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Music Commission Farewells Long-Serving Chair

NZ Music Commission Farewells Long-Serving Chairperson

This week the NZ Music Commission chairman Richard Thorne stepped down from his role after five years.

Richard joined the NZ Music Industry Commission’s Board of Trustees as chairman in August 2003. Having been established in 2000 with the mandate of growing the NZ music industry, the Commission was still relatively new and at the time had a staff of four.

During Richard’s tenure as chairperson the organisation (now known as the NZ Music Commission) has grown considerably in capability and today is based in inner city Auckland with a staff of eight.

In addition to providing leadership through these times of expansion, Richard has made significant contributions in a number of different areas. He has been closely involved with some of the Commission’s core activities including NZ Music Month, the international trade show programme and education initiatives.

Significantly, during Richard’s term as Chairperson, the government has committed funding to the Commission on an ongoing basis through the Ministry for Culture & Heritage, which is providing greater security for the organisation and its programmes.

“The Music Industry Commission was rightly challenged to prove itself as being a productive and valuable use of government funds in the popular music sector” says Richard. “The announcement of secured future funding made in this year’s Budget has been a very welcome reward for the hard work of all those involved in the Commission’s programmes since 2000. I am sure that the renewed confidence it provides will allow the organisation to move into a new phase of development, making this an ideal time for me to step aside and for the Board to enjoy new leadership.”

Of particular pride to Richard was his involvement in the creation and implementation of Outward Sound, the Commission’s international music marketing programme. Based on an industry group’s recommendation to government, this scheme has, to date, supported 84 music companies or artists to undertake international tours, release music offshore and showcase in other territories.

“It’s impossible to briefly encompass the influence Richard has had on the organisation,” said Cath Andersen, Chief Executive of the Commission. “It was Richard’s idea to make NZ Music Month t-shirts available to the public, the sales of which now underwrite the costs of the annual celebration. The addition of the International Department at the Commission would not have happened without his vision for what could be achieved with dedicated staff. These are just two of the myriad of contributions Richard has made.”

Richard will remain a highly valued member of the Commission’s Board of Trustees and an announcement about the organisation’s new Chairperson will be made later this week.

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