New Zealand has earmarked an extra NZ$5.4 million ($3.9 million) in its annual budget to help export domestic acts over the next three years, the government announced April 20 in Auckland.

SYDNEY -- New Zealand has earmarked an extra NZ$5.4 million ($3.9 million) in its annual budget to help export domestic acts over the next three years, the government announced April 20 in Auckland.

The initiative is a partnership between the New Zealand Music Industry Commission, a government trust fund set up to boost the sector, and New Zealand On Air, which funds TV and radio shows to increase airplay for local acts.

The NZMIC will receive NZ$2 million ($1.45 million) or $178,000 ($129,000) annually for the next three years for "encouraging both domestic and international market growth" and "to support artists to become export-ready," economic development minister Jim Anderton says.

The cash will provide legal aid, coordinate touring resources, promote Maori music and support industry bodies such as Independent Music New Zealand.

Export initiatives being considered include subsidizing 50% of the costs for acts to go overseas. Additionally, the government wants to encourage more soundtrack recordings for New Zealand composers by pitching their works to U.S. and European film studios.

The government has spent NZ$75 million ($54.7 million) on music-industry initiatives since 2002.