Schools in Rotorua will receive $10,000 worth of musical instruments


Stan Walker (pictured) along with Sons of Zion and Kings visited Western Heights Primary School and Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Hurungaterangi yesterday. Photo/NZME

Two schools in Rotorua will receive a $10,000 musical boost donated by some of New Zealand’s greatest musicians.

Stan Walker, Sons of Zion and Kings visited Western Heights Elementary School and Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Hurungaterangi yesterday to donate musical instruments worth $10,000 as part of an Eager Beaver community initiative NFT.

Following a nomination, shortlist and voting process, schools in Rotorua were named the recipients of the music package on Monday night.

Stan Walker, Sons of Zion and Kings are the artists behind the Eager Beaver NFT project, which launched last month.

It’s the brainchild of Sons of Zion founding member and Riapo Panapa of Rotorua, who wanted to provide a platform for musicians to gain more control over their art and change.
how fans connected with their favorite artists and creators.

The NFT space was his platform of choice. NFT stands for Non-Fungible Token and is a unique digital certificate that contains distinguishing information meaning there is only one and ownership is easily verifiable.

To help musicians make their mark in this space, Panapa enlisted the skills and expertise of two of his childhood friends – Rotorua-based electrical engineer Tim Wiringi, who owns two electrical engineering companies DMI, and financial adviser Kereopa Nepata, who has spent the past 17 years working for two of Australasia’s largest financial institutes.

The couple were delighted to help New Zealand artists continue to create after the difficult times Covid had imposed on the live events industry.

Riapo Panapa, founding member of the Kiwi Sons of Zion group.  Photo/NZME - Andrew Warner
Riapo Panapa, founding member of the Kiwi Sons of Zion group. Photo/NZME – Andrew Warner

Prior to its launch, the Eager Beaver team was building the platform, creating artwork, developing code, and refining details to bring closer relationships between artists and fans, which it already does by attracting thousands of members and followers. .

It was these members who helped establish a shortlist of schools deserving of instrument donations.

Members nominated schools by making submissions for the school of their choice, and through this process a total of six schools were shortlisted, including Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Pukemiro, Te Kura Māori o Ngā Tapuwae in Mangere , Triple 5 Rangatahi in Gisborne, Te Kura o Ngāti Haua in Pukemoremore in the Waikato, and Western Heights Primary School and Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Hurungaterangi in Rotorua.

Through a voting process, verified owners of the Eager Beaver NFTs selected the two schools they felt deserved a $10,000 musical instrument raise.

“This is a community initiative led by our Eager Beaver community,” Panapa said.

“It has been overwhelming to see the submissions come in and to read the individual stories from each deserving school, and we look forward to representing each of them when we deposit the instruments at the two successful schools.”

This delivery embodies the Eager Beaver NFT project, which aims to bring artists and fans closer together, allowing artists to directly engage and give back to their fans.

“The relationship is cultivated and grown organically within Discord – an online messaging app where members who are part of Eager Beaver can hang out, chat, network and hang out,” Panapa said.

“On top of that, artists are able to offer unreal usefulness [perks] to the Eager Beaver community, as part of their royalties, AAA festival experiences, and even studio time with artists.”

Unlike streaming platforms and distribution deals with music labels, Eager Beaver artists receive the lion’s share of royalties from any content and music they release as NFTs with the project.

The rest is distributed to the community in the form of royalties and opportunities to give back
through kaupapa such as donating instruments to schools.

Panapa describes NFTs as the future of business and commerce, and looks forward to seeing more Kiwis and Maoris in particular stepping into the NFT space, and paving the way for artists to have greater control over their work and the ability to better interact with their Fans.

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