Southern musicians miss out on grants

Fewer Government grants are making tracks to Southern musicians.

NZ On Air documents released under the Official Information Act reveal that Otago and Southland musicians accounted for 4.7% of the 575 singles the Government broadcast funding agency approved.

NZ On Air chief executive Jane Wrightson said the single-track funding scheme MakingTracks started in July 2011.

Ms Wrightson said the agency had approved funding grants for 20 singles of 13 artists who ''hail from Otago and Southland'' - Alizrin Lizard, Annah Mac, Die! Die! Die!, Dudley Benson, Haunted Heart, Knives at Noon, Males, Mountaineater, Robert Scott, Six60, Tono & The Finance Company, Toy Love and Two Cartoons.

When the documents were given to former Radio One DJ Aaron Hawkins this week, he identified three more artists - Ed Muzik, She's So Rad and The Bats.''

Ed Muzik is a University of Otago post-grad and lived in Dunedin for a few years, and Anji Sami, of She's So Rad, lived and worked at the university for quite a while.''

Including Mr Hawkins' findings, Southland and Otago musicians had 27 tracks approved for funding - 4.7% of the approvals since MakingTracks inception.

Otago and Southland account for 7% of the nation's population.

Ms Wrightson said funding was based on a song's merits, as judged by an independent panel of broadcasting and music media professionals from around the country.''

We give the panel the songs to listen to but we don't give them the artist's place of birth or residence.''

Mr Hawkins said he had been on the judging panel twice.

There were many great musicians in the South and funding statistics should not be used to determine the state of the music scene.

Many artists would not apply for Government grants because of the compulsory $2000 (plus GST) contribution, he said.

Making tracks
• NZ On Air spends more than $5 million a year promoting New Zealand music.

• Making Tracks is a $2 million single-track funding scheme to provide a funding contribution to the costs of recording a single and/or making a music video.

• An independent panel of up to 8 broadcasters and music media people meet 10 times a year and assess each song to decide on which of the songs put forward will get funding.

• Making Tracks provides grants of up to $10,000 for recording a song and making a music video for broadcast - up to $4000 for recording a song and $6000 for making the music video.

• The applicant must contribute $2000 (plus GST).

• In the first two years of Making Tracks, NZ On Air had 2498 applications.


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