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Recorded Music New Zealand has revealed the new direction of the Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards with a rejuvenated programme of build-up events and a new Tui trophy designed by renowned artist Dick Frizzell.

The evolution of the awards was revealed at tonight’s 2018 launch event at Roundhead Studios in Auckland.

The new look and feel aims to emphasise Recorded Music’s continued dedication to innovate the Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards while celebrating Aotearoa’s musicians and the wairua (spirit) of the awards themselves.

One of the most exciting developments for 2018, the new Artists’ Tui initiative sees a prominent New Zealand creative putting their twist on the iconic trophy each year.

This year, the Tui evolves once more. A new, bespoke award was created as a piece of art in its own respect to reward the creativity of artists in the music industry.

For the inaugural Artists’ Tui, Recorded Music New Zealand are extremely delighted to be working with Dick Frizzell, arguably New Zealand’s most iconic and well-known visual artist.

"I jumped at the chance to put my own spin on the iconic Tui for Recorded Music New Zealand! It’s an honour to be a part of celebrating the achievements of the amazingly talented artists of Aotearoa,” said Frizzell. 

The event also revealed the 2018 hosts, with singer songwriter Stan Walker and media personality Kanoa Lloyd taking up this responsibility in November. 

“I can’t believe I have the honour of hosting the awards for 2018. I’ve watched every single year – whether from the couch or from seat right up the back that I somehow managed to scam at the very last minute. So I know what a crazy ride I'm in for. Every single year something thrillingly live and rock n roll happens. I remember every goat on the red carpet, every acceptance speech where the guy wouldn't take his sunglasses off, every Grammy-award winning whirlwind dancing on the table. And I can't wait to be a part of it!” said Lloyd.

“I’m so excited to be returning to host the awards again this year and really looking forward to hosting with my friend Kanoa” said Walker.

The launch also highlighted the new look and feel of the Awards brand, originated and crafted by Designworks Auckland, emphasising Recorded Music NZ’s intention to continue to grow and innovate in this prestigious and important celebration of music, the musician and the spirit of New Zealand’s music.

This evolved direction aims to honour the past, celebrate the present, and see the future - taking the time to remember the great musicians of Aotearoa, to recognise the exceptional artists currently creating the soundtrack to our lives, and to nurture the talents of up-and-comers from the next generation of musicians.

Recorded Music NZ CEO Damian Vaughan said the changes to the Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards this year were the next step in the evolution of the ceremony.

“This year we want to connect back to the wairua of why the event exists, and that is to celebrate our musicians and their music. The awards are our biggest platform to honour New Zealand recording artists and we can’t wait to celebrate the recent achievements in Kiwi music.”

The 2018 awards ceremony will celebrate the winners of the sixteen categories awarded on the night including Album of the Year, Vodafone Single of the Year, THREE Best Solo Artist, Best Group, Breakthrough Artist of the Year, Highest Selling Album, Vodafone Highest Selling Single, NZ On Air Radio Airplay Record of the Year and Te Māngai Pāho Best Māori Artist – as well as a celebration of the Music Teacher of the Year Tui.

The winning artists of each genre category are also recognised (Best Rock, The Edge Best Pop, Best Alternative, Best Roots, Best Electronic, Best Worship, Best Classical, Best Hip Hop, Best Soul/RnB) along with the Vodafone People’s Choice Award and the Legacy Award.

The inaugural Tui Music Series was also announced, with a two-week programme of events leading up to the main ceremony and encompassing the NZ Music Producers’ Series, Music Designers’ Series and Music Filmmakers’ Series being held in Auckland and Wellington from 29 October to 11 November. The Tui Music Series offers an opportunity for knowledge exchange and networking for those working or wishing to work in these fields.

Also part of the Tui Music Series is the Artisan Awards presented in 2018 by the Massey University College of Creative Arts Toi Rauwharangi in Wellington on 5 November.

This standalone event specifically acknowledges those who capture, craft and enrich the artists’ musical works into final recordings, as well as the talented visual artists translating the musicians’ visions into album artwork and music videos.  

Applications for the NZ Music Producer series will open on the 6th September and are accessible via

Finalists for the VNZMA’s will be announced 27 September.