Recorded Music New Zealand has announced a new direction for the Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards, with a new programme, new award and new-look trophy.

It's about further celebrating "Aotearoa's musicians and the wairua of the awards themselves," said Recorded Music in a press release.

The awards this year will be hosted by singer Stan Walker and TV personality Kanoa Lloyd.

"I'm so excited to be returning to host the awards again this year and really looking forward to hosting with my friend Kanoa," said Walker.

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The changes include the new Artists' Tui initiative, which will see a prominent New Zealand artist put their own spin on the Tui trophy each year.

The inaugural Artists' Tui is designed by renowned visual artist Dick Frizzell.

"I jumped at the chance to put my own spin on the iconic Tui for Recorded Music New Zealand," he says. "It's an honour to be a part of celebrating the achievements of the amazingly talented artists of Aotearoa."

The inaugural Tui Music Series has also been announced, set to be a two-week programme in the lead up to the main ceremony in November.

The series includes the NZ Music Producers' series, Music Designers' series and Music Film-makers' series, which will be held in Auckland and Wellington from October 29 to November 11.

The series offers opportunities for creatives to network and grow their skills in their chosen fields. Applications for the NZ Music Producer series open today at nzmusicawards.co.nz.

The Tui Music Series also includes the Artisan Awards, a standalone event in Wellington on November 5. It will acknowledge creatives who contribute to musical recordings, as well as visual artists who create album artwork and music videos.

The main 2018 awards will celebrate winners in the usual 16 categories, including Album of the Year, Vodafone Single of the Year and Breakthrough Artist of the Year, as well as the new Music Teacher of the Year Tui.

Genre categories will be recognised, including Best Rock, The Edge Best Pop, Best Alternative, Best Roots, Best Electronic, Best Worship, Best Classical, Best Hip-Hop, Best Soul/RnB, as well as the Vodafone People's Choice Award and the Legacy Award.

Finalists will be announced on September 27.