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The Fight Is Not Over To Save RNZ Concert, Securing FM Frequencies Is Just The Beginning

SOUNZ Centre for New Zealand Music welcomes the government’s decision to retain FM frequencies for RNZ Concert, but the fight must continue to keep full presentation, scheduling and production staffing for the network, otherwise it will only be a classical music jukebox on an FM frequency. It will not reflect the cultural landscape of Aotearoa New Zealand.

This proposal still remains a threat to our community and work. It will have a devastating impact on the music and careers of Aotearoa New Zealand’s composers. It will undermine the profile of composers, orchestras, chamber ensembles (including jazz ensembles), choirs, singers, soloists, taonga puoro players and other musicians.

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.

SOUNZ works in close partnership with RNZ Concert in many of our projects including the Resound project. We have been hugely disappointed that there was never any attempt during the review to consult with SOUNZ. Our work is impacted by these changes yet RNZ management did not advise us on their proposal. This is extremely disappointing.

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 Aotearoa New Zealand composers and musicians for the benefit of all New Zealanders.

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If these plans proceed the musical and, indeed, the cultural landscape of Aotearoa New Zealand will be greatly diminished. We expect that this decision will be reconsidered and that all organisations affected, including SOUNZ, will be consulted on future plans.

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


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

· classical composition

· Māori music

· music using taonga puoro (traditional Maori instruments)

· electroacoustic music

· jazz composition

· screen composition

· sound art


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