BACKGROUND INFORMATION ON THE MUSIC INDUSTRY FORUMCultural Affairs
The Music Industry Forum is an initiative of some leading figures in the music industry.
The Forum will play a facilitating and problem-solving role in the development of the New Zealand popular music industry. As a non-governmental, non-profit incorporated society the Forum will operate with a board of trustees contributing expertise from various sections of the music industry.
The Forum aims to provide coordination and promotion for the New Zealand industry, as well as an educational role. Likely projects include: an advisory service for musicians and songwriters, a mentoring scheme for young performers, and an Internet site for the promotion of New Zealand music.
Government has agreed to support the launching of the Forum by contributing fifty percent of its income, up to $200,000 per annum, for two years. This funding, through the Ministry for Culture and Heritage, will be made available for Forum projects in the start-up phase, rather than for ongoing running costs.
Funding will begin following the presentation of a business case detailing the projects, and the appointment of a qualified board and executive director. The Forum will need to demonstrate that it has financial support from across the music industry to match the Government's contribution.
Government will play a supporting rather than a leading role. Short-term seeding funding is already a proven form of Government assistance for the cultural sector. The film industry's partnership with Government under the banner of Project Blue Sky was a notable success.
The Forum has the potential to offer useful services, particularly to young people. Young performers lack the resources, and often the knowledge, to be competitive with the internationally marketed recordings that are the staple of both radio and retailing.
Having a single, reliable source of advice and support will be of great value for all young musicians. The Forum will help those with exceptional drive and talent to pursue a long-term career and market themselves successfully.
Popular music is a significant form of cultural expression, especially for the young. Increasingly in New Zealand this music is becoming a means of expressing a distinct national identity, and is developing indigenous forms.