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The Lowdown Directory 2019

The Lowdown Directory 2019
The Lowdown Directory 2019
The Lowdown Directory 2019
The Lowdown Directory 2019
The Lowdown Directory 2019
The Lowdown Directory 2019
The Lowdown Directory 2019
The Lowdown Directory 2019
The Lowdown Directory 2019
The Lowdown Directory 2019
The Lowdown Directory 2019
The Lowdown Directory 2019
Bookmark this vital 2019 guide to the NZ arts online


This month the Lowdown arts media weekly bulletin is one year old.

The Lowdown has been a response to the decimation of our arts media. The bulletin brings together arts news from across Aotearoa New Zealand and links you to great new online content. The Lowdown was born from a concern about the eroding access for the general reader to the wealth of material out there in a fragmented digital media environment.

Furthering the vital mission of bringing things together in some common ground, this week we press pause to provide a directory of the platforms offering regular NZ arts coverage online. All gathered over this past year of online foraging for the bulletin. Bookmark it!

While the directory is sizeable, most doesn’t reach a wide readership – or viewership, see the television category. The editorial and journalistic resources offered to arts news and content is poor. Which is where The Lowdown is designed to come in and encourage it. Hopefully, there are some lesser known champions for you to discover in this list. We will be back next week with our usual scan to bring you up to speed with what’s breaking news.

A question for you: what’s missing from this directory? It’s by no means definitive. It's a starter. I was still finding significant platforms I’m not across this week (like the Kickarts radio podcast, what a joy!). If you know of regular arts media channels not mentioned – be it a blog, review site or podcast let us know to include in future weekly Lowdowns - and next year’s updated directory:  

Online Arts Magazines

Artbeat Launched in 2018, a newspaper with now a whole heap of news and reviews online about the visual arts in Christchurch.

Article New Zealand Festival’s smart online publication.

Awa Wahine Sharing the stories and creativity of NZ women. A remarkable resource for the arts and culture of the Pacific.

Contemporary Hum Edited from Europe, articles on NZ visual artists and those working in other disciplines overseas.

DANZ Magazine The quarterly voice of NZ dance.

Haimoana Ace commentary, writing and interviews about Asian New Zealand art and culture

Pantograph Punch  The only independent publication platform outside of The Big Idea solely dedicated to lively commentary online across the NZ arts.

Playmarket Annual An annual magazine published in September dedicated to issues and the voices of our theatre and playwrights.

The Big Idea Yours truly.

The Sapling Beautifully edited, dedicated to books for young people.


There is radio on air and streaming, and then there is audio on demand. Here’s some podcasted art radio to subscribe to or dip into for stories of interest.

Artbank On 95bFM this is the longrunning Auckland arts and cultural two-hour Sunday morning show, podcasted weekly.

Art Happenings with Preston on Christchurch’s RDU.

Bcasts Outside of RNZ bFM leads the way in podcasting the arts on radio and there’s plenty more arts content across their ‘b-casts.

KickArts Auckland news, reviews and interviews on Planet FM’s Sunday 90 minute arts show.

Radio Active In Wellington another long running weekly (Saturday morning) arts show Caffeine and Aspirin is occasionally podcasted, and cinema and book reviews are uploaded to Mixcloud.

Radio New Zealand Arts There’s strong arts coverage across RNZ programming, all handily podcasted. How to find it? Whether, its Kim Hill, Jesse Mulligan or Te Ahi Kaa this Arts link should find most of it.  You’ll struggle on other radio station websites.

Standing Room Only Items from Sunday’s RNZ arts and culture show with Lynn Freeman available online.  

Upbeat Concert FM's lunchtime arts and music show with interviews and stories online.


It would almost make sense to drop this category entirely, but then you might fail to notice that TV coverage of the arts pretty much no longer exists.

NZ on Screen Arts/Culture For proof that it used to exist, visit this treasure house of 100s of items from the past: from arts magazine series Kaleidoscope (1976-1989), through to Backchat and Work of Art (1990s) to more recent TVNZ art series like Artsville, The Big Art Trip (2001), Frontseat (2004), Artland (2008) and independent The Gravy (2009).

Then, silence. I’m lamenting! How did we let this happen?

Visual Art Reviews

Artasiapacific This bimonthly art magazine has been ensuring a strong occasional New Zealand presence in the online review section.

Artlink Occasional NZ reviews in this Australian magazine.

Eyecontactsite The only web platform dedicated to art reviews nationally.

Photoforum Photography reviews, essays and photgraphic portfoilios.

Theatre and Dance Reviews

All my own words Experienced dance critic Raewyn White lists and links to reviews of dance performances and publishes her own.

Art Murmurs Wellington theatre review site.

DANZ National dance organisation has a review programme online.

Theatrescenes Auckland theatre and dance review site with more than half a dozen critics

Theatreview National theatre review and news site with links to other reviews of the same productions, plus heated discussion boards.

Theatre Times In 2018 Hilary Halba and David O’Donnell published a string of strong reviews on this international theatre site – will it revive in 2019?

Wellingtonista Even more Wellington theatre reviews.

Visual arts content

ArtNews National art magazine provides some features online and what’s on listings.

Artzone Wellington based magazine provides some well presented artist interviews online.

Artnow Smart new listing site for selected galleries and their events nationally.

Artsdiary Auckland gallery listings and Sait Akkirman’s ‘Been There’ photo documentation of gallery openings.

Art New Zealand You’ll have to get to the newsagents, but you can read the first 30 issues, beginning in 1976, here (now up to #169).

Christchurch Art Gallery Way ahead of the public gallery pack nationally in providing strong editorial online. Reviews, articles and the Circuitcast podcast dedicated to moving image artists.

Design Work Designer Kate Darby’s design podcast with Idealog.

Extended Conversations Publishing platform for emerging art writers.

Wide Angle New series interviewing New Zealand photographers and cinematographers.

General news media

e-tangata Quality profiles on the Māori arts.

Noted Selected cultural content from the likes of NZ Listener, Metro and North and South.

NZEdge Harvesting news stories from overseas media about Kiwis doing well overseas, with a clear bent for the arts.

NZ Herald Culture Another handy link to arts coverage from Auckland’s Herald to the busy team at the Whanganui Chronicle and maybe a dozen other newspapers.

Otago Daily Times A NZ newspaper still doing some strong arts coverage including good use of video stories.

Scoop A wide scoop of arts and culture media releases (excellent resource for arts PR to get news up online)

Stuff Arts A handy link to all stories tagged arts across Stuff’s phalanx of newspapers nationally, from big centres like Christchurch (where Warren Feeney still does a visual art must-sees) to the Hamilton Garden Festival and new street art in Palmy.

The Spinoff Outside books and music The Spinoff don’t yet have dedicated arts pages, but publish plenty of strong cultural content across the platform.

Vice The New Zealand content commissioned continues to be good on arts features.

Book reviews, news and chat

Beattie’s Book Blog Graham Beattie provides a steady stream of book news and announcements.

Better Off Read Pip Adam is up to episode #46 talking to writers about books they’ve both read.

Landfall The classic literary journal publishes its reviews online.

Motif Poetry Cool young spoken word platform for events with videos of performances.

New Zealand Book Council News section and also a pretty comprehensive writers bio section.

NZ Poetry Shelf Poems and news.

NZSA Oral history podcasts with senior New Zealand writers.

The Spinoff The leading place for literary review and publication online.

The Starling “Well presented new writing from young New Zealanders”.


There’s a plethora, but we can’t get by without noting these independent stalwarts.

Audioculture The great indispensible guide to the stories behind New Zealand music.

Elsewhere Graham Reid's legendary music review and 'elsewhere' site

New Zealand Musician. The stalwart magazine has got stronger on onlone content.

Radio 13 Marty Duda's energetic collective enterprise reviewing and previewing music.

Sounz An audio and video library of NZ composers work and the latest news from the world of NZ composition.

Under The Radar News, gig guide and tickets

Blogs and articles

Arts Access Writing on experiences about access to the arts.

City Gallery Wellington Occasional strong interviews and pieces from staff.

Design Assembly - Articles on NZ graphic design

Toi Maori Stories and writing with a focus on emerging Maori artists and writers.

Te Papa The museum do a good job in letting their experts tell us good stories.



Playmarket eBulletin For news and articles on new New Zealand theatre.

Weekly Dance News Bulletin Started this year by DANZ. You can view past issues and subscribe.

Arts Infrastructure

Arts Foundation New Zealand Some strong content regularly published connected to award winners and philanthropy.

Creative New Zealand New stories every week and there’s a newsletter you can subscribe to.

Cultural Icons Video conversations with outstanding artists, a project from Depot Artspace.



Want more of the Lowdown?
Check out Mark Amery's past Arts Media Lowdowns here and subscribe here to our weekly bulletin so it comes straight to your inbox.
News and content ideas are welcomed for future editions of Arts Media Lowdown. Please send to

Written by

Mark Amery

6 Mar 2019

Mark Amery has worked as an art critic, writer, editor and broadcaster for many years across the arts and media.