Wednesday, 24 July 2013

What qualifies as a New Zealand Artist in the eyes of N.Z On Air?


Jess Harlen is a New Zealand born soul vocalist who now lives overseas, Boston being a long way from Ngapuhi and Ngati Porou territory.   

Harlen forms one third of Cocoa Jackson Lane who if google is correct have never performed in New Zealand.  

On her site Harlen proudly displays the accolades of Australian magazine 3D. 

Jess Harlen is steeping into the spotlight and AUSTRALIAN MUSIC is richer for it 

The capitisation of Australian Music was their call and not mine.

Cocoa Jackson Lane is a street in Melbourne.  

Her fellow group members are Camilla Charlesworth and Meritxell Vinaixa.  

Vinaixa is Spanish and Charlesworth is Australian.  

So to get the make-up of Cocoa Jackson Lane straight -  not one in this group lives in New Zealand. 

Two of them may possibly have never even visited our shores.     

Harlen their song-writer was born here but has since moved off-shore for education, doesn’t mind putting the Aussie flag up the mast when it suits record sales.    

Their only video on You Tube, studio work was made in Massachusetts, not Masterton.     

So why is the N.Z Taxpayer giving this band money? (N.Z on Air Making Tracks decisions July 2013) 

Does the fact you simply have a N.Z passport qualify you as ‘Keeping N.Z on The Air’ when you & your band spend the vast majority of your lives overseas?  

When two thirds of the band couldn’t hum the N.Z anthem?  

Can bands throughout the world with N.Z passport holders also similarly qualify for Making Tracks funding based on the loose criteria of having a Kiwi in their midst? 

If you shifted to Australia as a toddler would the Making Tracks committee still consider you a New Zealander or is it only if you have Maori heritage?        

Surely playing the local circuit is a right-of-passage for any band wanting tax-payer money?  

I for one would like to see the criteria tightened up.  

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