We are deeply saddened to hear these stories about harm experienced by people in the music industry. Everyone is entitled to a safe workplace where they are respected and free from harassment, sexual harm, and discrimination. These stories show that we need to do better as an industry, and we are committed to doing that.
Last year following the formation of SoundCheck Aotearoa a work program was launched aimed at preventing and addressing sexual harm across the music industry. We appointed an expert in the area of sexual harm prevention, launched a series of training workshops and partnered with HELP, a specialist sexual harm support service.
We are also working to create an industry-wide code of conduct and complaints process. As these stories highlight, this collective work is urgently needed to set agreed standards of behaviour and provide a safe and transparent process for those who have been harmed, particularly the many artists and others who work outside a traditional workplace and do not have access to HR support.
However, these measures will only be effective if they are developed and adopted collectively across the industry. That’s why we are calling on everyone in Aotearoa’s music community to step up and contribute to meaningful positive change.
While addressing sexual harm is our first priority, we also need to tackle wider discrimination and gender issues. This is evident from the Amplify Aotearoa research released by Massey University last year, which found that over 70% of women have experienced discrimination or bias in their music careers, and nearly half of women don’t feel safe in places where music is made or performed.
We encourage anyone affected or anyone who has experienced harm in the music community to make use of the range of support services listed on our website https://soundcheckaotearoa.co.nz/
One of the services listed is HELP. HELP is the sexual harm crisis agency we have partnered with, and it is available 24/7 nationwide on 0800 623 1700 (you can call anonymously if you wish), [email protected], or directly via its website. HELP can provide information, support and practical assistance to anyone who has experienced sexual harm, anyone supporting a friend or family member who has experienced it, or anyone else who is affected.
SoundCheck Aotearoa is an action group formed to foster a safe and inclusive culture for the music community. SoundCheck Aotearoa has been formed by Recorded Music NZ, APRA AMCOS NZ, NZ Music Commission, Music Managers Forum NZ and Independent Music NZ in collaboration with Te Māngai Pāho, Māori Music Industry Coalition, NZ On Air, SOUNZ Centre for New Zealand Music and NZ Promoters Association. We have also reached out to organisations that share our aspiration: Pacific Music Awards Trust, Te Vākai Collective, Music Producers Guild of NZ and MusicHelps, and we are inviting others to join us as our work progresses.