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Finalists announced for 2024 NZ Children's Music Awards | Ngā Manu Tīrairaka

Story Published Tuesday 16 April 2024

Welcome children, to today’s lesson on humour, imagination, collaboration and creativity proudly brought to you by the 2024 Ngā Manu Tīrairaka | NZ Children’s Music Award finalists – an annual presentation celebrating music written for kids held on Sunday 5 May at Tuning Fork, Auckland.

On the learning menu today is the not-so-subtle art of letting out your farts, how to paint the town beige, sound effects from 80’s computer games and of course, the important reminder to not leave the house without your trousers.

Harmonious trilingual melodies, infectious piratical energy and rebellious anthems to help you spell those tricky sight-words, this year's finalists' songs tackle everyday topics with wit and charm, proving that music has the power to both entertain and educate all while telling our stories.

The excitement is building, and the stage is set, please join us in celebrating the 2024 Ngā Manu Tīrairaka | NZ Children’s Music Awards finalists. Hold on tight, it could be a bit of a bumpy ride. Drum roll please...

APRA Best Children’s Song - Preschool | He Manu Pīpī finalists:

Don McGlashan and Harry Sinclair (The Front Lawn) for ‘Let It Out’ performed by Tami Neilson

Levity Beet and Judi Cranston for ‘Funny Little Bunny – The Springtime Action Song’ performed by Levity Beet and Judi Cranston

Siu Williams-Lemi and Suzy Cato for ‘Toro Like A Kakīroa’ performed by Siu and Leah of Loopy Tunes and Suzy Cato

APRA Best Children’s Song - Primary | He Pī Ka Rere finalists:

Craig Smith for ‘Stinky Wonky Donkey’ performed by Craig Smith and Maia Amor-Smith

Michal Bush and Jeremy Dillon for ‘Beige’ performed by Michal and Moe

Steph Brown and Fen Ikner for ‘Because’ performed by Little Lips

Recorded Music NZ Best Children’s Music Artist | Te Manu Taki Kerekahu o te Tau finalists:


Captain Festus McBoyle

Claudia Robin Gunn

NZ On Air Best Children’s Music Video | He Manu Tūtei finalists:

Don McGlashan and Harry Sinclair (Kiri and Lou) for ‘Let It Out’ video by Harry Sinclair, Ant Elworthy, and Fiona Copland

Jeremy Redmore for ‘Singalong’ video by Adam Rowland of Awkward Animations

Steph Brown and Fen Ikner (Little Lips) for ‘Because’ video by Fen Ikner

Kōkako finalists for Best Children's Performer presented by Kiwi Kids Music, NZ Opera and Auckland Philharmonia:

Aria Clarke for ‘Be My Own Me’ - aged 11 years
Talia Perkins for 'Remember Me’ - aged 12 years
Tiahuia Wara for ‘Tāku hoa moa’ - aged 12 years
Iisha Harris for ‘For the better’ - aged 11 years
Lydia Clark for ‘Of Love We Are Made’ - aged 10 years

As curator of the Children’s Music Awards and a NZ children’s music writer, author, and broadcaster herself, Suzy Cato is very thrilled with the state of the children’s music community of Aotearoa. “We can be so very proud of our amazing Children’s Music Industry, here in Aotearoa. It's obvious in every song entered this year, how passionate our singer/songwriters and producers are about working together to provide the very best content they can for the gorgeous audience they’re creating for. From preschool action songs and lullabies to cheeky dance-alongs, and stories set to music – the entries come from the heart, imagination and often a very boogie bottom! I’m delighted to be one of the finalists with the gorgeous duo Loopy Tunes Preschool Music and am excited, once again, to be curating the awards and shining the light very brightly on an industry that’s so enthusiastic about meeting their audience’s ears, hearts and minds. To have expanded the number of categories, this year, including a category for young kiwi vocalists. With the Kōkako Award is fantastic!”

Presented by Recorded Music NZ, APRA AMCOS NZ, and NZ On Air, the Awards have the support of Kiwi Kids Music, the national association of children’s songwriters, creators and producers. Formed by some of the most passionate creators of music for kiwi kids, the association supports NZ children’s music creators and seeks to advance the potential of all our children to live healthy fulfilling lives.

Winners will be announced at an invite only ceremony on Sunday 5 May at Tuning Fork, Spark Arena. The show will be hosted by Suzy Cato with awards presented by tamariki from across Aotearoa. There will be live performances, video screenings, and to follow the awards, interactive music-making workshops, afternoon tea, and plenty of fun and games.

Thanks to APRA AMCOS NZ, Recorded Music NZ, Spark Arena, NZ On Air, NZ Music Commission, Kiwi Kids Music, NZ Opera and Auckland Philharmonia.