A new Tui trophy designed by leading New Zealand artist Dick Frizzell are among the changes in store for this year’s NZ Music Awards.

The NZ music industry’s premier awards event will be held at Auckland’s Spark Arena on November 15 and this year will be hosted by Australian Idol winner Stan Walker and local media personality Kanoa Lloyd.

Recorded Music New Zealand is promising a new direction for the Vodafone-sponsored ceremoney– aka the Tuis – which honours the best in local music over the past year.

The main change announced so far is a new ‘Artists’ Tui initiative, which will see a prominent New Zealand creative putting their twist on the trophy each year.

Dick Frizzell, best known for his iconic celebrations of Kiwiana, is the first artist to be selected to revamp the Tui statuette. “I jumped at the chance to put my own spin on the iconic Tui for Recorded Music New Zealand,” he says. “It’s an honour to be a part of celebrating the achievements of the amazingly talented artists of Aotearoa.”

Dick Frizzell artist in striped shirt
Dick Frizzell

Another new initiative will be the Tui Music Series, a two-week programme of industry events leading up to the main ceremony.

These will encompass seminars and workshops devoted to music filmmaking, design and production, and will be held in Auckland and Wellington from October 29 to November 11. In addition, the Tui Music Series will incorporate the Artisan Awards, which will be presented at the Massey University College of Creative Arts Toi Rauwharangi in Wellington on November 5.

The Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards will also boast a new look courtesy of branding agency Designworks Auckland, which has been conceived to honour the past and celebrated the present and future.

Recorded Music NZ CEO Damian Vaughan says the changes to the Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards this year were the next step in the evolution of the ceremony.

“This year we want to connect back to the wairua [spirit] of why the event exists, and that is to celebrate our musicians and their music,” he adds. “The awards are our biggest platform to honour New Zealand recording artists and we can’t wait to celebrate the recent achievements in Kiwi music.”

The ceremony will once again be broadcast live on the commercial free to air network Three and will celebrate the winners of the sixteen categories awarded on the night. These include album and single of the year and best group and solo artists, plus the winners in main music genre categories, some of which have already been announced. The finalists in the key categories will be announced on September 27.

Mark Roach, marketing and special projects, Recorded Music NZ; CEO Damian Vaughan; artist Dick Frizzell
Mark Roach, marketing and special projects, Recorded Music NZ; Recorded Music NZ CEO Damian Vaughan; artist Dick Frizzell

As always there will be a number of industry awards such as such as highest selling single and most played song, plus the inaugural Music Teacher of the Year Tui.

There will also be a new inductee into the NZ Music Hall of Fame, with the Recorded Music NZ Legacy Award recipient to be announced on October 18.