Auckland is one of the most diverse cities in the world: its 1.7 million residents span more than 220 ethnic groups, and four in ten Aucklanders were born overseas. It is also home to a large Pacific population and 60 per cent of Māori live in Auckland and surrounding regions.

With music and language intrinsically linked in Māori and Pacific culture, these communities add a richness and a unique sound to the city’s cultural fabric: Māori waiata (songs) and moteatea (laments) serve a particularly important function, capturing otherwise untold histories and expressing our city’s stories of love, fear, anger and loss.

Auckland has a coterie of artists and musicians who contribute to the diversity of the city and our communities. As a city, Auckland values its music sector – the music-makers, the heroes, as well as the specialists – working across a wide range of genre and roles.

Find out more about Auckland

Creative Cities Network

The UCCN  was created in 2004 to promote cooperation with and among cities that have identified creativity as a strategic factor for sustainable urban development.

By joining the network, Auckland is acknowledging its long and rich musical history and its commitment to sharing best practice, developing partnerships that promote creativity, and strengthening participation in cultural life.

The 75 Cities of Music are:

Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates), Adelaide (Australia), Almaty (Kazakhstan), Amarante (Portugal), Ambon (Indonesia), Auckland (New Zealand), Banja Luka (Bosnia & Herzegovina), Batoumi (Georgia), Belfast (Northern Ireland), Bissau (Guinesa-Bissau), Bogota (Colombia), Bologna (Italy), Bolzano (Italy), Brazzaville (DR Congo), Brno (Czech Republic), Bydgoszcz (Poland), Caracas (Venezuela), Chennai (India), Concepción (Chile), Da Lat (Vietnam), Daegu (South Korea), Essaouira (Morocco), Frutillar (Chile), Ghent (Belgium), Glasgow (Scotland), Gwalior (India), Hamamatsu (Japan), Hannover (Germany), Havana (Cuba), Huancayo (Peru), Ibague (Columbia), Idanha-A-Nova (Portugal), Ipoh (Malaysia), Kansas City (USA), Katowice (Poland), Kazan (Russia), Kharkiv (Ukraine), Kingston (Jamaica), Kinshasa (DR Congo), Kirsehir (Turkey), Leiria (Portugal), Liverpool (England), Llíria (Spain), London (Canada), Mannheim (Germany), Medellin (Colombia), Metz (France), Mexicali (Mexico), Montreux (Switzerland), Morelia (Mexico), Norrköping (Sweden), Pesaro (Italy), Port Louis (Mauritius), Port of Spain (Trinidad & Tobago), Praia (Cabo Verde), Ramallah (Palestine), Recife (Brazil), Salvador (Brazil), Sanandaj (Iran), Şanlıurfa (Turkey), Santiago de Cuba (Cuba), Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic), Seville (Spain), Suphanburi (Thailand), Tallinn (Estonia), Tongyeong (South Korea) , Toulouse (France), Valledupar (Colombia), Valparaiso (Chile), Varanasi (India), Varaždin (Croatia), Veliky Novgorod (Russia), Veszprém (Hungary), Vranje (Serbia), Xalapa (Mexico).

Visit the Cities of Music Network website

Commitment to the Network

Auckland is an an active member of the UCCN Music Cluster. It presently has responsibilty as the Communication Coordinator for the Cluster which includes maintaining a communications database across the 75 cities; hosting and maintaining the Cluster's official website;  and creating materials and resources that assist Cluster members. Auckland also attends regular online Cluster meetings and in-person Annual Conference meetings.

Aotearoa UNESCO Creative Cities Network

There are currently 4 cities in Aotearoa New Zealand who are members of the UCCNN:  Dunedin (Literature, designated 2015), Auckland (Music, 2017), Wellington (Film, 2019) and Whanganui (Design, 2019). All four cities endeavour to meet on a regular basis, share ideas and collaborate whenever possible. We are aided in this mision by the New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO based in Wellington.



Auckland City of Music is managed by the Director. This is professional and administrative role serving as the main champion connecting the Council whanau of Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland (the City) and the music ecosystem (the Sector). The main goal of the Director is to increase economic opportunities for the music sector in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland by promoting the local music industry and being a resource to local  stakeholders.  This position involves administrative work such  as  policy research; designing, managing and implementing projects that support the Strategy; holding key relationships with local and international  partners and stakeholders; sourcing and managing the budgets for the office and projects; and being the key contact (Focal Point) for the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.


Auckland City of Music is a charitable trust. Charities Act 2005 registration #CC61837. The Trust holds a Partnership Agreeement with Auckland Council to represent the UNESCO designation on the city's behalf. 
Our Board of Trustees are: David Ridler, Mark Roach, Damian Vaughan.

Music Advisory Board

The Trust is supported by a Music Advisory Board consisting of representatives from the music sector and Council. The objective of the Music Advisory Board is to leverage the collective connections and expertise to benefit key priority areas of the Auckland Music Strategy, and to assist in the development of policies and initiatives that enhance the music sector in the region. The Board will provide information and advice to ACOM and the City on current issues and trends affecting the Sector. 

The Music Advisory Board's role is to:

  • Advocate for the regional music sector and initiatives that support its growth and development.
  • Connect the regional industry with each other, and regional industry with national and international industry.
  • Provide information on potential career pathways, development initiatives and industry opportunities that will build the regional music industry's impact regionally and nationally.

*Board role does not include strategic or operational decisions.

Music Advisory Board

Music Advisory Board Members 2024

Xan Hamilton
Huia Hamon
Danielle Hao-Aickin
Dave Johnston
Victoria Kelly
Jonah Merchant
Catherine Percy
Charlotte Ryan
Petrina Togi-Sa'ena
Tom Tremewan
Chris van de Geer
Lui Vilisoni
Rob Warner
Shaquille Wasasala

Bronwyn Bent (Creative Partnerships Lead)
Gavin Downie (Event Organiser)
Helaina Keeley (Manager, Performing Arts, Auckland Live)
Bobby Kennedy (Place & Partnership Specialist Arts)
Jasmine Millet (Head of Creative Industries, Tātaki Auckland Unlimited)
Marilyn Portman (Auckland Libraries, Heritage & Research)
Gene Rivers (Arts & Culture Programmer)
Leesa Tilley (Director, Pasifika Festival)