Taite Music Prize Terms & Judging Criteria

Any record label is eligible to nominate albums for Taite Music Prize consideration. As this is a critically judged award for originality, please consider the artistic merit, creativity, innovation and excellence of each album in its entirety when nominating. The Prize is in the form of a physical prize and a payment of NZ$10,000.


Phase One – Nomination Process

Members of IMNZ may nominate up to three albums released in the previous calendar year (1st January to 31st December 2016) free of charge. Additional nominations by IMNZ members can be made at a cost of $50+GST per nomination.

Non-IMNZ member record labels may nominate up to five albums released in the previous calendar year (Jan to Dec 2016) at a cost of $90+GST per nomination. Full payment of the invoiced amount must be made to IMNZ by the nomination close-off date to be considered as a valid entry.

The record label must also make available one gratis copy of the relevant CD/Vinyl to IMNZ. If the album was only released digitally, nominations must be accompanied by one CD burn at no cost to IMNZ. These copies of the nominated album will be retained by IMNZ for promotional and/or archival purposes.

The finalist selection will be made via online delivery services, such as the artist’s own website, Bandcamp, Soundcloud pages or via online streaming services such as Spotify or Apple Music. Please indicate your primary and secondary online listening sources in the application form provided.

It is important for the success of this event and the future of the prize that nominated artists are available to attend the Taite Music Prize event in Auckland, in April 2017. If the applicant is not self-nominating, the record label must also acknowledge and confirm that they have notified the relevant artist.

Ineligible entries will be notified to the nominating IMNZ member immediately after the IMNZ board meeting in January 2017.

All entries will be accepted via the nomination form on the IMNZ website; however final entry is at the absolute discretion of the IMNZ board.

IMNZ must receive all entries by 5pm on Tuesday the 7th February 2017.

Nominate your album for the Taite Music Prize HERE.


Only albums released during the previous calendar year (Jan 1st to Dec 31st 2016) are eligible.

The album’s release date is defined as when it was first made available for purchase via physical/digital retailers by the public in New Zealand.

An album is considered eligible for the Taite Music Prize if the playing time of the full album is over 25 minutes or contains six different songs or more. Audio visual content will not be considered in this calculation.

The album must contain more than 75% original compositions.  Arrangements, adaptations or ‘covers’ are not considered original compositions.

Multiple artist compilations are not eligible for the Taite Music Prize. If multiple artists contribute individual tracks and are listed individually on the album packaging the album is defined as a multiple artist compilation.

‘Best of’, ‘Greatest Hits’ or ‘re-released’ records are all ineligible for nomination.

Double or multi-disc albums are only eligible if they are sold as one full album.

All nominated artists must be citizens (by birth or citizenship) or, have been granted permanent residency in New Zealand. In the case of groups or production teams, a minimum of half of the members must qualify as citizens or permanent residents.

The recording must be owned by a New Zealand owned company or company with a New Zealand-based office.

Solo artists, groups and production teams are all eligible as long as the album satisfies the criteria outlined above.

Phase Two – Finalist Process

Judging process and timeline

All nominated albums will be received by IMNZ no later than 9th February 2017.

The judging process will take place over two stages:

Stage One: A voting academy containing all IMNZ members plus approx. 50 non-IMNZ music judges will rank their top 10 albums from the submitted nominations. The non-IMNZ members will include selected musicians, music journalists and music industry personnel. Listening facilities will be made available for all judges on-line. Voting facilities will be available via the IMNZ website. The nominations with the most accumulated votes will be selected as the Taite Music Prize finalists.

Stage Two:  If the album is selected as a finalist, IMNZ will contact the releasing record label to supply copies of physical stock of the album for the secondary judging process, at cost price to IMNZ. This will allow a ten person judging panel to assess the album in its entirety including the music, packaging and album artwork. Physical copies of the finalist albums will be retained by the judging panel as renumeration/koha for their individual efforts. The ten person judging panel will be appointed by IMNZ and will be announced along with the Taite Music Prize finalists. All judges are to declare any potential conflicts of interest prior to the finalist announcement and the judging process commencing.

The selected panel will meet to decide the winner of the Taite Music Prize.

Judges will assess the album in its entirety including the music, packaging and album artwork. Album sales, artist popularity or recognition, previous awards, live or international achievements are not factors that will be considered.

All decisions of the judges are final. No correspondence will be entered into.

The Taite Music Prize winning album will be announced at an event held in Auckland during April 2017.