More uniquely NZ stories for local audiences to extend diversity on screens


Digital · Media Releases · Television · 12th May 2017

Arts, architecture, psychology, kaupapa māori and rural comedy are among new stories for local screen investments from NZ On Air ahead of a radical revamp of the funding model.

Nigel Latta combines his two great passions, psychology and science, in a new four part documentary series The Curious Mind With Nigel Latta. With the help of BabyX, an Auckland University developed virtual infant said to be the most advanced artificial intelligence being in the world, Nigel demonstrates how our minds work, how they shape our lives and make us who we are.

Design Junkies is a celebration of the Kiwi obsession with DIY design and innovation. Eight designers will turn junk into beautiful hand-crafted artworks. The winner will take their designs to the Milan Fair. Meanwhile the popular architectural series Grand Designs will be back for a third season following the trials and tribulations as a group of New Zealanders build their design triumphs.

Kaupapa On The Couch is a pilot series on pop culture and current affairs website The Spinoff discussing Māori issues or current events from the Māori perspective. Its creators say they are aiming for “aha” moments.

The Real Me is a series of five short documentaries on the Pacific online hub theCoconet.TV. Each story is a first-person account of 'coming out' as a Pasifika person in the rainbow communities of Aotearoa.

The Curse Of The Chills, a feature length documentary for Prime follows Martin Phillips, lead singer of the iconic band, as he reconciles his music collection with his remaining musical ambition.

A new TV and online comedy series, Subject Dad, is based on the hilarious emails sent to comedian and actor Josh Thompson and his family by their Timaru-based Dad, describing the day-to-day activities of a retired man with too much time on his hands.

Operating funding for three key services for the 2017/18 year was also confirmed : National Pacific Radio Trust providing radio services to the Pacific community; Able providing captioning and audio descripton services for the sight and hearing impared; and the Digital Media Trust curating local screen and music content on NZ On Screen and AudioCulture.

“We are delighted with the breadth of stories and voices represented in this round, the last under our old funding model. We look forward to working with the production community to create an even wider diversity of content for New Zealanders as we move to our new funding model,” said NZ On Air Chief Executive Jane Wrightson.

From 1 July investments will be made from a platform-neutral fund, the NZ Media Fund. The fund has four streams – Factual, Scripted, Music and the closed stream Platforms. The Factual and Scripted streams can consider content for television, online and radio. More information can be found here.

Funding details:

National Pacific Radio Trust, for NiuFM and 531Pi 2017/18, $3,250,000
Able (Media Access Charitable Trust), for captioning and audio description 2017/18, $2,800,000
Digital Media Trust, for NZ On Screen & AudioCulture 2017/18, $1,192,972
Grand Designs 3, 10 x 1 hr, Imagination Television for Three, $900,000
The Curious Mind With Nigel Latta, 4 x 1hr, Ruckus for TVNZ 1, $723,848
Design Junkies, 6 x 1hr broadcast plus 20 x 10 mins online, Warner Bros NZ for TVNZ 1, $718,233
The Curse Of The Chills, 1 x 90 min, Notable Pictures for Prime TV, $100,000
The Real Me, 5 x 10 mins, Tikilounge Productions for theCoconet.TV, $88,924
Subject Dad, 2 x ½ hr broadcast plus 10 x 5 mins online, The Downlow Concept for online & Three, $74,523
Kaupapa On The Couch, 6 x 5 mins, The Spinoff for The Spinoff.co.nz, $25,800