SOUNZ Centre for New Zealand Music is deeply concerned about the proposed changes to RNZ Concert.

These will have a devastating impact on the music and careers of Aotearoa New Zealand’s composers. They undermine the profile of composers, orchestras, chamber ensembles (including jazz ensembles), choirs, singers and soloists. RNZ Concert is at the heart of our musical life and culture, and works with our arts organisations to multiply our audience and maximise the impact of the significant investment made by the government in the arts. It is a critical element in the arts infrastructure of Aotearoa, providing access to New Zealand music and live performances to thousands of listeners throughout the country and, crucially, abroad.

As part of our Resound project, SOUNZ has to date published 1,013 films of works by New Zealand composers. Many of these films utilise RNZ Concert audio through a partnership with the network. These films receive over 100,000 views per annum and this audience continues to increase (see statistics below). SOUNZ has also developed partnerships across the music industry that can provide a deeper and more inclusive approach to broadcasting, and are areas of focus that we have already and will continue to grow.

Such partnerships include the NZ Composer Sessions, in which SOUNZ and RNZ Concert collaborate with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra to promote the performance and recording of orchestral music by New Zealand composers.  To date 150 works by 70 composers have been rehearsed and recorded, and as a result of this partnership 24 works by 17 composers have received 52 orchestral performances in New Zealand and 18 overseas, making a total of 70 performances.  This work, including the Resound Project, will be jeopardised by the proposed changes.

In addition to maintaining RNZ Concert’s existing FM radio frequencies, we feel strongly that the network’s highly skilled presentation, production and scheduling staff must be retained, if not increased in number, to support their vital remit to record and broadcast the work of New Zealand composers and musicians for the benefit of all New Zealanders.

There has been no consultation with the arts sector, including SOUNZ, on the changes announced. If these plans proceed, the musical and, indeed, the cultural landscape of Aotearoa New Zealand will be greatly diminished. We hope that this decision will be reconsidered.

SOUNZ Statistics

SOUNZ maintains the works and resources of 498 composers, of which 24% are under the age of 40, and collects the works and resources of artists working in these areas:

  • classical composition
  • Māori music
  • music using taonga puoro (traditional Māori instruments)
  • electroacoustic music
  • jazz composition
  • screen composition
  • sound art

SOUNZ Films Views

2019 – 113,120 (328% increase since 2017)

SOUNZ Facebook Reach

2019 – 1,673,082 (298% increase since 2017)

Diana Marsh
Executive Director | Tumu Whakarae
SOUNZ Centre for New Zealand | Toi te Arapūoro

This statement has been sent to:
Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern
Hon Kris Faafoi
Hon Grant Robertson
Hon Carmel Sepuloni

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