$20 million invested in new New Zealand drama

Media Releases · Television · 28th July 2015

Local stories will feature strongly in next year’s television line-ups with NZ On Air investing $20.3 million from its first funding round of the financial year in drama and dramatised documentary.

A brand new 13 part drama series for prime time on TV One is Dirty Laundry. It centres on a middle-class family whose mother is jailed for money laundering - will they keep her business interests going to sustain their lifestyle? It is written and produced by some of our most experienced drama creatives, Rachel Lang, Gavin Strawhan and Steven Zanoski.

Fans of the outrageous Wests will be delighted to see a second series of Westside on TV3. The prequel to Outrageous Fortune has been highly appreciated by fans of the original series. The second season of Westside will treat audiences to 10 more episodes of Ted and Rita’s world.

Supported from the Platinum Fund are two dramatisations of important New Zealand stories. Bombshell- The Sinking Of The Rainbow Warrior tells the story of a nation-defining moment caused by a foreign government sanctioning a clumsy act of terrorism on our shores. Written by John Banas, it will screen on TV One.

A second telefeature will take viewers into the world of New Zealand aviatrix pioneer Jean Batten. Jean will be written and produced by Paula Boock and Donna Malane, makers of Field Punishment No. 1 and Tangiwai. It will screen on TV One.

“Each of these stories is unique to New Zealand. Seeing our own stories on screen, whether they are fictional or bring our history to life, is crucial to our culture. Amid a sea of foreign content, this is New Zealand on air,” said NZ On Air Chief Executive Jane Wrightson.

“We are very impressed by the calibre of drama applications – this genre is alive and well,” she continued. "This is a significant investment in drama yet funds remain for future projects. We acknowledge recent discussion about a new soap. We have not yet received a funding application for this: it may come to us for assessment in the coming months along with other projects in development and potential returning series."

Funding details

Dirty Laundry, 13 x 60 mins, Filthy Productions for TV One     $6,719,650

Westside 2, 10 x 60 mins, South Pacific Pictures for TV3         $7,597,000

Bombshell – The Sinking Of The Rainbow Warrior, 1 x 2 hrs, Screentime New Zealand for TV One                                                                            $2,854,573

Jean, 1 x 2 hrs, Lippy Pictures for TV One                                     $3,155,000