We are very pleased to announce the finalists for the 2019 Recorded Music NZ Best Children’s Music Artist, the APRA Best Children’s Music Song, and the NZ On Air Best Children’s Music Video.

Recorded Music NZ Best Children’s Artist finalists:
– Anna van Riel for Fishing For Stars
– Craig Smith for Not Just For Kids 2
– Marian Burns for Songs For Kids

APRA Best Children’s Song finalists:
– Anna van Riel for Haere Mai Song
– Marian Burns for Bubbles and Bubbles
– Simon Stanley for Marley Sitting on a Pumpkin Seed written by Cy Winstanley

NZ On Air Best Children’s Music Video finalists: 
– Anna van Riel for Echo (feat. Tasmin), video by Anna van Riel
– fleaBITE for Probably Papakura by Robin Nathan, video by Ross Payne
– Suzy Cato and Kath Bee for Sprinkle A Little Sunshine, video by Raymond McGrath

This years finalists represent the diversity and quality of the music being produced in NZ.  It’s equal to anything from international artists and, even better, it reflects kiwi kids and their whanau and lives.  The finalists cover a diverse range of genres all guaranteed to get your kids dancing and singing.

Presented by Recorded Music NZ, APRA 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 and currently chaired by Suzy Cato, the association supports NZ children’s music creators and seeks to advance the potential of all our children to live healthy fulfilling lives.

A little bit about our finalists:

Anna van Riel is a finalist in all three Children’s Awards categories.  A two-time nominee in 2016 and Tui finalist in 2014 for Best Country Album, Anna’s interactive album Fishing For Stars serves up wholesome and delicious melodies.  Primary aged children and adults alike are being delighted by this ukulele playing Mother’s cheeky humour, melodic and catchy tunes, and fun and imaginative lyrics.

Craig Smith is a two-time APRA Best Childrens Song Award winner, two-time ISC finalist (children’s secton), NZ Post children’s book award winner (children’s choice) and #1 best selling author with The Wonky Donkey.  Not Just For Kids 2 is the long-awaited follow up from Not Just For Kids released in 2007.  The 2CD compilation includes The Wonky Donkey musical statues and a bonus Live from Glastonbury CD.

fleaBITE producer Robin Nathan is no stranger to these awards being a 2 x Tui winner for Circus of Fleas (2013) and The Jungle Is Jumping (2015).  Illustrated, animated and directed by Ross Payne, the joyful hand-sketched music clip for Probably Papakura features two kids going for a jaunt along Great South Road in a bus, seeing all the local sights and people through the window.

Kath Bee & Suzy Cato are two of NZ’s most well-known faces in Children’s music.  Individually they have achieved awards, tours, radio & TV shows.  The video for Sprinkle A Little Sunshine is made by Raymond McGrath, award-winning animation director, animator, illustrator, designer and writer.  Suzy was a Tui finalist in 1996 for ‘You & Me Songbook’ while Kath won the NZ On Air Best Music Video Award for Individuality in 2010, and Dragons Under My Bed in 2014.

Marian Burns has released six albums to date, Songs for Kids debuts her music written for children with nominations in two categories. Receiving the NZ Order of Merit for her services to music in 2018, Marian has spent 30 years as a teacher and conductor.  Songs for Kids sees Marian inviting her students to perform the songs along with her.

Simon Stanley is the pseudonym of Cy Winstanley – songwriter and frontman of Tui Award Winning and APRA Silver Scroll Award nominated duo, Tattletale Saints.  Recorded in Nashville, Marley Sitting on a Pumpkin Seed is Cy’s first foray into Children’s Music and was inspired by the birth of his niece Marley.  Cy wanted to create something that captured the surreal beauty of her home in Central Otago and also teach her about the crazy banjos and mandolins that have become part of his life in Tennessee.


Winners will be announced at an invite only ceremony on Sunday 5 May at Tuning Fork, Spark Arena. There will be live performances, video screenings, interactive music-making workshops, BBQ and plenty of fun and games.