NZ On Air keeping a watch on diversity of content creators


Media Releases · 14th May 2018

NZ On Air’s third Diversity Report shows a reasonable mix of diversity in funded content creators in some roles, but some areas are lacking representation of women and Asian people.

NZ On Air has just published its third annual Diversity Report which monitors gender, ethnic and regional representation in the local screen sector. The data is drawn from funded projects, but is likely to be reflective of the wider production sector. For the first time the Diversity Report also includes data on gender among recorded music artists coming through the NZ On Air music funding programmes.


Key Findings: Screen Content

• Women are well represented among producers and writers, making up 56% of producers surveyed and 53% of writers this year.

• But women remain under-represented among directors despite a modest improvement in the past year.

• In 2018 22% of drama directors were women, up from 20% in 2017 and 11% in 2016. (see note)                                                              

• If a project has a male producer it is less likely to have a female director.

• Asian creatives are under-represented across producer, director and writer/researcher roles. Just 3% of producers in 2018 were Asian (11.8% of NZers identify as Asian.)

• The numbers of Māori and Pacific people in producing and writing roles is broadly in line with the population.

Key Findings: Regional Spread

• There’s a growing number of production companies in smaller regional centres but the majority are still in Auckland.

• Three years ago 82% of production companies were in Auckland –down now to 69% partly due to NZ On Air investing in more, smaller projects                                                                                       with greater regional spread.

Key Findings: Music

• Women make up 20-30% of applicants for NZ On Air Music Single funding (the % funded is in line with the % applying.)

• Women are also under-represented in multi-song applications (ie albums or EPs)

“Gender and ethnic diversity in key creative roles in our sector is important so that local content can be authentically representative of the audiences it serves. We need to see more women in director roles and in the recorded music sector, and we need to see more Asian people in screen creative roles,” said NZ On Air Chief Executive Jane Wrightson.

NZ On Air reports this data to prompt an industry response. The public media agency also has strategies in place to increase diversity among creatives working on funded screen projects and is now monitoring the gender diversity in music. A recently published roadmap for Scripted content includes some new measures to encourage more diversity.

Read the Diversity report here.

Note: In the year to March 2018 the gap between male and female directors has lessened but this is due to one particular project. Women made up 44% of total directing roles and 34% of drama directors were women. However this data includes the eight female directors of the feature film WARU. The film’s collaborative directorial structure is unlike most other scripted projects. If those eight women are instead counted as one for comparison’s sake, 22% of drama directors were women in 2018.