This year's New Zealand Music Awards will be the biggest yet, with the event to be staged at Auckland's largest indoor entertainment venue the Vector Arena.

The move -- which comes at the same time as the signing of a new sponsorship pact with Vodafone -- will double the audience capacity for the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand event, providing more opportunities for the public to be involved.

Also known as the Tuis, the industry awards are the premier event on the NZ music industry calendar and honor achievements across a broad range of genres.

Vodafone, which has previously sponsored the event on a year-by-year basis, has now signed a three-year naming rights sponsorship agreement for the awards.

RIANZ chief executive Campbell Smith says the new deals reflect the
high-regard brands have for both New Zealand music and the awards.
"The strength of New Zealand music has been steadily increasing
year-on-year, he adds. "By holding the awards in the Vector Arena we can include 3,500 music fans in addition to the 1,500 musicians and industry types. That's just brilliant, and it will further increase the award's
significance to music-lovers."

This year's awards will be held on Oct. 8, with finalists to be announced on Sept. 3.