Taite Music Prize

The Taite Music Prize is an annual New Zealand music award event. It features the same-named prize awarded for the best album from New Zealand.

Taite Music Prize
Taite Music Prize logo.jpg
Awarded forBest album from New Zealand
Sponsored byPPNZ Music Licensing
CountryNew Zealand
Presented byIndependent Music New Zealand
First awarded2010
Last awarded2015

The prize is named after respected New Zealand music journalist and broadcaster Dylan Taite, who died in 2003. The Taite Music Prize was established in 2009 in his honour by Independent Music New Zealand (IMNZ) in conjunction with the Taite family. The first prize was awarded in 2010.[1] The Taite takes its inspiration from successful international prizes such as the Mercury Prize in the UK and the Australian Music Prize.[2]

The Taite Music PrizeEdit

The award carries a cash prize of NZ$10,000 and sponsors' prizes. It is primarily sponsored by Recorded Music NZ (formerly known as PPNZ Music Licensing).[2] The award is judged on originality, creativity, and musicianship displayed on an album, rather than on sales or commercial factors.[1]

The prize shortlist is decided by a group of IMNZ members and 10 outside judges, including musicians, music journalists and music industry personnel. The prize winner is decided by a 10-person judging panel chosen by IMNZ.[3]

Other awardsEdit

In 2013 a second award was added to the Taite Music Prize event. The Independent Music NZ Classic Record award honours a previously released album that is now considered a classic, and the award aims to "acknowledge New Zealand’s rich history of making fine albums that continue to inspire us and that also define who we are." Like the Taite Music Prize, it is selected by music media and music industry specialists. The inaugural recipient of the Classic Record award was the Gordons' 1981 album Gordons.[4]

In 2017, a third award was added to the Taites. The Best Independent Debut Award honours the best debut release of an artist that is on a member label of Independent Music New Zealand. The winner receives a $2000 cash prize and a performance slot in the annual Summer In The Square festival. This prize was awarded for the first time in 2017 to Merk for Swordfish.[5]


In 2014, Lorde, the winner of the Taite Music Prize, asked that the $10,000 cash prize, studio time and other sponsors' prizes be split among the seven other nominees, saying, "I think everyone is kind of sick of me winning stuff at the moment and other people are in more in need of the funds and exposure right now."[6]

The Nielson brothers, Ruban and Kody, formerly of The Mint Chicks, have each won the Taite Music Prize for their different music projects. Ruban as Unknown Mortal Orchestra in 2012 and Kody as Silicon in 2016.[7]

The most nominations have gone to @Peace, David Dallas, Lawrence Arabia, The Phoenix Foundation and Unknown Mortal Orchestra, who have each been nominated for three different albums. Of those, only Lawrence Arabia and Unknown Mortal Orchestra have won the prize, once each.

Winners and shortlisted nomineesEdit

Ladi6, winner of the 2011 prize.
Ruban Nielson of Unknown Mortal Orchestra, winner of the 2012 prize.
Lorde, winner of the 2014 prize.
Year Winner Shortlisted nominees Ref(s)
2010 Lawrence Arabia - Chant Darling [8]
2011 Ladi6 - The Liberation Of... [9]
2012 Unknown Mortal OrchestraUnknown Mortal Orchestra [10]
2013 SJDElastic Wasteland
  • @Peace – @Peace
  • AaradhnaTreble & Reverb
  • Collapsing Cities – Strangers Again
  • Home BrewHome Brew
  • Lawrence ArabiaThe Sparrow
  • OPOSSOM – Electric Hawaii
2014 LordePure Heroine [13]
2015 JakobSines
  • @peace@peace and the Plutonian Noise Symphony
  • Aldous Harding – Aldous Harding
  • Delaney DavidsonSwim Down Low
  • Electric Wire Hustle – Love Can Prevail
  • Grayson Gilmour – Infinite Life!
  • KimbraThe Golden Echo
  • Tiny RuinsBrightly Painted One
  • Mulholland – Stop & Start Again
  • Tami NeilsonDynamite!
2016 Silicon - Personal Computer [16][7]
2017 Street Chant - Hauora [17][18]

Independent Music NZ Classic Record awardEdit

Year Winner Record Label Year of release Ref(s)
2013 The Gordons Gordons Gordons 1981 [4]
2014 Various artists AK79 Ripper Records 1979 [19]
2015 Herbs What’s Be Happen? Warrior Records 1981 [20]
2016 Upper Hutt Posse "E Tu" [note 1] Jayrem Records 1988 [21]
2017 The Clean Boodle Boodle Boodle [note 2] Flying Nun Records 1981 [18]
  1. ^ "E Tu" is a 12-inch single.
  2. ^ Boodle Boodle Boodle is a 12-inch EP.

Best Independent Debut AwardEdit

Year Winner Album Ref(s)
2017 Merk Swordfish [18]


  1. ^ a b Kara, Scott (19 December 2009). "Music prize honours journalist". NZ Herald. Retrieved 25 October 2012.
  2. ^ a b "Taite Music Prize". IMNZ. Retrieved 25 October 2012.
  3. ^ "Rules and Judging Criteria". IMNZ. Retrieved 25 October 2012.
  4. ^ a b "The Taite Music Prize: announcing the inaugural 'Independent Music NZ Classic Record' award". IMNZ. Retrieved 11 April 2013.
  5. ^ "Auckland Live Best Independent Debut award". Independent Music NZ. Independent Music NZ. Retrieved 10 March 2017.
  6. ^ "Taite Prize: Lorde giveth back". NZ Herald. 16 April 2014. Retrieved 16 April 2014.
  7. ^ a b "Silicon wins 2016 Taite Music Prize". Stuff. Fairfax. 20 April 2016. Retrieved 20 April 2016.
  8. ^ "Taite Music Prize 2010 Finalists". IMNZ. Retrieved 25 October 2012.
  9. ^ "The 2011 Taite Music Prize – Announcing the Finalists!". IMNZ. Retrieved 25 October 2012.
  10. ^ "The Taite Music Prize 2012: announcing the finalists". IMNZ. Retrieved 25 October 2012.
  11. ^ "Taite Music Prize". IMNZ. Retrieved 28 March 2013.
  12. ^ "SJD wins Taite Music Prize". MSN NZ. Retrieved 17 April 2013.
  13. ^ "Taite Music Prize". IMNZ. Retrieved 18 February 2014.
  14. ^ Yates, Siena (19 February 2015). "Taite Music Prize finalists announced". Stuff.co.nz. Fairfax. Retrieved 19 February 2015.
  15. ^ Walters, Laura. "Jakob awarded Taite Music Prize". Stuff. Fairfax. Retrieved 15 April 2015.
  16. ^ "Taite Prize: This year's nominees are ..." NZ Herald. NZME. Retrieved 14 April 2016.
  17. ^ "TAITE MUSIC PRIZE FINALISTS ANNOUNCED". Planet Phrom. Retrieved 10 March 2017.
  18. ^ a b c "Street Chant win prestigious Taite Music Prize for 2017". NZ Herald. NZME. 19 April 2017. Retrieved 19 April 2017.
  19. ^ "The Taite Music Prize: announcing this year's 'Independent Music NZ Classic Record' award". Independent Music NZ Inc. Independent Music NZ Inc. Retrieved 6 April 2014.
  20. ^ "'Independent Music NZ Classic Record' Award Announced". Scoop. Taite Music Prize. Retrieved 8 April 2015.
  21. ^ "Upper Hutt Posse to receive Taite classic award". Newshub. Mediaworks. Retrieved 11 April 2016.

External linksEdit