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News June 1, 2020

NZ music industry welcomes multi-million dollar recovery package

Senior Journalist, B2B
NZ music industry welcomes multi-million dollar recovery package

The New Zealand music community is quietly rejoicing a landmark NZ$175 million recovery package which will help prop-up an arts sector that has been smashed by the coronavirus crisis.

The package includes $16.5 million earmarked for the contemporary popular music industry.

On Friday, prime minister Jacinda Ardern announced a jobseekers programme and four new funds to help the arts and music sectors, which have been “been decimated by COVID-19.”

In a statement, Ardern said: “Treasury forecasts suggests that without government intervention, the cultural sector will be hit roughly twice as hard as the rest of the economy, and 11,000 jobs could be lost within a 12-month period.”

NZ’s arts and creative sector is said to employ 90,000 people, contributing nearly $11 billion a year to the GDP.

The overall package “will protect and create jobs in the creative industries, ultimately aiding in New Zealand’s economic recovery,” reads a statement from the NZ Labour Party.

“The flow-on effects of this investment will positively impact other industries – such as hospitality, venues and domestic tourism – while we rebuild New Zealand together.

Musicians get a much-needed boost by way of $16.5 million set aside for a New Zealand Music Recovery Fund, specifically targeted at the contemporary popular music industry.

Of that sum, $7.1 million will boost NZ on Air’s New Music programmes; $5 million is set aside for a Live Music Touring Fund to support homegrown acts on the domestic circuit; $3 million will support music venues, with grants of up to $50,000 made available per venue (to be administered by the NZ Music Commission); and $1.4 million will go to musicians to help recoup lost income (via Outward Sounds and NZ Music Month).

The support for new contemporary music and live music “is expected to sustain a combined 2,900 jobs over two years, produce 455 new song releases and 150 live music tours throughout New Zealand,” reads a statement. 

It’s been a tough few months for the music sector on both sides of the Tasman. Event cancellations and postponements across Australia and New Zealand have cost the wider music industries more than $340 million in lost income, according to I Lost My Gig.

More details on the industry’s recovery package will be published in the coming weeks, explains the NZ Music Commission, which welcomed the recovery investment.

The NZ package dwarfs the sums handed out by Australia’s government to the creative industries. The Morrison government’s support includes a A$27 million handout in April, just a fraction of the $650 million package sought by the music industry.

Ardern, who also holds the portfolio for Arts, Culture and Heritage, earlier unveiled a $100 million funding boost for the arts sector, which will be divided among museums, galleries, heritage sites, dance and theatre companies and more.

The first wave of NZ funding will become available from July 2020.

Read more here

This article originally appeared on The Industry Observer, which is now part of The Music Network.


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