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Some of New Zealand’s best songwriters and composers have been shortlisted for four prestigious awards to be presented at the 2017 APRA Silver Scroll Awards.

The APRA Maioha Award, the SOUNZ Contemporary Award, the APRA Best Original Music in a Feature Film Award and APRA Best Original Music in a Series Award will all be presented at an invite-only awards ceremony at the Dunedin Town Hall on Thursday, September 28.


The APRA Maioha Award recognises the art of contemporary Māori songwriting and honours composers who are telling their stories in the language of Te Ao Māori.

2017 finalists:

Atua Whiowhio by Kingi Kiriona

Raupatu by Alien Weaponry (Lewis de Jong, Henry de Jong, and Ethan Trembath)

Taku Mana by Maisey Rika

Atua Whiowhio by first time finalist Kingi Kiriona challenges the boundaries of tradition, blending haka and hip hop, presented through the lens of kapahaka group Te Iti Kahurangi.

Teenage thrash metal trio Alien Weaponry are also first time finalists for Raupatu, a political song focusing on land confiscations by the colonial government.

Working in a completely different genre, but just as deep and powerful in her composition is previous Maioha Award winner Maisey Rika. Taku Mana comes from her fourth album ‘Tira’, and revolves around the idea of joy and praise, a celebration of ancestors and mana.


The SOUNZ Contemporary Award celebrates excellence in contemporary composition.

2017 finalists:

Incident Tableaux Part One by Chris Gendall

Serendipity Fields by Jeroen Speak

Tōrino - echoes on pūtōrino improvisations by Rob Thorne by Salina Fisher

This is the fifth nomination for Chris Gendall, former winner of the SOUNZ Contemporary Award, for his orchestral work Incident Tableaux Part One.

Prodigious Wellington composer and 2016 winner Salina Fisher is a finalist once again, this time for her string quartet Tōrino, which was inspired by the music of Taonga Pūoro artist Rob Thorne.

UK-based NZ composer Jeroen Speak, who has been working around the world for twenty years, is a second time finalist for his piano trio Serendipity Fields.


2017 finalists:

Marc Chesterman for Spookers

Peter Hobbs for Jean

Tim Prebble for One Thousand Ropes

Sound designer and composer Marc Chesterman has been collaborating with film director Florian Habicht for most of his career, and is nominated for his work on the soundtrack and score for Habicht’s recent documentary hit Spookers, about the diverse people who work at the legendary south Auckland horror entertainment attraction.

A man of many pursuits, Peter Hobbs has done everything from performing in Dunedin bands Kitset and Lesley Speaker, to setting up a recording studio and running youth music workshops in Bosnia. He is a finalist for his work in Jean, which tells the tale of pioneering aviator Jean Batten.

Tim Prebble has 50 years experience, becoming an award winning sound designer with credits on over 40 feature films, and more recently working as a composer, completing his third feature film score. He is a finalist for One Thousand Ropes, a new drama from Tusi Tamasese (The Orator) about a Samoan man atoning for the violence that divided his family and exiled him to solitude.


2017 finalists:

Claire Cowan for Hillary

Karl Steven for 800 Words

Mahuia Bridgman-Cooper for Terry Teo

Claire Cowan is widely known for her work as a contemporary composer and collaborator, as well her works for screen. She’s a finalist for the first time for her work on the local TV series Hillary, which charted the life of our iconic hero Sir Ed.

Last year’s winner Karl Steven (front man for Queen Neptune, Supergroove, Drab Doo Riffs) is a finalist once again for his work on popular Kiwi/Aussie TV series 800 Words, which charts the gentle drama and comedy of life in a rural west coast town.

Having won the APRA Best Original Music in a Film award last year for his work on Mahana, this year Mahuia Bridgman-Cooper has turned his talents towards the small screen, and is a finalist for his work on classic Kiwi comeback comedy Terry Teo.

. All awards will be presented during a ceremony at the Duendin Town Hall on Thursday September 28th. As a part of the celebrations, APRA will also be inducting a songwriter/s into the New Zealand Music Hall of Fame.
The awards are proudly supported by Panhead Custom Ales, Quartz Reef Wines, and NZ On Air.