Rhythmic Resonance: Unveiling the Music Industry in New Zealand

New Zealand’s music industry is a thriving community of talented artists, producers, and music enthusiasts. From traditional Maori music to modern pop, rock, and electronic genres, the country’s music scene has something to offer for everyone.

In this article, we’ll explore the various aspects of New Zealand’s music industry, from its history to its current state, and shed light on the opportunities and challenges that come with it.

A Brief History of New Zealand’s Music Industry

New Zealand’s music industry has a rich history that dates back to the 1800s. The traditional Maori music, which includes waiata (songs), haka (chants), and poi (dance), has been an integral part of the country’s culture for centuries.

With the arrival of European settlers, new music styles and instruments were introduced, and the local music scene started to evolve rapidly. By the early 20th century, New Zealand had its own unique blend of folk, country, and jazz music, which remained popular until the 1950s.

The 1960s and 1970s saw the rise of rock and roll, pop, and psychedelic music, which were heavily influenced by international artists such as The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and Led Zeppelin.

In the 1980s and 1990s, New Zealand’s music industry experienced a significant shift, with the emergence of homegrown artists and genres such as reggae, hip-hop, and electronic music. This period saw the rise of iconic Kiwi artists such as Split Enz, Crowded House, Dave Dobbyn, and Shihad, who achieved both local and international success.

Today, New Zealand’s music industry continues to evolve, with new artists and genres emerging every year. The country’s unique cultural diversity, combined with its vibrant music scene, makes it a hub for creativity and innovation.

The Current State of New Zealand’s Music Industry

The New Zealand music industry is currently worth around $400 million, with streaming services accounting for the majority of revenue. According to Recorded Music NZ, the country’s music industry revenue increased by 7% in 2020, despite the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

New Zealand’s music scene is diverse and dynamic, with a wide range of genres and sub-genres being represented. The Kiwi music industry is home to many talented artists, producers, and songwriters, who are constantly pushing the boundaries of creativity and innovation.

One of the most significant challenges facing the New Zealand music industry today is the lack of diversity and representation. While the local music scene is diverse, there is still a significant underrepresentation of women, LGBTQ+ artists, and artists from minority ethnic groups.

To address this issue, many initiatives and organizations have been established to promote diversity and inclusion in the music industry. For example, the New Zealand Music Commission has launched a program called Music Pasifika, which aims to support and promote Pasifika music in the country.

Opportunities in the New Zealand Music Industry

Despite the challenges, the New Zealand music industry offers many opportunities for aspiring artists and music professionals. Here are some of the areas where one can explore a career in the music industry:

Music Production

Music production is a vital aspect of the music industry, involving the creation, recording, and mixing of music. If you’re interested in music production, you can explore various avenues, including recording studios, sound engineering, and music technology.

Live Music

Live music is a significant part of New Zealand’s music scene, with many venues and festivals hosting local and international artists throughout the year. If you’re passionate about live music, you can explore careers in event management, artist management, and sound engineering.

Music Education

Music education is an essential part of the music industry, providing aspiring artists with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed. If you’re passionate about music education, you can explore careers in teaching, curriculum development, and music therapy.

Music Journalism

Music journalism is a vital part of the music industry, providing a platform for artists and music enthusiasts to share their opinions and insights. If you’re passionate about music journalism, you can explore careers in music writing, broadcasting, and podcasting.


In conclusion, New Zealand’s music industry is a thriving and dynamic community that offers many opportunities for aspiring artists and music professionals. From its rich cultural heritage to its vibrant music scene, the country has a lot to offer for music enthusiasts.

While there are challenges to overcome, such as representation and diversity, the music industry in New Zealand is constantly evolving and pushing the boundaries of creativity and innovation. So if you’re passionate about music, there’s no better time to explore the opportunities that New Zealand’s music industry has to offer.

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