Jerry Wise Young Performers Scholarships Awards EveningArts, Culture and Heritage
Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena koutou katoa.
My colleague David Benson-Pope MP – Chair of Labour's Culture Caucus Committee; Terence O'Neill-Joyce, from the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand; Representatives of The British Council; the recipients of the Jerry Wise Young Performers Scholarships, your families and friends.
Before we begin, I would like to acknowledge that it has been a very difficult day, and many of us are still shaken by the events in the United States.
It is an enormous tragedy, and even though we are so far away, we are deeply touched by the loss of lives in New York, Washington and Pittsburgh.
Though it will be some time before we know how many have died, we know that it is already too many.
A tragedy of this magnitude is a reminder to us all to treasure life and nurture peace.
(A moment of silence, please)
It's a pleasure to be here once again for the Jerry Wise Young Performers Scholarship Awards Evening. It's always satisfying to see talented young musicians pursue professional musical careers.
When the Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, Helen Clark – whose greetings I bring you today - and I were developing the government's arts policy, we built it on the idea that careers in the arts are worthwhile things to pursue.
In May 2000, we announced the ‘Cultural Recovery Package’. We made a significant injection of over $80 million into the arts, culture and heritage sector. We did this because arts and culture are extremely important for several reasons.
Intrinsic Value: Firstly, Art is intrinsically good. As musicians, you will know that participating in the arts, as well as appreciating the arts, "just feels good".
Identity: Secondly the arts enhance our sense of identity as New Zealanders – the songs we sing, the art we paint, the music we play all tell little stories that make a bigger picture about why we are who we are.
New Zealanders want to see and hear New Zealand stories and voices on the stage, on TV and radio. In the popular music industry, bands and individual performers have provided young New Zealanders with an important cultural touchstone – music that speaks to them of their own context and experiences.
Classical music composed by New Zealanders also speaks to us with special relevance because it’s influenced by our landscape. Think of a composition by the late Douglas Lilburn – you can hear a sweeping breadth that reflects our mountains and our coastline;
Gillian Whitehead was specially commissioned to write a work for performance by the semi-finalists in the Michael Hill International Violin Competition held earlier this year. She describes her work, Bright Silence, as evocative of Central Otago.
And Gareth Farr’s music has special qualities to which many New Zealand audiences from diverse backgrounds can relate.
Economy: Finally the arts can make a big contribution to New Zealand's economy. World wide, the cultural and heritage sectors are among the key growth areas for the 21st century.
The New Zealand music industry can be a part of this growth. For example: The OMC song ‘How Bizarre’ earned in the area of $15 million.
16 months on from the Cultural Recovery Package, the cultural sector is in great shape:
Creative New Zealand
The funding included an extra $20 million to Creative New Zealand, to provide greater security to our key performing arts agencies.
Creative New Zealand supports the development of New Zealand music through a range of schemes. It contributes funding to contemporary, Pacific, Maori, jazz and classical music projects. Musical projects to get funding in the most recent funding round included song writing workshops, the presentation of programmes of New Zealand music, including specially commissioned music; intensive music training for young musicians; education tours, the production of CDs; and a national hip-hop summit in Auckland.
Creative New Zealand also supports the regional orchestras; opera companies and other music organisations such as Chamber Music New Zealand and the New Zealand Youth Choir. Along with APRA, it funds the Centre for New Zealand Music, SOUNZ. SOUNZ promotes the creation, performance, publication, recording and broadcast of New Zealand music, by working with and on behalf of New Zealand composers.
Music Industry Commission
We established the Music Industry Commission. It's role is to grow the NZ music industry, which as we already know from OMC's success has enormous commercial potential.
The Music Industry Commission is already doing good work in schools; it's held a number of forums on Pacific Island music; and it was the backbone of NZ Music Month in May.
The MIC has an important role in helping young musicians take advantage of opportunities that might be offered them. It has set up a resource centre at its Auckland office, and it is dealing with matters relating to contracts and to copyright, and with technological development in the industry, which is swift and sweeping.
New Zealand Symphony Orchestra
The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra is able to tour to a number of smaller centres in line with its commitment to become available to more New Zealanders in more communities. It has also been able to make a bigger commitment to education programmes, and mentoring schemes with young instrumentalists;
It administers the Alex Lindsay Awards for talented young orchestral musicians, and convenes the National Youth Orchestra on an annual basis.
NZ On Air/Te Mangai Paho
With Cultural Recovery Package funding, New Zealand On Air has been able to implement the Phase 4 New Zealand Music Plan. Phase Four underpins New Zealand On Air’s objectives of increasing the amount of New Zealand music played on radio. Meanwhile, Te Mangai Paho supports the development of music from a Maori broadcasting perspective.
The Phase Four scheme is in its second year. Projects funded in the first year of Phase Four included $50,000 each for the international marketing of the albums – Zed (Silencer), Fur Patrol (Pet), Tadpole (The Buddhafinger). Between them they have clocked up 16 commercial radio hits and sales exceeding 98,000.
And up to $50,000 available for recording and/or marketing a new album by a NZ band that has a track record at commercial radio. 14 projects were funded.
Che Fu and Salmonella Dub recently released their latest albums, which were recorded with Phase Four funding. Salmonella Dub's album went straight to number one on the NZ album charts, while Che Fu's new album has already achieved platinum status.
Other government initiatives
My colleague, Broadcasting Minister Marian Hobbs, is looking at how we can get more New Zealand music on radio. She is asking the commercial radio industry for their views on a voluntary quota for New Zealand music on radio. Submissions from the industry close on 1 October so we'll be looking at where to go after that.
The Ministry of Economic Development and Industry New Zealand are looking at the music industry along with the film industry, with a view to developing strategies to generate further growth in those sectors.
Publically-funded broadcasting media offers opportunities to access New Zealand art, including music. National Radio has a weeknight arts programme, and along with Concert FM it presents a huge variety of programmes focussing specifically on New Zealand music.
The TVNZ Charter, to be implemented next year, has been developed by the Minister of Broadcasting with a view to making the organisation more responsive to the needs of its diverse audiences, and is likely to increase the coverage of New Zealand music.
TVNZ's new late-night music programme "M2" starts this weekend, with a promise of at least 30% NZ music.
I believe we must have an environment in which New Zealanders can express themselves and pursue satisfying careers in film, theatre, broadcasting and music.
We produce in New Zealand world-class performers who succeed on the world scene.
The most famous contemporary New Zealand jazz artist, instrumentalist and composer Alan Broadbent, is an icon to many New Zealand jazz enthusiasts. This year he became the first-ever Herb Alpert Visiting Professor at the prestigious Berklee College of Music.
Let's not forget Gary Brain – who was popular for years in NZ as a NZSO percussionist and for his amazing talks in schools. I remember him as a huge inspiration when he came to my school. Now he's conducting some of Europe's major orchestras.
Young New Zealand classical musicians have gone on to complete their training in world-class conservatoriums overseas. Many return to work in the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra or prestigious regional orchestras.
We want to ensure that even more people in the music industry can succeed in the same way, and I'm pleased that there are many organisations and individuals who are also willing to help out.
The British Council has a history of support for young people. It provides links between the young people of our two countries and opportunities for stimulation and refreshment through outside influences. Its direct involvement with the award in the audio-engineering category of the Jerry Wise Young Performers Scholarships is a wonderful gift to a young New Zealander who can now build on his or her talents.
The late Jerry Wise was an extremely important man who helped young people record and distribute their music. He made a huge contribution to the future of New Zealand's arts.
Strategic partnerships and individual contributions are vital if we are to keep building strong and vibrant arts and culture industries in New Zealand. I would like to thank everybody involved in this Jerry Wise Young Performers Scholarship Awards Evening.
I'd like to thank the families – the mums, dads and teachers who all give so much so that their children can become great musicians. You drive them to classes, you buy their instruments and their lessons, you cheer them on and support them when they perform.
You make an amazing contribution. My own mother had her four children learning musical instruments, but the dog would wail whenever he heard the trumpet. My mother's contribution was to take the dog for a walk while we were practising!
Finally I would like to congratulate all the award recipients tonight, and I wish you every success in the future. I hope that as your careers progress, music continues to be a joy to you.