2021.

Nearly one in every four songs played in 2021 on the main contemporary commercial music networks was from a New Zealand act and we’re hearing more waiata in te reo Māori.

Commercial music radio stations played record levels of New Zealand music again in 2021 with the annual figure reaching 23.84 % for the first time in history, according to NZ On Air, the Radio Broadcasters Association and Recorded Music NZ. It followed on from 2020 in which 20.95% of airplay was NZ music.*

The previous highest annual figure for local music airplay on commercial radio before was 20.77%, achieved in 2005.

According to NZ On Air  Head of Music David Ridler the results show just how much connection there is between the vast array of musical talent in Aotearoa and their local audiences.

“The quality of local artists, song-writing and production is going from strength to strength, across a broad range of genre including pop, dance and beats/R&B , but also across many niche audience genres. Despite all the difficulties posed with the ongoing pandemic, local recorded music continues to shine and meaningfully connect with New Zealanders.”

Recorded Music NZ Chief Executive Damian Vaughan says it’s a continuation of the momentum that has been building for local artists for the past few years.

“The volume and quality of recordings released by local artists here in Aotearoa over the past few years is just phenomenal. It’s so encouraging to see that support across radio build and build and that so many artists are receiving airplay across a wide spectrum of genre.”

Jana Rangooni, Chief Executive of the Radio Broadcasters’ Association (RBA) says. “These kind of numbers felt a long way away in 2016 when radio was playing around 12% and 13% local music. It has been great to see a concerted effort between NZ On Air, local labels and rights holders and the Radio industry to steadily increase the levels of local content. We have so many great artists producing the kind of music New Zealanders just can’t get enough of. For us it’s part of what makes New Zealand radio different to streams produced by algorithms used by our new global competitors.”

Tracking the figures for Radioscope/Recorded Music NZ since 2001 , chief data collator and analyst Paul Kennedy says it’s a genuine thrill to see such sustained radio and audience support for local music on the airwaves.

“It’s fantastic to see these results roll in so consistently over the last two years. Particularly to see so many of the country’s most high-rating stations making big strides and hearing so much Kiwi music during peak listening times.”

Kennedy also notes a surge in airplay of local music in te reo Māori on commercial networks in the past three years. In 2019 there were 4,582 radio plays of waiata reo Māori and this grew to 25,070 radio plays on major commercial networks in 2021. There was a notable surge kicked off by Waiata Anthems week in September 2021.

NZ On Air was allocated two years of additional Music funding in the Arts Recovery package in May 2020. The extra funding has boosted the agency’s investments in multi-single Projects, individual Singles, and rounds focusing on Development, Pasifika artists, waiata reo Māori (with Te Māngai Pāho) and Children’s Music. In 2021 more than 400 music singles and projects were supported with NZ On Air funding.

NZ On Air funds and promotes a variety of contemporary popular NZ music songs to ensure audiences in Aotearoa can discover and enjoy a wide range of homegrown music. NZ On Air’s music funding and promotional support helps to provide wider content choices for both mainstream and targeted New Zealand audiences.

The data relates exclusively to airplay on commercial radio and does not include music played on public, student, iwi, Pacific and other radio – all of which are tracked separately, and also had exceptionally strong local content results in 2021.

February 24, 2022 /

Announcing Recorded Music New Zealand’s new CEO Jo Oliver

The Recorded Music New Zealand Board is pleased to announce Jo Oliver as the organisation’s new CEO, following the departure of longstanding CEO Damian Vaughan.

In her most recent role as General Counsel and Government Affairs at Recorded Music New Zealand, Jo has lead pan-industry initiatives including the music industry response to the government’s review of copyright law, and the creation of action group SoundCheck Aotearoa whose mission is to foster a safe and inclusive culture for the music community.

Prior to this, Jo spent over a decade as General Counsel at IFPI, the organisation which represents the recording industry globally, leading a variety of strategic legal and policy projects.  She has also worked at law firms in NZ, Australia the UK and US.

Chairperson of the Recorded Music NZ Board Chris Caddick says he is delighted that Jo has agreed to become the new CEO.

“With her background in the international music industry and her understanding of the challenges ahead in the local marketplace, Jo was the ideal choice for the role.”

“In Jo’s four years with Recorded Music New Zealand, she has made an outstanding contribution across all aspects of our success. We are confident that Jo has the talent to lead the organisation into the future.”

Jo commented:

“I am delighted and honoured to be taking on this role to serve and advocate for the interests of recording artists and right holders across Aotearoa. I am a firm believer in the value of music and the rights of creators, which is more important than ever in these challenging times. I look forward to working with our outstanding team, industry partners and the wider music community to navigate the pathway for the future.”

Jo will begin her role as Recorded Music New Zealand CEO on Monday 28 March 2022.

February 17, 2022 /

Recorded Music NZ CEO Damian Vaughan To Depart In 2022

After nine years, Recorded Music NZ CEO Damian Vaughan is stepping down, leaving behind a lasting legacy across Aotearoa’s music industry.

With a focus on artist and industry growth and celebrating and acknowledging Aotearoa’s cultural heritage, Vaughan has worked to support and amplify the voices of musicians and the industry as a whole.

Recorded Music NZ Chairperson Chris Caddick says “Damian has headed Recorded Music New Zealand with distinction during his tenure. The organisation’s many achievements under his calm leadership are testimony to his hard work and determination, and the mana he has within the New Zealand music industry.

“The Board thanks Damian for his outstanding contribution to Recorded Music New Zealand’s success and wishes him all the very best for his future endeavours.”

Recorded Music NZ

Under Vaughan’s stewardship, Recorded Music NZ’s annual revenue from the Public Performance and Broadcast of Sound Recordings grew by 45% from $11M to $16M, and the corresponding distributions of royalties to artists and rights holders grew by 47% from $8.4M to $12.3M.

Furthermore, the number of artists and rights holders receiving royalties also grew considerably as Recorded Music membership grew to well over 5,500.

One of the key revenue projects Vaughan was involved in was the development and launch of OneMusic in tandem with APRA – a world first and internationally recognised music licencing solution.

The simplified music licencing process for businesses to legally play music in their premises, all while ensuring the artists were fairly compensated.

Vaughan and his team also rejuvenated and modernised the Official New Zealand Music Charts as well as providing innovative music consumption and analytical tools for the industry.

During Vaughan’s tenure Recorded Music NZ also established a music grants scheme to support educational, archival and charity projects in the music industry.

Over nine years Recorded Music NZ was able to invest over a million dollars back into the industry via grants to support its growth and the very important work of the industry charity MusicHelps.

Reinventing the music awards and celebrating our artists and industry

The music awards also significantly evolved under Vaughan, as the team worked to refocus the ceremony squarely on celebrating our artists and their recorded music achievements.

In 2021, the awards were rebranded as the Aotearoa Music Awards, cementing them as an evolving reflection of where music was heading as te reo Māori continues to become more celebrated and prevalent in music and society.

Furthermore, the establishment of a separate Artisan Award event and working together with the team on the Aotearoa Music Producer Series, there was a concentrated effort to shine the light on the ones behind the scenes in our music industry.

Closing remarks

“The last nine years as CEO of Recorded Music NZ has been a monumentally fulfilling experience. I am at my core a music fan and being able to support our musicians and our industry to develop and grow has been an absolute honour,” says Vaughan.

“It’s satisfying to close this chapter of my career and life, proud that I have achieved much and given space for others to grow and learn. I’m excited to pass the baton on, and I can’t wait to see how the organisation evolves with new people at the controls.”

February 4, 2022 /


Recorded Music NZ has recently published the report on the Economic Contribution of the Music Industry in 2019 and 2020. The report was commissioned by Recorded Music NZ with the support of APRA AMCOS and The NZ Music Commission and conducted by PWC.  The report indicates that in 2020, the NZ music industry contributed $732 million to New Zealand’s GDP via indirect effects, and directly employed around 2,800 people in full time equivalent jobs (FTEs).  The report reflects the impact of COVID-19 when comparing 2020 to 2019: revenues from radio broadcasting, live performance and overseas income all reduced in 2020, primarily due to COVID-19.  You can read the full post and reports HERE.

February 4, 2022 /


In April/May 2022 Recorded Music will hold elections for the two elected members of our Board the Independent Director and Artist Representative Director.  We will be calling for nominations for candidates for these positions in April/May.

The role of the Board is to set the high level strategic goals of the company and to monitor the implementation of those goals by the management team in line with the Vision, Mission and Core Principles.  This includes providing financial oversight, ensuring responsible use of resources, enhancing relationships with stakeholders and monitoring legal compliance.

There is work ahead for the Board to help us navigate the complex challenges of maximising income in the uncertain environment of COVID-19, while continuing to provide excellent services to right holders and recording artists, and creating a truly inclusive organisation to serve all of the people that make up our recorded music community.

If you are interested in being nominated for one of the elected director positions, we encourage you to read the information HERE and contact us if you are interested to discuss the role further. The formal call for nominations will be later in the year.

We value a diverse range of voices and experiences represented on the Board and we encourage eligible candidates from all backgrounds to consider being nominated.

In order to vote in the elections you need to be a master rights holder and registered as an independent shareholder of Recorded Music. Our member services team will contact eligible rights holders shortly with information on how to become an independent shareholder.  For all those who are existing shareholders no action is required for now.

February 4, 2022 /


Recorded Music has refreshed its vision and mission and adopted a set of core principles to guide our activities over the coming years, as well as setting a strategic focus for 2022.  You can read it HERE.

We will be continuing our work to maximise returns for right holders in 2022, while advocating for the collective interests of recording artists and right holders in a variety of forums and continuing our professional development and promotional activities.

In addition our core principles and our focus in 2022 include a commitment to fostering diversity, inclusion and a positive culture, and a commitment to our journey to honour and respect Te Ao Māori, and we look forward to tackling that work during the year.

January 28, 2022 /

Music industry bodies call on Government to urgently reinstate financial support

Yesterday music industry bodies wrote a combined letter to the Prime Minister and Ministers Grant Robertson, Carmel Sepuloni, and Kiritapu Allan, on behalf of Aotearoa’s contemporary music industry: artists, songwriters, and composers who write, perform and record; and the many workers and organisations who support them and our world class music sector.

The letter asked the government to urgently reinstate the Wage Subsidy and Resurgence Support Payments in order to support music sector businesses and sole traders while Aotearoa remains in the Red setting of the COVID Protection Framework.

The change to the red setting means all imminent significant size shows, festivals and events have been cancelled or postponed, with no certainty as to whether any event will be able to safely proceed in coming months, which is already having a significant impact on the lives and livelihoods of artists and the entire music sector.

While the music sector is very grateful for the targeted assistance from the government to date, and supports the government’s health response to protect all New Zealanders, the current move to Red sees the music sector in the most precarious position it has faced during the pandemic. The summer festival and touring period accounts for the majority of annual live music income and provides a financial buffer for the rest of the calendar year. The 2022 ‘earning season’ has been drastically reduced, and many have already depleted their reserves surviving the uncertain times so far.

The MCH Event Support Scheme and the MBIE Events Transition Support Payment scheme (ETSP) are useful tools which provide assistance to the live sector, but only within certain parameters and criteria, and the cancellation or postponement of live music and events has a flow on effect across almost all music businesses and workers, regardless of whether they are involved in live music themselves. A cancelled gig means the loss of economic opportunity in many forms – not just the tickets sales or fee, but the opportunity to connect with fans, increase streaming and record sales, sell merch, create new content, and secure interest in future live performances. The lost revenue also stops the economic flow to studio bookings, local media spends, investment in publicity and marketing, manufacturing and production, music retail, management and agent companies, etc.

A reinstatement of the Resurgence Support Payment and Wage Subsidy would assist almost all music sector businesses and sole traders, including the artists, to survive through this next phase of the government’s health response for COVID-19. It would support artists and performers, music venues, live music workers and technical crew people, along with assisting the rest of the music sector who will be affected by the ensuing impact.

The Resurgence Support Payment and Wage Subsidy schemes are very effective tools which can be quickly and efficiently implemented for the music sector. The eligibility criteria centred on decreases in revenue and income ensures the support is being targeted at the most affected people, and artists themselves can access both schemes.

The music industry bodies are united in their support of this request, and ready to provide further information to the government should they need it.