RNZ’s Jesse Mulligan has been announced as host of the inaugural Aotearoa Music Awards. The awards replace the Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards and aim to “reinterpret what it means to be a Kiwi musician”.
In addition to the new name and identity, the format of this year's event will be different. In previous years the ceremony was a fast-moving two-and-a-half-hour presentation including eight musical performances.
This year’s show will be extended to three and a half hours and will include an impressive 18 performances, which organisers are promising will be “intimate”.
Jesse Mulligan will be joined on hosting duties by The Edge Afternoon presenters Sharyn Casey and Jayden King.
Twenty awards will be presented on the night and multiple inductees will be welcomed into the NZ Music Hall of Fame.
After a rough year for the music industry due to Covid-19, the awards’ charity partners will be a key focus of the ceremony. Partners include MusicHelps, Crescendo Trust, Raukatauri Music Therapy Centre, and Girls Rock Camp.
The Aotearoa Music Awards are organised by industry body Recorded Music NZ, which represents record producers, distributors and recording artists who sell recorded music in New Zealand.
Its manager Sarah Owen says, “The decision to rebrand the awards aligns with continued efforts to recognise Aotearoa’s tangata whenua and te reo Māori as the first language of New Zealand, as well as the importance of Te Ao Māori in our lives.
“With the renaming to Aotearoa Music Awards and the kaupapa behind that, we are taking another step in bringing the awards back to the core of what they’re for: to celebrate, support and encourage the creative journeys of all our recording artists.”