The Vodafone Music Awards

November 14th, 2012 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Readers will be aware of the 2012 , where cheered on by Labour MP, the ban Homebrew referred to the Prime Minister as a cunt, and said he should suck their dicks.

Now we have free speech in this country and Homebrew are entitled to say that.

RIANZ, who organise the Music Awards, are entitled to invite them to perform despite knowing that the band hate John Key (they have said so in public many times, and one of their songs is directed at him). Just as Labour invite Homebrew to play at fundraisers for them, so RIANZ is free to invite them. If I was RIANZ though, I wouldn’t be expecting their advocacy on industry issues to be particularly successful in the future. Free speech has consequences after all.

Likewise Vodafone is perfectly free to associate its brand with an event which more often than not turns into a diatribe against National Party Prime Ministers and Leaders. Vodafone is a private company and can do what it wants.

So the Vodafone NZ Music Awards is a private event for RIANZ and Vodafone. They can have as many “entertainers” as they want getting up and calling the Prime Minister a cunt who needs to suck dick.

Except for one thing. It is not an entirely private event.

You and me – the taxpayers of New Zealand, have spent $1.001 million on subsidising the Music Awards over the last seven years. NZ on Air gave $125,000 to the 2012 Awards.

In response to my OIA, NZ on Air have said that their level of sponsorship has been reducing as the Music Awards have been gaining other sponsors and they face pressure on their own funds.

I suggest that the sponsorship should reduce to zero. I don’t want a cent of my taxes going on the Awards. Let RIANZ and Vodafone spend as much of their own money as they want on it.

The $125,000 NZ on Air could save, would fund an extra six episodes of Q+A.

A taxpayer funded organisation should not be sponsoring an Awards Night that consistently is boorish and partisan in nature. It’s simple.

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45 Responses to “The Vodafone Music Awards”

  1. Brad (75 comments) says:

    I had hoped you might have fact-checked since your last post on this subject but, unsurprisingly, that is not the case. They did not call Key a cunt or tell him to suck their dicks, just ask anyone who was there. But then again, I know the truth is a bit too much to expect from you

    [DPF: Post me an authenticated transcript of what you claim they did say, and I might believe you. Just saying it is wrong, without saying what they did say is not credible]

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  2. Longknives (4,048 comments) says:

    NZ on Air throwing buckets of taxpayer cash at ‘musicians’ is a joke.
    If they had any talent, ability and work ethic they would make it on their own.
    I recall seeing a news report on some South Auckland ‘Gangsta Rapper’ who used a NZ on Air grant to fly himself and his ‘entourage’ to New York to film a low budget ‘Fuck Da Police-type’ Rap video (that nobody ever saw or cared about)
    This is a sick joke on the New Zealand taxpayer that must end now…

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  3. Keeping Stock (9,791 comments) says:

    So what did they say about John Key then Brad? I have been waiting in vain for the MSM to enlighten us all, but there hasn’t been as much as a murmur…funny that.

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  4. Mighty_Kites (77 comments) says:

    They said he’s selling our stuff and shitting on the working class, but they didn’t call him a cunt or tell him to suck their dicks. Funny, I’ve been waiting for the right to stop lying about this, but there hasn’t been so much as a murmur on that either. I’d say it was also funny, if it weren’t such a common occurrence

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  5. labrator (1,691 comments) says:

    @brad Tom Scott calls John Key a cunt in a Craccum interview

    …we did do one political song, but John Key is a cunt. I don’t know much about politics, just that some friends work their asses off with shitty jobs and get nothing, while others get everything just for having rich parents.

    I didn’t watch the awards so I don’t know if he repeated his beliefs there or not. Not sure why he hates National, he admits knowing nothing about politics, just what the cool kids are doing I guess.

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  6. speters (107 comments) says:

    “If I was RIANZ though, I wouldn’t be expecting their advocacy on industry issues to be particularly successful in the future. Free speech has consequences after all.”

    You really think that is how govt decision-making should work?

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  7. somewhatthoughtful (437 comments) says:

    wah wah wah wah wah wah. You know what’s boorish? This blog post. I think the music awards are a waste of money, but not because homebrew featured the line “John Key can suck my dick” in one of their songs (on an album with over 20). Or is dissent only allowed if it’s whaleoil being taxpayer subsidised and running vicious smear and rumour campaigns (often with little relevance to fact) that happen to suit a right-wing world view?

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  8. eszett (2,271 comments) says:

    A taxpayer funded organisation should not be sponsoring an Awards Night that consistently is boorish and partisan in nature.

    What? Because of one band the whole Awards night is “boorish and partisan in nature”?
    You don’t think you are going a bit too hysterical here.

    Only bands that meet your approval are allowed to the Awards otherwise they shouldn’t get funded by NZ on Air?

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  9. labrator (1,691 comments) says:

    “John Key can suck my dick” lyrics.

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  10. Kimble (4,092 comments) says:

    You really think that is how govt decision-making should work?

    If a lobby group is merely a front for the opposition party, then couldnt their lobbying be fairly dismissed?

    Not saying that is the case here.

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  11. redeye (626 comments) says:

    Ironically I believe dick-sucking is quite a well know way of getting ahead in the music business.

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  12. Nigel (503 comments) says:

    I disagree DPF, though I do think that the organisers should get a letter from NZ On Air saying that words like those are not acceptable if they want continued funding, it’s a slippery slope censorship & whilst I think a warning is required, that is as far as it should go.

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  13. PaulL (5,776 comments) says:

    I reckon you’re wrong here DPF. Musicians are crazy, and if you run an award show, they get up to accept their award, and say stupid stuff, then that’s just musicians.

    If the suggestion here is that they were MCs or otherwise under the control of the show organisers, and decided as part of their routine to do this, then maybe. But even then, where would you draw the line?

    Bottom line, nobody cares. These guys are idiots, and the constant wittering on about it gives them more publicity than they’d otherwise have.

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  14. thedavincimode (6,129 comments) says:

    The only relevant point is that there shouldn’t be taxpayer funding wasted on a pissup. Unless I’m invited of course. Otherwise, if you take exception, take it out on Vodafone.

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  15. dime (8,778 comments) says:

    any mainstream “kiwi” music is boring.

    NZ on Air is a joke.

    No love for the metal community. Some of the kids coming through are incredible. Especially the drummers. Insane talent. but metal doesnt have the “commercial” appeal of “homebrew” .. or the “talent” BAHAHAHA

    the main guy is a white hip hop dude? lmao real chance of making an impact on the world stage. garbage, just garbage

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  16. Ryan Sproull (6,661 comments) says:

    If I was RIANZ though, I wouldn’t be expecting their advocacy on industry issues to be particularly successful in the future. Free speech has consequences after all.

    “Nice awards event you’ve got here. Shame if something were to… happen to it.”

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  17. davidp (3,325 comments) says:

    Why do musicians get a taxpayer-subsidised awards piss-up while other occupations don’t?

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  18. Redbaiter (6,481 comments) says:

    Taxpayer money being spent on this kind of worthless shit is what the National Party should have stopped as soon as they were elected.

    If they were possessed of any real leadership and prowess in strategy and any fucking balls, they would have.

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  19. speters (107 comments) says:

    “If a lobby group is merely a front for the opposition party, then couldnt their lobbying be fairly dismissed?

    Not saying that is the case here.”

    Of course, but I’m not sure how that is really relevant. What has RIANZ got to do with Labour?

    RIANZ aren’t responsible for Homebrew’s comments, Homebrew are in no way associated with Labour (except neither like JK) and I haven’t seen any link whatsoever between RIANZ and Labour.

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  20. Peter (1,471 comments) says:

    Speaking as a musician, musicians should not be getting any taxpayers money.

    Music is a hobby.
    Music can be a business. If engaged in business, let it stand or fall on its own merits.

    Same goes for sport.

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  21. bij (66 comments) says:

    childish response DPF – you are not wanting to restrict funding for any principled reason or rational purpose. speech is not free if public funding is only directed toward opinion-free events. why can’t you take your own medicine and harden up?

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  22. Black with a Vengeance (1,552 comments) says:

    meh…everyone in the industry knows who the real cunt is and who likes getting his metaphorical dick sucked to then favor you with public money.A man whose mealy mouth is so stuck to the taxpayer tit his lips are permanently pursed…Brendan Smyth.

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  23. dime (8,778 comments) says:

    is there still a musicians benefit? i used to know a guy who was on it… was it musicians allowance? not benefit..

    some dude on ZB this morning wanted a national jazz band funded by the govt. his argument was “gimme gimme gimme”

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  24. big bruv (12,380 comments) says:

    Dime

    That “dude” was Roger Fox of big band fame.

    I agree with you, it is not my bloody job to fund the arts and I simply cannot work out why the Nat’s have not canned public funding for all of it (Ballet, Opera and Theater)

    If it is what the public want then it will survive, if not then tough bloody luck.

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  25. dai (11 comments) says:

    Agree with Longknives but would include movie makers who are far more expensive.

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  26. Rex Widerstrom (5,129 comments) says:

    The misogynist (no, I’m not channelling Julia Gillard despite my current proximity) of many rap and RnB songs are of more concern since they leach into impressionable minds.

    Unless the gathered eminince of the RIANZ are particularly naive, I imagine the effect of whatever designed-to-shock outburst by these “musicians” would have been a fleeting thought along the lines of “Meh, a rock band trying to garner publicity through ‘controversial’ lyrics. How novel… 50 years ago. I wonder what’s for dessert?”

    But while I don’t agree with your reasons, I agree with your conclusion. Awards mights are not an appropriate activity to fund as they don’t add anything at all to the outputs delivered to the audience, which is surely the mission of NZOA.

    I believe the radio industry has been reduced to dispensing awards via a webcast. So if you’re the “most promising newcomer” who happens to be doing breakfast in some rural market, you’re expected to stay awake half the night watching people from Auckland give awards to other people who aren’t there till it’s your turn to not be there. Needless to say, evidently most people don’t bother. It doesn’t diminish the value of winning – you’re still the best in the country – you just don’t get an all-expenses paid trip to vomit in your co-host’s handbag at the company’s expense. The music industry should follow suit.

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  27. Harriet (4,010 comments) says:

    I once fucked the daughter of the Vodaphone Marketing Director in the arse, and while doing so, I licked the sweat of her back! I then went on to right a poem about it, so does that make it all O.k ? Of course it doesn’t!

    Of course, I’m kidding, but how stupid is Vodaphone associating with immature and fowl idiots like Homebrew?

    Vodaphone must see Homebrew as a REFLECTION of their customer base as there is no other sensable reason for them to do so! :cool:

    {DPF – if you think I’ve gone too far, then O.K I agree, just delete the comment, but please, don’t give me demerit points as I like your blog and the other contributors’ comments. Thanks.}

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  28. ross69 (3,645 comments) says:

    > I don’t want a cent of my taxes going on the Awards

    Well, I don’t want a cent of my taxes being spent by Bill English employing a cleaner for his own private use. That’s where you and I are different I suspect.

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  29. ross69 (3,645 comments) says:

    Bill English needs more taxpayers’ money to have his house cleaned. I’m surprised, David, you haven’t had a whip round for your impoverished mate.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/2853355/English-asks-for-taxpayer-funded-house-cleaning

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  30. speters (107 comments) says:

    Harriet – you’re absolutely right. Vodafone probably do see Homebrew as a reflection of (a large portion of) their customer base

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  31. somewhatthoughtful (437 comments) says:

    No shit they are, homebrew are incredibly popular with young, urban people, who happen to buy and use their cellphones. These discussion about popular culture are amazing.

    A national big band is probably not a bad idea either, it would be world class, given how many jazz musicians we graduate out of wellington alone they could be very selective.

    Dime, it shocks me naught that you’re a metalhead.

    Harriet, no one with grammar like yours can ever be taken seriously. Sorry if that was a “fowl” comment.

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  32. tristanb (1,133 comments) says:

    I don’t care what they say or said. But NZ on Air needs to stop funding all of this crap! (And don’t spend it on Q+A, how about paying off the country’s debt.)

    Are you going to do anything about it National?

    Thought not.

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  33. RightNow (6,348 comments) says:

    As an actual homebrewer I’m looking forward to the establishment of NZ on Beer, an allowance for me to quit my job so I can indulge my hobby full-time, and a few hundred grand a year for an awards piss-up where I can slag off some lefty politicians.
    But for now I’m just going to relax, not worry, and have another homebrew.

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  34. Cow Cocky (18 comments) says:

    I purchased Home Brew on Itunes about 4 months ago after Tom Scott was interviewed by Kim Hill. Believe me it is the best album released in years, I dont mind my taxes being put into art like this. “State of Mind” on YouTube, check it out. Also Political Homicide by Sons of the Easter Rising, another awesome song you guys need to check out.

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  35. alex (298 comments) says:

    @Cow – I can assure you very few people who read this blog will check out Homebrew. I agree with you though, but its the beats rather than the lyrics that get me.

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  36. Redbaiter (6,481 comments) says:

    “I dont mind my taxes being put into art like this.”

    What an imbecile.

    You really do think the hard earned money of other NZers should be taken from them and dispersed on such a whimsical basis as whether someone “likes” something or not???

    Fucking fatuous lunacy.

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  37. tristanb (1,133 comments) says:

    I dont mind my taxes being put into art like this.

    Well I do.

    But you know what would sort it out?

    If you like it, give them money. Say… for an album, a single download, or just a donation. And as I don’t want to pay for it, none of my tax dollars will have to be spent on them. Then it’s fair.

    Do you want your taxes being spent on filming music videos for Annabel Fay? (God she’s shit). Didn’t think so.

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  38. Azeraph (598 comments) says:

    Regardless how i feel about someone, Public intoxication at a public televised event must be moderated, We have standards that we all try to adhere to, yes an individual has the right to free speech but loses that right when under the influence of alcohol or anything else while in public as any and all of their commentary gets relegated to the trash.

    What got my attention about these awards was the state of our young Pakeha female artists like Kimbra,Gin and the young woman that co hosted the event. It’s serious as they are young kiwi reps, they look emaciated, air evacuated, Anorexic, unhealthy, it’s showing our young women out there that yes though i am successful you still must starve yourself but it’s alright as we are artists.

    A busy lifestyle dosen’t mean you sacrifice your health, that short blond girl with that very tall young man should’ve hosted the event, They had a good team rapport and were polite but more importantly relaxed, at ease.

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  39. Russell Brown (403 comments) says:

    Just to be clear, NZ On Air doesn’t fund the awards themselves, it funds the TV production. The event is funded by the major sponsor and ticket sales.

    Also, Home Brew didn’t call John Key a cunt. David, I’m a little surprised that you didn’t bother actually watching the programme on-demand before claiming that they did.

    And the idea that funding should only go to artists who express proper respect for the government of the day is completely odious.

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  40. Russell Brown (403 comments) says:

    Likewise Vodafone is perfectly free to associate its brand with an event which more often than not turns into a diatribe against National Party Prime Ministers and Leaders.

    Once, years ago, when Oliver Driver was a dick towards Don Brash. I think most people in the room felt embarrassed about what happened there. I certainly did.

    Honestly David, this is a crappy post. You’ve taken no steps to verify what you’re saying and you’re just wrong. In fact and in spirit.

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  41. Russell Brown (403 comments) says:

    A small correction. I checked and NZ On Air does also support the event itself, via a sponsorship of $125,000, which comes from the promotions budget. Similar, more modest, sponsorships help support Taite Music Prize, the Pacific Music Awards, the Waiata Maori Awards, the Music Managers Forum Summit, etc.

    The idea that this would or should entitle NZ On Air to dictate the content of these events remains ridiculous and offensive.

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  42. Sonny Blount (1,829 comments) says:

    Russell Brown (397) Says:

    The idea that this would or should entitle NZ On Air to dictate the content of these events remains ridiculous and offensive.

    Why?

    I would think it would be unusual to offer unconditional sponsorship on a commercial level. There is always going to limits on the sponsorship.

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  43. Redbaiter (6,481 comments) says:

    In Russell’s world it is quite OK to force people to contribute money to support causes they would rather not support, because he is an elitist and being such, he knows what is best for us all, so we should just heed his instructions, and shut up and “give” our money to whomever he instructs us to.

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  44. Griff (6,263 comments) says:

    There is no Depression in New Zealand blam blam blam

    :snigger:

    there’s no unrest in this country
    We have no SIS,
    we have no secrets,
    we have no rebellion;
    we have no valium, valium, no, no

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  45. Robyn (15 comments) says:

    DPF, writing a critique of the VFNZMAs based on something that didn’t even happen is very poor.

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