We fund great songs

We fund artists to record songs, make music videos, and promote their songs, so that great NZ songs find their audience, both on radio and online platforms.


NZ On Air has been involved in funding and promoting New Zealand music since 1991.

Over the past 20 years – but especially since 2000 – our New Zealand music work was focused on one primary strategic objective and that was to infiltrate commercial radio.

Getting more New Zealand music played on commercial radio was seen as the strategic priority. 

Commercial radio remains important because its still the way the majority of people connect with music. But there are now an increasing number of other platforms for reaching audiences.

Our current music mission is –

To connect great songs with diverse media audiences


Ciaran Mcmeeken

February 2016

Ciaran Mcmeeken

You may have heard Ciaran Mcmeeken's beautiful new single 'City' on the radio. It's a fusion of acoustic Pop and Folk sounds with clever lyrics and well-crafted, memorable melodies. He could be the next big thing to come out of NZ.


May 2014


A four-piece rock/metal band from Hamilton is storming the music scene


Finding and funding great songs by New Zealand artists is a key strategy in our quest to make sure that New Zealand music is well represented on radio and online.

We do this through our New Music funding scheme which supports artists to record their songs and/or music videos and then to promote them to audiences.

We are in the content creation business. We focus on new music that stands out from the crowd – that is, great songs by artists with a good story to tell. And we take account of different platforms for connecting that song with its audience.

From 2011 to 2016 we ran the funding scheme Making Tracks. A thorough review of Making Tracks in early 2016 resulted in a change to the new two tier New Music funding scheme.

Our music funding support aligns with the work of several other agencies, as expressed in the Contemporary Popular Music Group strategy. NZ On Air, Creative New Zealand and the New Zealand Music Commission share information on applications to ensure that there is no duplication of funding.

New Music funding

As of 1 July 2016 there are two funding schemes that replace Making Tracks. The New Music funding schemes encompass Single or Project funding for new music projects that have great potential to reach a significant audience via broadcast and online platforms.

New Music – Single funding

Funding for a single song is available for up to $8,000 towards a combination of recording costs, making a music video or visual representation for the song, and promotion costs for getting the song noticed. An additional $2,000 co-investment is required from the applicant for single grants. You can find out more here.

New Music – Project funding

Funding for multi-single projects is available for between $7,500 and $30,000 as a co-investment. Funds can be used towards a combination of recording costs, making a music video or visual representation for the songs, and promotion costs for getting the songs noticed. Applicants will be required to have professional third-party music company support to co-fund the project to a minimum of 40% of eligible costs. (eg. $20,000 of eligible costs for a project could include up to $12,000 from NZ On Air and a minimum of $8,000 from the applicant). You can find out more here.