17 Jan 2023

No reason New Zealand can't be part of Eurovision, EU ambassador says

6:13 pm on 17 January 2023
The "Kalush Orchestra" band in the final of the Eurovision Song contest.

Ukrainian rap group Kalush Orchestra won the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest. Photo: Supplied/ AFP

New Zealand can be part of an increasingly global Eurovision Song Contest if Kiwis show enough interest, an EU representative says.

Preparations are now well underway for the next contest, which this year will be held in Britain, where it will be co-hosted by Ukraine.

The contest brings together not only nations in Europe, but parts of the Middle East and even Australia.

The EU ambassador to New Zealand, Nina Obermaier, thinks Aotearoa would look pretty good in there too, and she has some ideas on how to make that happen.

Obermaier told Morning Report there was no reason why New Zealand could not be involved if it showed a bit of enthusiasm.

The contest brings together not only nations in Europe, but in parts of the Middle East and even Australia. Obermaier said Canada would be jumping on board.

"This Eurovision Song Contest is massive in Europe, there are viewing parties all over Europe...

"It's not quite as easy as it as it sounds... This all starts with Kiwis being interested in following this contest, this massive international songwriting competition.

"You organise a viewing party, you put up your buntings, you have your country, specific country-themed food, and you're cheering for all these different and very diverse songs from all over Europe and beyond.

"Then, as an associate member of the European Broadcasting Union, you can ask to bring forward your own participants."

She said the group representing New Zealand would be the result of a national competition to decide.

"So, before going to the big Eurovision Song Contest final, you will have to hold your national competition and it'll be for Kiwis to decide how they got into that."