APRA AMCOS, Recorded Music NZ, and NZ On Air are all wiggly with excitement to announce the winners for the 2023 NZ Children’s Music Awards | Ngā Manu Tīrairaka – celebrating music written and recorded for children.

Recorded Music New Zealand Te Kaipuoro Waiata Tamariki Toa | Best Children’s Music Artist:
Levity Beet

APRA Best Children’s Song | Te Korokoro Tūī:
Lavina Williams and Mark Casey for ‘Aotearoa Sun performed by Jaya

NZ On Air Best Children’s Music video | Te Huia Kaimanawa:
Jeremy Redmore for ‘Sing Like A Unicorn’ video by Adam Rowland of Awkward Animations

Also celebrated was Duffy Books In Homes, this year’s recipient of the Baysting Prize for Children’s Champion.  Over the last almost 30 years Duffy Books has determinedly, passionately, and very simply, gone about developing and delivering a program that has lead to generations of young New Zealander’s having a love of reading and books. The outcomes of these programs and the impact of a love of reading in young people is immeasurable. This kaupapa is one that Arthur Baysting held close to his heart, and worked towards himself, throughout his life.

The awards were held this afternoon (Sunday 7 May) at a special family friendly event at Tuning Fork, Spark Arena. Opened by Suzy Cato and hosted by a gaggle of gorgeous tamariki and rangatahi, the celebration was opened with a karakia. This was followed by more of our kiwi kids introducing performers and announcing winners, as well as special guest presenters from What Now Studios and Kea Kids News both in-person and via video. Guests were treated to live performances by Miss NickyJaya, Aro and Claudia Robin Gunn. Following the awards, tamariki experienced creative musical activities and an atrium full of fun. The afternoon concluded with a celebratory afternoon tea for whānau courtesy of Spark Arena.

Presented by Recorded Music NZ, APRA AMCOS NZ and NZ On Air, the awards have the support of Kiwi Kids Music, the national association of children’s songwriters, creators and producers. Formed by some of the most passionate creators of music for Kiwi Kids, the association supports NZ children’s music creators and seeks to advance the potential of all our children to live healthy fulfilling lives.

Thanks to all the performers and presenters, Spark Arena and NZ On Air. Here is a special playlist celebrating this year’s finalists.

Jeremy Redmore has been woven into the fabric of New Zealand music for more than a decade, originally as singer and songwriter of Midnight Youth and then as a solo artist. The past two years have seen Redmore broaden his creative exploits, particularly within the world of children’s entertainment. Sing Like A Unicorn, originally a sell-out picture book all about the superpowers to be found within singing, spawned a song and music video which brought the book to life via stop-motion animation by video creator Adam Rowland of Awkward Animations. Jeremy’s journey so far has encompassed four full-length albums, two Aotearoa Music Award gongs, 10 top-40 New Zealand radio hits, over 20 million online streams and shows from China and Singapore to London, Berlin and Los Angeles.

Lavina Williams and Mark Casey wrote Aotearoa Sun vocals featuring 12 year-old Jaya. Lavina was a founding member of pioneering, internationally successful late 1990s South Auckland girl group Ma-V-Elle. Since then, she has enjoyed a stellar 20-year career in musical theatre around the world while Mark is an international award-winning television producer, who occasionally dabbles in songwriting. Aotearoa Sun, written specifically for Jaya, made its debut live on stage at 2022 Coca-Cola Christmas In The Park in Auckland’s Domain. Jaya is unquestionably a young Māori and Pasifika artist of enormous potential with multiple achievements including at age 11 winning the Teenage category of Māori Television’s ‘5 Minutes Of Fame’.

Levity Beet is no stranger to these awards having won the 2018 Tūī Best Children’s Music Artists and APRA Children’s Song of the Year award three times. Levity Beet is a musical instrument inventor, music producer and performer based in Mohua who finds much of his inspiration to create from being underwater and exploring coastal New Zealand with a mask and snorkel. For Levity, humour and empathy are integral parts of the natural world. Levity feels lucky to have discovered music as a powerful way of contributing to this part of the ecosystem. ‘Dino Bunny Digger Let’s Go!’ is a diverse, warm, funny and heartfelt collection of music inspired by unexpected aspects of nature and a view of being human through the most curious lens. Fine featured dinosaur, a single feature on the ‘Dino Bunny Digger Let’s Go!’ collection is couple with a beautiful animated music video made by Dave Butler.