Political parties often engage musicians to drum up support during the election season. It’s the time of year when party hacks attempt to swell their numbers by using musicians as Trojan Horses for their political ideals. We all remember The Feelers’ song used in National Party adverts last election.
But what happens when taxpayer funds are propping up these artists?
The Party, Party put on by the Internet Party features numerous bands that have recently received significant grants of taxpayers’ money courtesy of NZ On Air.
Sons of Zion, State of Mind and PNC all received subsidies from NZ On Air as recently as late last year. The sums involved are not insignificant. A quick glance at the list of subsidies suggests that in the past few years these acts have received well over $200,000 of taxpayer funds.
Laughton Kora of L.A.B was also part of a group that received $245,000 NZ On Air funding to visit prisons for a Maori TV programme.
While we can all appreciate that bands are comprised of individuals with their own political beliefs, it seems wrong for bands to be enabled to support a political cause by being propped up by the taxpayer.