Government welcomes New Zealand Music Month   1 May 2012

Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Christopher Finlayson and Broadcasting Minister Craig Foss today welcomed the beginning of the 12th New Zealand Music Month, saying it was a great way to sample from a full range of local music offerings nationwide.

“New Zealand musicians continue to go from strength to strength on the international stage,” Mr Finlayson said. “Kimbra Johnson is the first New Zealand artist to have a US number one single since the late Pauly Fuemana. Bret McKenzie won an Oscar for his Muppets soundtrack work. These stellar achievements come in addition to the continued success of artists from popular music to our internationally respected New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.”

“In the same way as our international successes in film, the key for the New Zealand music is a strong local industry which allows talent to develop,” Mr Finlayson said. “This government supports the creative sectors all year round, but Music Month provides an opportunity to experience the full variety of genres and performers on our doorsteps.”

Changes to the way New Zealand on Air funds musicians in May last year have been widely praised by the industry.

“The new focus on funding individual tracks by a greater number of artists, rather than funding full albums for fewer acts, has allowed a wider range of artists to get their music to the public and added depth to the creative sector,” Mr Foss said. “It recognises the effect changing technology has had on the industry and has brought the funding model into the 21st century.”

New Zealand Music Month runs for all of May, and is promoted by the New Zealand Music Commission. A schedule of events can be found at http://www.nzmusicmonth.co.nz

(New Zealand Government)

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