NZ Music Month 2023 Encourages ‘Community and Collaboration’ Across Aotearoa

  • NZ Music Month 2023 Encourages ‘Community and Collaboration’ Across Aotearoa
NZ Music Month 2023 Encourages ‘Community and Collaboration’ Across Aotearoa

NZ Music Month 2023 Encourages ‘Community and Collaboration’ Across Aotearoa

The New Zealand Music Commission are celebrating ‘Community and Collaboration’ this TE MARAMA PUORO O AOTEAROA 2023 (NZ Music Month). This year’s ‘Community and Collaboration’ theme is about working together to build a more connected and collaborative musical landscape across Aotearoa, from songwriting experiments, content co-creation, partnerships to engage and grow audiences, right through to community events.

Rodney Fisher, NZ Music Commission, says,“Working collaboratively is incredibly valuable for a thriving and creative music sector. If we can work together to push forward in ways that both support artists’ personal and creative journeys, we will be building a connected and rewarding local music community.” Rodney hopes this year’s theme ‘Community and Collaboration’ will encourage artists and people across the music sector to get involved in this year’s TE MARAMA PUORO O AOTEAROA by thinking outside the box about what is possible to do together.

An exciting range of community events and collaborative workshops are confirmed to take place around the country, from the smallest towns to the biggest cities across Aotearoa.

Kicking off on 4 May are the Small Hall Sessions for a special series called Hawkes Bay Music Month, with the first week’s shows in Maraekakaho, Clive, Elsthorpe and Takapau. Since its inception in 2020, Small Hall Sessions have become a cheerleader of NZ musicians touring out-of-the-way places, bringing music to the people, wherever they are. In partnership with the NZ Music Month, May’s Small Hall Sessions will see 16 concerts in beautiful but remote Halls bring their battered communities together for a night of much needed healing, while also providing vital work for Hawke’s Bay musicians. This is a chance for the Hawkes Bay to come together as a community and celebrate this extraordinary place and the people in it – including an option for those around the country to buy a donated ticket for someone affected by Cyclone Gabrielle to share the joy and fellowship of a night of music. Simply click to purchase a ticket for a show of your choice, and you’ll be given an option to donate a seat to someone in the local Hawkes Bay community.

Palmerston North Central Library are getting behind the kaupapa of the month with live music performances throughout May – all of which will be recorded in partnership with Radio Control 99.4FM and Manawatū People’s Radio. Alongside a special playlist of video clips on their big screen, and a screening of NZ Music gig photographs, local music legend DFresh has collaborated with Hamilton’s equally legendary Dujon Cullingford to create a special local funk, soul and disco playlist that will be playing in Central Library’s Sound & Vision area during May, chock full of retro NZ sounds!

The Queen Shirl’e Academy presents Bring The Noise, a dynamic songwriting and youth development program aimed at elevating creativity and helping youth achieve their musical dreams. Every Friday over six weeks at the Ōtara Music Centre, the youth songwriting and artist development programme will share expert guidance from experienced industry professionals and teach invaluable skills in songwriting and navigating the music industry, complete with an opportunity for participants to showcase their talent and perform an original song as part of a musical showcase.

The Youth & Adults in the Music Industry (YAMI) Sounz Summit is 100% unique in offering a range of diverse workshops educating our Rangitahi on the Music Industry. Held in Wanaka on Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 May, the topics in 2023 range from Songwriting, Demo It, Beat Making, Share Your Sound, I Wanna DJ, Mixing & Mastering, and Jobs in Music. A top tier list of Tutors and speakers, including Finn Andrews, Anika Moa, Liz Stokes, Anthonie Tonnon and more, will also be performing in showcases over the weekend.

The Music Commission will be taking its Gig Starters project – upskilling young people to put on all ages shows – to three cities during Youth Week, with events in New Plymouth on 17 May, Christchurch on 19 May and Whāngarei on 21 May. There will be plenty of other activities for Youth Week this year, so keep an eye on the weekly e-newsletters.

3 writers, 2 hours, 1 song – the APRA 321 Sessions are a co-writing collaboration held at Parachute Studios in Tāmaki Makarau on Wednesday 10 May. Curated by hip-hop artist MELODOWNZ, who will choose 12 songwriters to take part, the goal is to create a brand new track in just two hours in this mini songwriting event. APRA are also hosting the inaugural Moana Songwriting Sessions curated by Bharu (who’s worked with Ladi6, Valkyrie, @peace and Niko Walters ), SFT (Bailey Wiley, Melodownz, Diggy Dupé and Tom Scott) and Frank Keys (Avantdale Bowling Club, CHAII, LADI6, Melodownz, P-Money, SWIDT and Yoko-Zuna). Applications are open until 2 May, and the six participants selected by the curators will participate in three days of collaborative songwriting at Big Pop Studios at the end of May.

SOLE Music Academy in Christchurch has an amazing series of upskilling seminars this month. The SOLE Speaker Series 2023 is happening on 1, 8 and 13 May with sessions on Performance & Production, Branding & Development and the Music Industry. Speakers include Barnaby Weir from The Black Seeds, JessB and producer Greg Haver.

Levin’s day-long celebration is back for 2023 with NZ Music Month’s Big Day Out in Levin. One of the largest regional events for Te Marama Puoro o Aotearoa, Levin will host seven stages across the town centre showcasing a whole host of local talent from all genres.

Ending a month of collaboration opportunities and community building, this year’s NZ Music Month Summit will return on Saturday 26th May at the Tuning Fork in Auckland, brought to you by the Music Commission in partnership with the Music Managers Forum Aotearoa. There will be discussions with NZ artists and music industry professionals around the TE MARAMA PUORO O AOTEAROA 2023 COMMUNITY AND COLLABORATION theme of building a more connected and collaborative musical landscape across Aotearoa.

A huge range of celebrations, new releases, artist tours, initiatives and special events will be rolling out nationwide during the month of May. Here’s a snapshot of what’s coming up, with more information to follow in our weekly e-newsletters:

The hugely popular NZ Music T-Shirt Day returns on Friday 26th May, with Kiwis encouraged to wear their favourite music t-shirt and donate to the MusicHelps appeal. The charity is using the power of music to change the lives of thousands of New Zealanders in need. Get involved and register a team at:
TE MARAMA PUORO O AOTEAROA 2023 will see a phenomenal line-up of local acts performing right across Aotearoa. Tiny Ruins, Sweet Mix Kids, Devilskin with support from East York, Kaylee Bell, Midwave Breaks, Bleeders, and Soft Plastics will be doing shows right across Aotearoa. Other confirmed shows in May include Crooked Royals, Dead Favours, Pieces of Molly with Pull Down The Sun and Claemus, Kaitaia Metalfest 3, Turkey The Bird, Viices, Saurian, Jamie Pye Quartet, Bryony Matthews, Hannah Everingham, Cat Tunks and more to be announced!
AudioCulture Iwi Waiata, the noisy library of New Zealand music, turns 10 years old this May. To mark 10 years of celebrating Aotearoa New Zealand music, and in a first for the website, AudioCulture will launch the AudioCulture Classic NZ Album Readers Poll for 2023. Voting is open from 10am Monday 1st May, and throughout NZ Music Month. Head to to vote.
The successful rangatahi involved in BIG FAN’s Ignite Event Management stream have been hard at work organising gigs in May. Held at BIG FAN’s purpose-built music venue, these gigs will each raise proceeds for a different charity. Across BIG FAN’s three professional-grade recording studios, Fan Camp Volume 1, a five-day long writing workshop will also be taking place. Nine successful applicants will be writing collaboratively with other producers, vocal performers, instrumentalists and songwriters from Monday 15 to Friday 19th May.
Hosted by Suzy Cato, the Ngā Manu Tīrairaka | Childrens’ Music Awards will take place on Sunday 7 May. The winners of the 2023 Recorded Music New Zealand Te Kaipuoro Waiata Tamariki Toa | Best Children’s Artist, APRA Te Korokoro Tūī | Best Children’s Song, and NZ On Air Te Huia Kaimanawa | Best Children’s Music Video awards will all be announced at the awards event.
The annual NZ Music Month MusicHelps Quiz is confirmed for Tuesday 16th May at the Tuning Fork in Auckland, with all ticket proceeds going to the charity.
Auckland Live will once again be celebrating TE MARAMA PUORO O AOTEAROA with a host of events and activations including their ever popular Auckland Town Hall Tours, the NZ Music Month Edition; Pick & Battle, a dance battle to NZ Music songs for tamariki; The Great New Zealand Music Challenge, a music pub quiz with live music performances; plus on the Aotea Square Digital Stage: Digital Buskers, an interactive digital experience where digital buskers are revealed in a unique virtual world; and FromThePit, a collection of curated music photos from past gigs throughout Aotearoa. Find out more at
With the website going live on 28 April and new t-shirts on sale the same day – including an eye-popping limited edition tee – it’s all go at Te Marama Puoro o Aotearoa HQ. And if you’ve got an event during NZMM you want to tell us about, there’s a form on the website holding page to have your NZ music activity included on the event page.

TE MARAMA PUORO O AOTEAROA is run by the NZ Music Commission, with support from APRA AMCOS, Independent Music NZ, the Māori Music Industry Coalition, MusicHelps, the Music Managers Forum, Music Producers Guild NZ Aotearoa, NZ On Air, Recorded Music NZ, SOUNZ and Te Māngai Pāho. The purpose of TE MARAMA PUORO O AOTEAROA is to celebrate music from New Zealand, and the people who make it.