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NZ On Air announces New Music Pan-Asian fund

Story Published Thursday 20 April 2023

New fund first of its kind for Pan-Asian music community in Aotearoa

A new one-off targeted fund believed to be the first of its kind to support the Pan-Asian music community in Aotearoa has just launched.

The NZ On Air New Music Pan-Asian fund is designed to increase the amount of quality Pan-Asian music content available in Aotearoa, and to support artists to connect with Pan-Asian and mainstream audiences.

It was created due to the lack of equitable representation of Pan-Asian artists in the music sector.

“At NZ On Air, we have produced a Music Diversity Report since 2020 that shows Pan-Asian New Zealand musicians are under-represented in the Aotearoa music sector,” says NZ On Air Head of Music, Teresa Patterson.

In 2021/22, the total number of applications to the New Music Single fund from applicants who identified as Asian was 4.14%, up from 3.56% in 2020/21. The number of applicants to the New

Music Project fund who identified as Asian dropped from 4% in 2020/21 to zero in 2021/22. There were, however, 4.4% in 2021/22 who identified as European and Asian.

The fund will open on 4 May 2023 and close on 25 May 2023 during May Music Month.

NZ On Air consulted with Pan-Asian representatives of the Aotearoa music community – to ensure, from the outset, that there was a clear understanding of the challenges for the Pan-Asian community and how funding would help address those.

One of those representatives is Yee Yang ‘Square’ Lee, artist manager based in Tāmaki Makaurau and convener of Asian arts movement Where The Asians At‽ (Aotearoa).

“This is well overdue support for our Pan-Asian creative community in Aotearoa,” says Square. “The overarching feeling from the consultation group that NZ On Air brought together was one of real anticipation. We believe it is the first targeted fund of its kind for Pan-Asian music in Aotearoa.

“Everyone at that table was amped about NZ On Air’s leadership to bridge the increasingly significant sector gap and excited to learn that they were putting this fund in place.”

Square has also previously commissioned preliminary research by CARE (Centre for Culture-Centred Approach to Research and Evaluation), with support from the NZ Music Commission, about the difficulties faced by Asian New Zealand musicians in accessing fulfilling and sustainable music-related work.

NZ On Air has successfully invested in Pan-Asian screen development and production initiatives.

previously with the Pan-Asian Screen Collective (PASC), to provide targeted investment to strengthen Pan-Asian participation in the screen sector.

“That initiative successfully boosted the technical and business capability of Pan-Asian creatives in the screen space,” says Patterson.

“NZ On Air’s commitment to improving Pan-Asian representation is now something we would like to build on in the music sector.”

Fund Details

For more information, go to

New Music Pan-Asian is a single-track funding scheme which provides up to $10,000 funding towards the costs of:

  • Recording, mixing, mastering, any additional production, or work on a single song
  • Creating visual content to aid in the promotion and release of the single. This could be a music video, behind-the-scenes content, short film, a series of videos, etc.
  • Promotion and marketing to help boost your single to get it heard and seen by your existing audience and beyond.
  • New Music Pan-Asian funding is available to all musicians in Aotearoa who self-identify as Pan-Asian. Pan-Asian, as defined by the ‘M49 Standard’ from the United Nations, covers all of Asia (Central, Eastern, South-Eastern, Southern and Western Asia).
  • Unlike New Music Single applications, there is no minimum criteria required to apply.
  • All applications must be made before the deadline of Thursday 25 May, 4pm.
  • Apply at