Write an original Christmas song!

Do you listen to the music that gets played in shops and on the radio leading up to Christmas and think “Oh no... not again!?' or 'Surely, I can do better than that!”

Well now’s your chance. The competition is open to professional and amateur songwriters.

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Photo: RNZ

We want you to write an original song inspired by Christmas. You can interpret that how you like – including in a non-religious way – your song just has to be relevant to the season in some way.

Send us an MP3 file of your song and the lyrics. We expect a high standard of entries so do your best to impress. The winner will get to record the song with New Zealand’s most renowned music producer and release it to the public in time for the 25th of December.

You’ll record and mix your song with award-winning producer Ben Edwards (known for his work with Marlon Williams, Aldous Harding, Nadia Reid, Troy Kingi and Tami Neilson) at the Lyttelton based studio 'The Sitting Room'. We’ll include airfares and transfers to Lyttelton for up to five band members plus accommodation for the duration of the recording session (up to three days, at the discretion of the producer).

We’ll also work with you to arrange session musicians for your song recording (again as needed and at the producer’s discretion).

After recording your song will also be professionally mastered with Chris Chetland at Kog studios in Auckland (“the best of the best”), ensuring you end up with a professional finished product suitable for broadcast on RNZ and for you to release to the world.

Click here to enter.

If you have trouble entering via the link above, email your entry to afternoons@rnz.co.nz

You can hear Jesse Mulligan share details of the competition on Music 101 with Yadana Saw here


Entries must be in to us by 5pm July 17th 2019.

The song must be original, and written specifically for the competition

Entrants must be New Zealand residents.

Each entry will consist of:

  • 1 MP3 file of the song,
  •  the written lyrics for the song,
  • the names of the composer/s and performer/s (or band) included in your submission
  • up to a maximum of 200 words about the composer’s story or the inspiration for the song [optional]
  • a recent photograph of the entrant/band
  • You may be asked to provide additional information or material

By submitting an entry, the composer/s and performer/s each agree to their composition and/or performance being recorded, copied, broadcast and published by RNZ.

The winning song must be recorded and ready for broadcast by 1 December 2019.

The winners agree to be photographed by RNZ, or to provide a suitable photo, for RNZ's use alongside this event.

RNZ accepts no responsibility for providing art work, marketing or physical production, sale or distribution of the recording.

The Judges decision is final. No correspondence will be entered in to.

Copyrights and use:

The composer/s retain their rights in their composition.
 - RNZ recommends the composition be lodged with APRA AMCOS NZ.
 - If anyone involved with the entry is signed to a publisher, you must clear your participation with them prior to entering.

The performers retain their rights in their performance.
 - If anyone involved with the entry is signed to a record label, you must clear your participation with them prior to entering.

RNZ retains the use of the RNZ recording across RNZ-branded platforms worldwide.

RNZ has the right to the premiere broadcast and publication of the finished recording.

Following the RNZ premiere, The composer/s and performer/s may use the RNZ sound recording across any platforms in any format worldwide.

RNZ, the composer/s and the performer/s all agree to include credits for each other with their use of the RNZ recording. The wording of this will be confirmed prior to the song’s release. 

RNZ will not be involved in any financial transactions or accounting.