New Zealand Music Awards


New Zealand’s first awards for recorded music were co-founded by the NZBS and Reckitt and Colman, a soap powder manufacturer.  In 1965 a panel was convened to determine which record would become ‘the Loxene Golden Disc’ (named after a shampoo sold by the sponsor). 


The NZFPI (New Zealand Federation of Phonographic Industry) was consulted over conditions of entry and the winner of the first Loxene Golden Disc Award was Ray Columbus and The Invaders for Till We Kissed.


In 1967 the Charles Haines advertising agency (who represented Reckitt & Colman) stipulated that only votes via entry forms in the Listener  would be eligible and a teenage judge was to be included on the judging panel, which the NZFPI stipulated that only discs ‘made completely in New Zealand’ were to be considered.  The number of awards grew as categories for ‘record cover’ and ‘recording artist of the year’ supplemented the awards for the songs themselves, and in 1969 the NZFPI added a ‘producer award’.


Record label Viking released a golden Disc Award album in 1965 and 1966, but then abandoned the project.  In 1970 the industry took it upon itself to release all the finalists on one album.  Twenty-six thousand copies were pressed and offered at a retail price of $2.99.


The Loxene awards continued until 1972, when it was suggested the NZFPI institute its own system of awards for the coming year.  Reckitt & Colman dropped out and the federation instituted a new annual presentation, the Recording Arts Talent Awards, known by its acronym RATA.


The RATA Awards were presented from 1973 – 1976 but the oil crisis and a sales tax increase spelt gloom for the recording industry and no awards were made in 1977. 


In 1978 the NZFPI renamed itself the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand, and instituted the annual RIANZ Awards with judges from recording companies, radio, television and press, and one public-voting category.


In 1999 the name of the awards was changed again, becoming the New Zealand Music Awards – affectionately known as ‘The Tuis’ after the trophy that is presented to winners.


Information sourced from ‘For The Record: A history of the Recording Industry in New Zealand’ by Bryan Staff and Sheran Ashley. 

The Vodafone NZ Music Awards 2007
(c) 2007 RIANZ