Benevolent Fund Guiding Principles - MusicHelps
Benevolent Fund Guiding Principles

MusicHelps Benevolent Fund – guiding principles

The following constitute the guiding principles used by the MusicHelps Benevolent Fund Approvals Committee when assessing applications. The Committee reserves the right to take relevant information and circumstances that fall outside these guidelines into account when making its decisions.

The MusicHelps Benevolent Fund provides emergency assistance to Applicants and their Relatives.


“Applicant” means:

  • a person who has worked in and contributed to the New Zealand music industry; AND
  • a person who is a citizen or permanent resident of New Zealand.

“A person who has worked in and contributed to the New Zealand music industry” is taken to be:

  • a person who has earned his or her living from music for the greater part of his or her adult working life; OR
  • a person who has (most recently) worked part time for at least ten years as a permanent part time worker and who has received remuneration for all of that time and who considers that they have contributed to the music industry; OR
  • a person who has been continuously self-employed for at least the last ten years in categories including but not limited to the following:

Composer, Writer / Lyricist / Arranger, Performer, Manager, Sound Engineer / Producer, Agent / Promoter, Road Crew member

Note: annual tax returns may be required as confirmation of such employment / remuneration details.

“Relative” means:

  • The partner of the Applicant who has been dependent upon them for at least the preceding ten years;
  • The child of the Applicant, dependent on them at the time of the claim and who will remain dependent for a future period;
  • A person who most recently and for a substantial period was wholly or mostly dependent on the Applicant for his or her maintenance, education or advancement in life.

If you are a kiwi music person experiencing hardship which has been worsened or amplified due to illness, injury and/or significant misfortune,  you can make a confidential enquiry about how the MusicHelps Benevolent Fund might assist you. Please use the form on our Contact Us page.

Personal circumstances

An Applicant or Relative applying for assistance from the MusicHelps Benevolent Fund will be considered  if he or she is in financial difficulty amplified or worsened as a result of illness, accident, injury old age, death of the Applicant on whom they were dependent or other significant misfortune.  For the avoidance of doubt, it is expressly declared that the MusicHelps Benevolent fund will not be used to assist a person whose only claim for relief arises from hardship as a result of want of employment. Parties claiming for household repairs or rent would not normally be included, but such claims may be considered based on particular circumstances.

Decision process

Cases ordinarily will proceed first through a period of evidence gathering between the MusicHelps General Manager and the Applicant or the Applicant’s authorised representative. Details of the facts of the case, referees, the Applicant’s financial situation and the Applicant’s view as to how relief may best be provided by the MusicHelps Benevolent Fund will be sought. These will be collated into an anonymised case report by the General Manager.

The case report, which will contain a recommendation from the General Manager, is then presented to the Approvals Committee of the MusicHelps Benevolent Fund. The Approvals Committee is made up of the APRA and RMNZ Trustee representatives of MusicHelps along with a third Trustee, a Direct-to-Artist representative from RMNZ, and an APRA member representative.

The General Manager is authorised to enact all decisions taken by a fully attended meeting of the Approvals Committee that has considered a properly prepared case report. This process may take from 3 to 6 weeks, taking into account time required for evidence gathering and meeting logistics. The magnitude of any grant in this process is at the discretion of the Committee.

Urgent response decisions

We recognise that urgent situations requiring rapid decision making sometimes arise. In these situations, a case report will still be prepared by the General Manager and circulated by email, with conferences by telephone. The General Manager chairs this exchange. In order for a grant to be made by this process, the General Manager must receive approval of the recommendation from a majority of the Approvals Committee by email, and the recommendation must be further approved by the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Board of Trustees of MusicHelps by email in order for the General Manager to act. The magnitude of assistance given in these situations will ordinarily be capped and follow precedent from past Urgent Response grant approvals.

Assistance limitations

For the avoidance of doubt, it is expressly declared that the MusicHelps Benevolent fund will not be used to assist a person whose only claim for relief arises from want of employment.

Whenever possible, approved financial relief will be paid directly to a third party product or service provider and not to an Applicant or Relative.

The charity will not ordinarily use the MusicHelps Benevolent Fund to provide emergency assistance more than once to any single Applicant or their Relative(s), but reserves the right to do so upon receipt of an appropriately submitted application. Applicants are advised that any additional application would need to meet the above guideline criteria to a high level, reflect extraordinary circumstances and/or detail a need wholly not evident at the time of the initial provision of assistance in order to be successful.

Committee discretion

Notwithstanding the above guideline criteria, the decision to approve or decline the provision of emergency assistance is at the sole discretion of the MusicHelps Benevolent Fund Approval Committee. All decisions of the Committee are final, and the Committee is unable to enter into communication with applicants.


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