The Australasian Performing Right Association's Kiwi chief Anthony Healey has been named the new chairman of the state-funded New Zealand Music Commission (NZMC).

The commission is financed by the Ministry of Culture & Heritage, with a mandate to grow the New Zealand music industry at home and abroad.

Currently director of NZ operations for APRA, Healey has been a NZMC board member since 2004 and for the past three years has served as chair of NZ Music Month Committee, which co-ordinates the annual May promotional showcase for the industry. He succeeds Richard Thorne, who had chaired the government-funded body since 2003.

"These remain challenging times but the Music Commission is in excellent shape, due in a large part to Richard's stewardship," says Healey. "If we support development and focus on excellence, the commission's programmes can deliver success."

Commission CEO Cath Anderson paid tribute to Thorne's work for the organization during his tenure, in particular his contribution to the creation of the NZMC's international music marketing programme, Outward Sound.

To date, the scheme has provided support to more than 80 music companies and artists to undertake international tours and release music offshore.

Thorne, who is publisher/editor of New Zealand Musician Magazine, will remain on the commission's board of trustees.