As NZ Music Month edges to a close New Zealand’s musicians have reason to celebrate with government funding to NZ On Air for supporting local music creation to more than double for the next two years.

Announced today by Prime Minister and Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Rt Hon. Jacinda Ardern, NZ On Air will receive an extra $7.1m over 2020/21 and 2021/22 specifically for NZ music funding. In the current year NZ On Air was forecast to invest $3.5m in music.

The funding boost comes at a time when the main source of revenue for music artists, touring and live gigs, has dried up due to Covid-19. It also follows research by NZ On Air and Creative NZ last year (Profile of Creative Professionals) which showed musicians among the lowest paid in the creative sector.

The funding will be used to support 455 additional new song releases in the coming two years, including more targeted funding for Pasifika artists, songs in te reo and for children. NZ On Air will also create a new music development fund for newer artists and songwriters, and support the provision of more professional services around early-career artists who receive funding.

In addition, it allows for funded artists to be paid a ‘creation fee’ for the first time under the NZ On Air music funding scheme. $1.5m across the two years will also fund additional music features including online performances, creating exciting new music content for New Zealand audiences.

NZ On Air Head of Music David Ridler is excited by the boost to the contemporary popular NZ music sector. “We are constantly overwhelmed with the sheer volume and high quality of music applications. NZ music has been on a great trajectory the last few years, but the Covid situation has severely hampered many areas of revenue and live exposure,” he said.

“This additional funding will bring a massive boost to the sector and enable a much bigger wave of quality New Zealand songs and other music-related projects, while also helping to give more artists the business-related skills needed for success,” Mr Ridler continued.

The NZ Music Recovery Fund announced today also includes funding via the NZ Music Commission to support live Music touring, as alert levels permit, and support for entertainment venues, and separately some assistance with lost income for music artists.