The New Zealand government's support for the local music industry is continuing, with more funds being allocated in its latest budget to international promotional programs.

As previously reported, the Labour Coalition Government has already invested around NZ$30 million ($23.6 million) in a raft of industry initiatives in the past eight years. And that support shows no sign of wavering. Prime Minister Helen Clark -- who is also minister for arts, culture and heritage -- yesterday (May 22) announced additional funding for the creative industries, including music.

The New Zealand Music Industry Commission, the government-funded agency with a specific remit to grow the local music industry, is to receive an additional funding of NZ$4.8 million ($3.7 million) over four years so that it can continue to promote Kiwi music internationally and locally, as well as undertake market and business development.

In addition, the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra has been allocated an extra NZ$4.4 million ($3.4 million) funding over four years for touring, while the publicly-funded national network Radio New Zealand will receive an additional NZ$10.9 million ($8.5 million) in funding over the same period.

Meanwhile, New Zealand Music On Air, the main vehicle of government support of the music industry, will once again have NZ$5.4 million ($4.2 million) to invest in variety of industry programs, including the funding of albums, music video and singles, plus international activities.

Clark comments: "The government continues to invest in the arts, culture, heritage, and broadcasting because they all contribute to the expressing the unique national identity of New Zealand."

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