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Anderton Speech: Launch of Creating Heat

Jim Anderton Speech: Launch of Creating Heat – Tumata Kia Whita! -- The Report of the Music Industry Export Development Group

5.00PM Wednesday 7 July 2004. Winter Garden, The Civic Corner Wellesley and Queen Streets Auckland


My colleague, Judith Tizard, Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage

Music export industry development group chair Malcolm Black and members of the Export Development Group

Some of you will know I have some direct experience of the export of New Zealand music.

My daughter is an example of a New Zealand music export.

She sings opera professionally in Germany.

My son is a pretty talented musician, too.

There used to be a joke about a young kid who says to his mother, "Mum, when I grow up I'd like to be a musician." She replies, "Well honey, you know you can't do both."

NZ Idol judges Paul Ellis and Frankie Stevens were members of this taskforce.

If they’re lucky I might strike up a tune in a minute.

It will give them a taste of some of the talent they missed out on in NZ Idol.

Someone told me there was an age limit, and I was just a bit too old to enter Idol.

Later this year I’ll be introducing legislation to increase the qualifying age.

You’re looking at next year’s Idol.

But Helen Clark told me I’m not allowed to get my hair cut like Ben Lummis.

Seriously – the success of the NZ Idol competition this year told us some important things about NZ music.

We saw on display some – just a few – of the brilliantly talented young people around New Zealand whom hardly anyone has ever heard sing before.

The competition told us New Zealand musicians have the talent to bring this country to a stand still when it’s done the right way.

There is a number one album and a number one single spinning on most of our radio stations.

We’ve learned New Zealand music can dominate sales in New Zealand.

Our next step has to be to build an industry capable of achieving domination of music sales globally.

We need to do that to hear our own musicians and artists.

We want to do it for the potential revenue it can bring – in the seventies they used to say that Abba’s export earnings were second only in Sweden to Volvo.

But there is an even more important reason for building the export sector of our music industry.

It helps to create an excitement about NZ.

Our cultural expression has the opportunity to do as much for us as it has done for Ireland or for Australia.

Two years ago a government agency surveyed New Zealanders attitudes, and asked how New Zealanders would like to be known by the rest of the world.

About two per cent said they wanted us to be known most for our sporting excellence – the All Blacks, our Olympians, for example.

About fifteen per cent wanted to be known for our clean green image, and our stunning physical assets.

A greater number wanted New Zealand to be known as a just country with strong social services.

I agree all these are worthy characteristics to be known for.

But I also agree with the majority who want New Zealand to be known for something more – our talent and creativity.

We are an immensely creative and talented country.

The Government recognised this when it identified our creative industries as crucial to the transformation of our economy.

The creative sector was chosen alongside biotech and ICT.

Creative industries include fashion, film and design.

Industry taskforces were set up in each of those fields.

Each was chosen not only for their intrinsic potential for growth, but because they can have a potentially immense effect on other industries.

Along with other arts, the music industry helps build a uniquely New Zealand national identity.

It positions New Zealand as a creative, innovative nation.

Importantly, the creative arts also provide employment, opportunities for creative entrepreneurs and good economic returns for New Zealand.

This is a great time to turn our domestic success into export success.

The domestic music industry is unusually strong.

Local airplay records have been broken.

The record for local content in a calendar week was broken three times in succession in May with the new record set at 25.47% of airplay.

We have enjoyed an extraordinary NZ Music Month – the biggest ever, finished off by 24-hours of New Zealand music television.

Our artists have created a stir at ‘South By Southwest’ in Austin, Texas.

This is one of the world’s most prestigious music trade shows.

NZ Trade and Enterprise and the NZ Music Industry Commission supported NZ musicians to attend.

New Zealand artists are reaching global audiences -- The Datsuns, Hayley Westenra, Steriogram…

Sometimes it’s a matter of luck—as Steriogram showed.

You may well have heard this story.

LA talent finder Joe Berman sat at home scouting for new groups.

He typed ‘New Zealand indie rock bands’ into Google and up popped Steriogram.

He was excited by the song and video he downloaded from their website, and emailed the band asking for more examples of their music.

Berman subsequently played the demo CD to a senior director for EMI Publishing, who, in turn, was a friend of the president of Capitol Records.

Two weeks later Steriogram had a five-album deal with Capitol, home of the Beatles.

To fully realise the potential economic returns, we need to take our artists, and our music, to the centre of the world stage.

We can’t rely on the kind of luck Steriogram received.

We can try to make our own luck.

Being world famous in New Zealand does not necessarily translate to global or economic success.

Even with the extraordinary domestic growth of the music industry recently, few participants make a sustainable living.

In fact there’s a story about that.

Saint Peter is checking ID's at the Pearly Gates, and first along comes a wealthy businessman.

"Tell me, what have you done in life?" says Saint Peter.

The businessman says "Well, I was a farmer and prices were pretty good so I got rich, but I didn't sit on my laurels—I paid my taxes and carefully divided my money among family and friends so our descendants are all set for about three generations."

Saint Peter says, "That's quite something. Come on in. Next!"

The second guy in line has been listening, so he says, "I struck it big in the stock market, but I didn't selfishly just provide for my own like that farmer. I donated five million to charity.”

"Wonderful!" says Saint Peter. "Come in. Who's next?

"The third guy has been listening, and says timidly with a downcast look, "Well, I only made five thousand dollars in my entire lifetime."

"Heavens!" says Saint Peter. "What instrument did you play?"

The Music Industry Export Development Group was set up to provide the government with an agreed plan for the industry and government, in partnership.

It provides an industry focus for realising the export potential of the New Zealand music industry.

The Group represented some of the best minds in the industry.

I thank them for the time, energy, passion and expertise that they have contributed.

Chair: Malcolm Black

Members: Cath Andersen from the NZ Music Industry Commission Brent Hansen, the President & Chief Executive of MTV Europe. Paul Ellis Angus Vail Adam Holt Mark Ashbridge Chris Chetland Ben Howe Hannah Cornwell Moana Maniapoto Andy Murnane Frankie Stevens Ray Columbus Mike Chunn Campbell Smith Simon Baeyertz

A number of specialist working groups of industry professionals have also contributed to the development of the strategy.

The result is Creating Heat: Tumata kia Whita!.

It recommends the Government and the New Zealand music industry support a ‘NZ Out There’ export strategy.

It calls for better statistical information on the export value of the industry.

It wants to see the general capability and business skills of the industry enhanced.

Over the coming month, you all have the opportunity to provide feedback on the report and its recommendations.

I urge you to participate in this process.

The address for submissions is in the report you will receive today.

The government is committed to working closely with the industry and it will develop a formal response to its recommendations.

But I can respond now by once again stressing the commitment of the government to working with the industry.

It is a personal commitment by me as well as a political one.

A few years ago, I used to be demonised for saying industry and government should work closely together.

There are still those who want to go back to the past.

So it’s up to you, too, to make it work.

To stand up for the potential of the industry and to work closely with the government in unlocking the potential we have.

There is no question, New Zealand is exceptionally talented as a nation.

We need to unlock the potential of our musical talent.

We need to match the talent of our performers with smart, coherent strategy.

I feel very positive about our future - I hope you do too.

Thank you again to those responsible for the report.

All the best for the future development of our music - it is for export!

© Scoop Media

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