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Have a great NZ Music Month!

Have a great NZ Music Month!

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"New Zealand Music Month is not only an opportunity to promote New Zealand music and increase airplay of New Zealand music on commercial radio; it's an opportunity to celebrate our New Zealand musicians and their talents", says Associate Arts Culture and Heritage Minister Judith Tizard.

The Minister officially launched New Zealand Music Month at a free gig in Wellington today featuring the Bleeders, Deja Voodoo and Cherry's Gemstones.

"I am proud to have watched the rapid increase in New Zealand Music being played on commercial radio over the last four years. It's been a meteoric rise and congratulations are due to the members of the recording and radio broadcasting industries, New Zealand on Air and all our musicians.

"The New Zealand Music Code is an initiative that has been embraced wholeheartedly by the recording and broadcasting industries and has proven a stunning success since its inception in 2002.

"The plan was to increase airplay of New Zealand music on commercial radio to 20% by 2006. It has consistently outstripped its targets.

"In fact, by the end of the 2005 calendar year, the radio industry had already delivered by playing 20.77% local music.

Last year four of the top five most-played songs on New Zealand radio were New Zealand songs - Breaks Co-Op The Other Side; the feelers Stand Up; the feelers The Fear; and Dave Dobbyn Welcome Home. Only one foreigner got a look in.

"Who would have imagined that ten years - even five years - ago!"

With a population of only 4 million people, all New Zealand industries need to look at export to make their businesses sustainable. The Labour-led government is promoting New Zealand music overseas by providing funding through the New Zealand Music Industry Commission under its 'Outward Sound' scheme, launched in December last year. Its purpose is to enhance the profile of New Zealand musicians and to help develop international markets for their works - boosting their potential to increase our export earnings.

The government also gave additional resources to NZ On Air for them to undertake Phase Five - their international music promotion strategy.

"New Zealand musicians are already known as creative and innovative with a unique sound. Our compositions, the technical expertise, and the performances by New Zealand musicians are known for their energy and creativity. They're qualities that have generated a keen community of support for New Zealand musicians and for our recording industry. Our high fliers provide vibrant role models for young, emerging talent who will carry on the established traditions of success.

"I am proud of the strength and importance of New Zealand music and it's significant contribution to our sense of ourselves - our national identity.

"This government remains committed to a successful local music industry - which supports our people's livelihoods. We believe that New Zealand music needs to be in our schools, on our radios, on our television screens and on our stages.

"I encourage everyone to show their support for our growing music industry by buying a record by a New Zealand artist this May.

"Have a great NZ New Zealand Music Month!"

ENDS

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