When Elemeno P take centre stage at the country's big music awards tonight, they're determined to have band member Lani Purkis there - even if they have to carry her.

Purkis gave birth this week, meaning she won't be able to make the presentation at The Edge in Auckland for the New Zealand Music Awards.

She and partner Matt Heath, from rock band Deja Voodoo, welcomed their first child, Charlie, on Monday.

But when Elemono P perform on stage, fellow band members (from left) Justyn Pilbrow, Dave Gibson and Scotty Pearson will have a cardboard cut-out of bass player Purkis with them.

The pop-punk group are in the running for Best Rock Album, Best Group, the People's Choice Award, and Album of the Year.

Other finalists include Bic Runga, The Bleeders, Opensouls, Aaradhna, Frontline, Don McGlashan, Dave Dobbyn and Concord Dawn.

The event, hosted by Jaquie Brown and Oliver Driver, will see 18 9ct-gold-plated Tuis handed out to the winners, replacing the previous trophy, a bronze statuette.

* nzherald.co.nz will be at the New Zealand Music Awards tonight.

Live coverage from the red carpet and exclusive interviews backstage with the award winners begins at 5pm.