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Commitment For More NZ Music On Radio

Broadcasting Minister Marian Hobbs has congratulated commercial radio broadcasters on committing themselves to playing at least 20 per cent New Zealand music by 2006.

The Code of Practice for New Zealand Music Content, launched in Auckland today, is the Radio Broadcasters' Association response to a government discussion paper last year calling for more local music on air.

"We were elected in 1999 promising a New Zealand music quota on radio of 20 per cent and today I am proud to be able to point to another election promise met," Marian Hobbs said. "I released a discussion paper last August setting out the parameters for what would be acceptable under a voluntary code. The RBA demonstrated willingness and co-operation throughout our subsequent discussions.

"We reserved the right to regulate for mandatory quota if agreement couldn't be reached. That is still an option if the momentum falters, but I am greatly encouraged by the key elements that have been agreed as part of the code."

These include the establishment of a New Zealand Music Performance Committee to monitor the code with representatives of the RBA, Music Industry Commission, NZ on Air, the Musicians' Union and the recording industry.

The code will be monitored with quarterly reports to the Minister of Broadcasting and the RBA.

"New Zealand popular music has enormous potential to make a vibrant creative industry grow but its cultural potential is limited if it's not available to a wide audience," Marian Hobbs said.

Ends

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