By RUSSELL BAILLIE entertainment editor

Although the New Zealand music awards have diversified their categories and widened their judging pool this year, the nominations for the Tuis announced yesterday still showed predictable dominance by a big-selling pop act.

The leading finalist was young Auckland group Nesian Mystik whose debut hit album Polysaturated and its singles led to their nomination in eight categories. That includes album of the year, single of the year, and best group - as well as being a frontrunner in the new categories of highest-selling single, highest-selling album and best urban album.

Award organisers, the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand (RIANZ) has also added this year the categories of best dance album, best roots music album, best solo artist and best breakthrough artist, to reflect the diversity of releases while sidelining some other non-mainstream genres.


Award regular Bic Runga is the second-most successful nominee with five nominations on the back of her long-awaited second album Beautiful Collision. Runga is already a winner - she was last night given the Tui for best producer in the technical categories announced before the main event on Wednesday April 30.

Among the awards Runga has previously won and is up for on the night are album of the year, single of the year, and best female vocalist. She also figures in the two new highest-selling categories and best solo artist.

The biggest showing by a rock group in the list is Cambridge-born success story the Datsuns with three nominations - for album of the year, group of the year and the new breakthrough artist category.

Given their 2002 breakthrough in Britain, it's likely they will also take away the international achievement award, too, as organisers have declared there is only one unnamed finalist.

Auckland band Goldenhorse are also thrice-nominated for their debut Riverhead in the best album, best female vocalist and best breakthrough artist. Some of the other multiple nominees - including Che Fu, Anika Moa, and goodshirt - seem to have been nominated on the back of 2001 albums which were still spawning singles last year.

Having dominated the 2001 awards with his The Navigator album, Che Fu is up for four categories including single of the year, best male vocalist and songwriter of the year for Navigator track and single Misty Frequencies. Likewise, Moa figures in three categories - best single, best solo artist and best female which she won last year - on the back of 2002 single Falling In Love Again from her 2001 debut album.

Goodshirt's single Sophie, which trickled its way to number one in May last year nearly a year after the release of their debut album Good, means the band is up for three categories. They have already won - last night the Auckland band and director Joe Lonie took away the best video award for the hit.

Among the newcomers named in the list are former TrueBliss member Carly Binding, who is nominated as best solo artist for her single It's Alright With Me, and West Auckland hard-rockers Blindspott, who figure in the breakthrough artist category.

Those who worked on the group's self-titled debut album took away the best engineer prize last night.

This year the awards are an industry-only function but TV3 is broadcasting a one-hour highlights package on Friday May 2 at 7.30pm.


Album Of The Year

Pacifier - Pacifier

The Datsuns - The Datsuns

Goldenhorse - Riverhead

Bic Runga - Beautiful Collision

Nesian Mystik - Polysaturated

Single of the Year

Che Fu - Misty Frequencies

Bic Runga - Get Some Sleep

goodshirt - Sophie

Anika Moa - Falling in Love Again

Nesian Mystik - It's On

Best Group

The Datsuns - The Datsuns

goodshirt - Sophie

Nesian Mystik - Polysaturated

Best Solo Artist

Bic Runga - Beautiful Collision

Anika Moa - Falling In Love Again

Carly Binding - Alright With Me

Best Male Vocalist

Jon Toogood (Pacifier) - Pacifier

Che Fu - Misty Frequencies

Te Awanui Pine Reeder (Nesian Mystik) - For the People

Best Female Vocalist

Kirsten Morelle (Goldenhorse) - Riverhead

Bic Runga - Beautiful Collision

Anika Moa - Falling In Love Again

Breakthrough Artist Of The Year

The Datsuns - The Datsuns

Goldenhorse - Riverhead

Blindspott - Blindspott

Songwriter Of The Year

Che Fu - Misty Frequencies

goodshirt - Sophie

Nesian Mystik - It's On

Highest Selling NZ Album

Bic Runga - Beautiful Collision

Nesian Mystik - Polysaturated

Che Fu - Navigator

Highest Selling NZ Single

K'Lee - Can You Feel Me

Katchafire - Giddy Up

Nesian Mystik - It's On

Best Urban Album

P Money - Big Things

Nesian Mystik - Polysaturated

Deceptikonz - Elimination

Best Dance Album

Rhombus - Bass Player

Salmonella Dub - Outside the Dubplates

Subware - Subware

Best Roots Music Album

Te Vaka - Nukukehe

Trinity Roots Band - True

Darren Watson - King Size

Best Jazz Album

Twinset - It's a Summer Feeling

Kevin Clark - Once Upon a Song I Flew

Matt Penman - The Unquiet

Best Classical Album

New Zealand String Quartet - Beethoven Rasumovsky Quartets Opus 59 Nos 2 and 3

New Zealand Symphony Orchestra - Douglas Lilburn - the Three Symphonies

New Zealand Symphony Orchestra - Simon Boccanegra - Giuseppe Verdi

Best Mana Reo Album

Hareruia Aperahama - Waiata of Bob Marley Vol 2

Ngahiwi Apanui - E Tau Nei

Adam Whauwhau - He Hua O Roto

Best Mana Maori Album

Soul Paua - Pohewa

Upper Hutt Posse - Te Reo Maori Remixes

Mahinarangi Tocker - Hei Ha

Brother J - Be Bop a Nui

Best Pacific Island Album

Pacific Soul - Pacific Soul

Jamoa Jam - Tama Mai Le Pasifika

Lapi Mariner - Just Me

Technical category winners

Best Video

Joe Lonie and goodshirt - Sophie


Bic Runga - Beautiful Collision


Clint Murphy and Dave Rhodes - Blindspott

Cover Design

Campbell Hooper-Johnson - Flock: The Best of the Mutton Birds

Radio Programmer

Andi Dawkins, More FM, Christchurch