Kiwi Kids Music (KKM), in partnership with the Auckland Philharmonia (APO) and NZ Opera (NZO), is thrilled to announce the inaugural Kōkako Award, for Best Children’s Performance.

This award will enrich the already established and cherished annual NZ Children’s Music Awards, nurturing the blossoming talents of our young performers in Aotearoa, New Zealand!

The Kōkako Award is a celebration of the vibrant expressions of our young performers highlighting the importance of children’s artistic creativity.

Calling all young performers and songwriters! If you know a child who loves to shine on stage then this award could be the perfect way to showcase their talents. There are some VERY cool prizes, including getting to perform your winning song with the Auckland Philharmonia!!!  

Entry is simple. No need for fully recorded masterpieces. Instead we are looking for heartwarming video entries with the child performing the original song, be that singing along to a backing track, playing an instrument and singing or even acapella.

Entry is open to all eligible NZ performers who meet the Eligibility Criteria as set out in the Terms & Conditions of Entry. 2024 nominations open Thursday 8th February and close 5pm Monday March 4th.

Read the Terms and Conditions Below



A maximum of 5 finalists will be decided by a panel of industry experts including a selection from each of the partnering organisations who will review the submissions. This process will occur prior to March 22, 2024 and the finalists will be contacted by no later than March 29, 2024.

On May 4th 2024, the finalists will perform their songs in person at a venue in Auckland, for a panel consisting of representatives from each partner organization. The winner will be determined through a thorough evaluation process and announced the following day at the NZ Children’s Music Awards.


Travel and accommodation costs for the finalists will be arrange by Kiwi Kids Music and are outlined in the terms and conditions. The winner will also have their travel and accomodation costs covered when they are required to travel back to Auckland as part of their prize pack, to perform with the Auckland Philharmonia.


From Feb 08, through to 5pm on Mar 04, 2024 young performers/musicians from across New Zealand will be invited to submit their entry including a video of their performance. In the video submission please state your name, age town of residence in New Zealand and the name of the song (i.e. I am Jane, age 11 from Christchurch and I am performing a song called “song title”).

Entries received later than 5pm on March 04, 2024 will not be eligible for the award.

The Child performing the song must be 12 years and under at the time of entry and a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident.

Only 1 entry per performer and/or songwriter is permitted and entrant must have the permission of a parent or caregiver to enter.

The song can be either written and performed by the child or can be written by someone else and performed by the child. There is no age restriction on the songwriter, provided the song is performed by a child 12 years and under.

The song can be across any genre of music but cannot have any explicit content. The appropriateness of the song entered will be at the discretion of the judging panel.

The song performed must be an original ‘unreleased’ song, Covers or re-releases are not accepted.

If the song performed is not the entrants own original song then entrant must have the permission of the songwriter to enter into the award.

Only solo performances are permitted. No multi-artist performances – we are looking for an exceptional individual!

The songwriter grants the Auckland Philharmonia the ability to arrange the song for a live orchestral performance at a later time (to be announced after the 2024 NZ Children’s Music Awards) should they win the competition. The song will not be professionally recorded or available for any public release. However video footage will be captured to record the award winners performance.

The finalists must be available for a singing and performance workshop hosted by the NZO at a venue to be announced in Auckland on May 4 (the day prior to the 2024 NZ Children’s Music Awards). This workshop will offer the finalists the opportunity to enhance their singing and performance skills.

The finalists must be available to perform the song they entered in front of a panel of judges on May 4.

The finalists must be available to attend the 2024 NZ Children’s Music Awards on May 5 at Spark Arena, Auckland.

KKM will offer a contribution towards the travel expenses of each finalist. Appropriate transport will be co-ordinated with the finalists once announced enabling them to attend the NZO workshop on May 4 and 2024 NZ Children’s Music Awards on May 5. In cases where finalists are from outside of Auckland and face financial constraints, scholarships will be made available to ensure their participation.

Costs associated with the winner's prize, including transportation, accommodation, and other necessary expenses will be covered.

Finalists and the eventual winner will be required to provide a photo/headshot for any PR that arises from being announced as a finalist and also willing to take part in any 2024 NZ Children’s Award media activity should they be announced as the winner.

No lobbying of judges is acceptable and may result in disqualification from the award process.

If a performance / song is found to be ineligible you will be provided notice of this decision and you will be allowed 48hrs to respond in order for a review to take place.

Once your entry is submitted you cannot make further changes - so only hit submit when you have finished! 


All finalists will receive a certificate recognising their exceptional talent and participation in the award.

The winner will have the song they performed arranged by the Auckland Philharmonia.

The winner will have the platform to showcase their talent, performing their winning song with the Auckland Philharmonia at the APO4Kids Christmas concert, delighting audiences with their captivating performance (date to be announced). Although logistical challenges may prevent an audio recording, we will ensure a live video recording captures the essence of the performance.

The winner will receive a certificate and a trophy, symbolizing their outstanding accomplishment. They will also receive a $500 contribution to support their future endeavors in the music industry. This contribution may be in the form of a voucher to the value of $500.

The winner will receive lots of positive PR as part of the 2024 NZ Children’s Music Awards.

The Kōkako Award is not just an award; it's an unforgettable journey into the world of music and performance. Let's create lasting memories at the 2024 NZ Children’s Music Awards!