December 2014

December 2014 newsletter

A note from the CEO

Jane Wrightson - CEO

As 2014 draws to an end and we all take a little R & R we can draw breath and reflect on another year of together creating award-winning television, radio and digital media content and songs.

In our 25th year NZ On Air is as relevant and important to maintaining and promoting cultural diversity and national identity as we were back in 1989. In fact, we would argue even more so. Audiences now have so many platforms on which to enjoy media content that preserving a space for stories and songs by and about New Zealand is even more vital to who we are as a nation.

Our funding system is unique in the world and it works. It works because it is flexible enough to adapt to changing audience behaviour, and serve new audiences, rather than being tied to a single outlet, platform or medium.

And it works because contestable funding encourages a transparent, competitive ideas-driven environment. This helps produce both sector stability and content that is both award-winning and audience-acclaimed.

In March 2015 we will be very active, with the support of the many broadcasters and content makers, in raising the profile of local content. We want New Zealanders to better understand what their taxpayer dollars are providing. If you have not been approached to be part of this please get in touch with our Communications Manager Allanah Kalafatelis to find out more.

This month was our final funding round of the year and it was a hard one. We are facing increasing pressure on our funds and had to turn down more good ideas than we would have liked. The challenge we face as we head into 2015 and beyond is ensuring the limited funds are invested skilfully, and where we can achieve the most.

Nonetheless we’ve been able to support some terrific new ideas and some returning favourites. We’re also right in the middle of assessing the applications to our brand new Canada/NZ digital media fund and have been blown away by the creativity of the submissions.

I’d also like to acknowledge our Sydney friends and colleagues at a difficult time. Understanding and respecting cultural differences has never been more important to social cohesion. We in the creative media are very well-placed to promote tolerance through insightful storytelling that embraces cultural diversity.

Finally, I want to thank all of you for your dedication to bringing great ideas to screens and airwaves around New Zealand. Enjoy your well-earned break as we will. Our office will re-open on January 12th.

Nō reira, tēnā rawa atu kia koutou mō ō koutou āwhina i tēnei tau. Me nui ake ngā kaupapa o te motu kia whakaaturia tonutia a Irirangi te motu.

Meri Kirihimete me te Tau Hou hoki

Nā, Jane


(Almost) Empty coffers

The last meeting of the calendar year has seen over 95% of the General fund budget already spent. This means the opportunities for funding in the March and May meetings next year are very limited, with little scope for new productions. $2.6m remains in the Platinum fund. Please contact Glenn Usmar, the TV Manager, if you propose to submit any applications to the final two meetings in the current financial year to discuss. This also means that requests for additional funding for programmes in production will be difficult to meet.

December round

We had 34 applications this round seeking over $22m. Targeted for Arts/Culture, Māori, Documentary/Factual and Platinum we were pleased to support a range of excellent projects in this round, allocating over $16m. 


A second series of the successful The Brokenwood Mysteries has been supported for Prime along with coverage of the Comedy Gala 2015 for TV3 and a new children’s drama The Cul De Sac for TV2.


Topp Country 2 - Diva Productions for TV One

In this round there were many more good documentary applications than available funding and we had to make some tough choices. We were pleased to support a second series of Topp Country along with another opportunity for Nigel Latta to address some of the important issues confronting New Zealand in the excellent series The Hard Stuff With Nigel Latta.

Six Platinum projects were confirmed including new TV One series Coast New Zealand and History Of The New Zealand Home. Docudrama The Monster Of Mangatiti was also supported for TV One. It tells the true story of a woman who was lured to work on an isolated farm and treated as a slave.

Current affairs coverage will again be extended by new series of Q+A (TV One), The Nation (TV3) and Media Take (Māori Television). 


Marcus Lush will make a welcome return to our screens fronting an innovative history series for TV One, Twain’s Tour, which will retrace Mark Twain’s visit to New Zealand in 1895.


Songs From The Inside - Awa Films for Māori Television

Five Māori projects totalling nearly $2m were supported in this round including new series The Crayfishers for Prime and The Pacific Voyagers Te Mana O Te Moana for Māori Television. A feature film Born To Dance along with a third and final series of Songs From The Inside was also supported for Māori Television. Subtitling of youth series Pūkana was again funded for FOUR.

Special Interest

A special episode of Attitude was supported. The Dream Team – Attitude Special will follow New Zealand’s strong Paralympic swimming squad to the World Swimming Champs in 2015 as they build up to the Rio Games in 2016.

A friendly reminder: sales returns

You will note from the limited funds remaining in the General fund that demand is increasing. It is therefore imperative we continue to be efficient and skilful in our investments as well as look to collect any sales income due on the programmes we fund.

We note that new platforms and channels have been acquiring local library content and also that Screenrights continues to make a significant annual payment to local producers for educational use of NZ programmes.

We remind producers that in many instances NZ On Air is due a share of net income received for programmes we have funded. If you have recently sold a programme, or received income from Screenrights, and are unsure if you need to remit a share of the income to us, please contact Jess Jones to discuss.

We will be auditing producer returns in 2015.


From a field of outstanding telefeatures, Consent: The Louise Nicholas Story was the much-deserved winner of the NZ On Air Best TV feature award at the Moas. Well done to Desert Road (Condor Encore) for producing such an important story. 

We are also super-stoked for Luke Nola & Friends who've been nominated for an International Emmy!

Let's Get Inventin' has been nominated in the Kids: Non-Scripted Entertainment category for the 3rd International Emmy® Kids Awards which will be held on Friday, February 20, 2015 in New York.

We've funded seven series of the programme as well as an app, supported through our Digital Media Fund.

Go, you good things!

Let's Get Inventin - Luke Nola & Friends for TV2

Digital Media

Canada-NZ Digital Media Fund

Applications for the inaugural Canada-NZ Digital Media Fund are being reviewed this week. An amazing 38 proposals were received, covering a wide range of project types, audiences and approaches.

We will be shortlisting projects for further development next week. All applicants can expect to hear from Brenda Leeuwenberg before Christmas.

Reaching online audiences

Recipients of support through the Digital Media Fund in the past year participated in a workshop at the start of this month facilitated by our Digital Strategist Brenda Leeuwenberg. The Reaching Online Audiences workshop brought together presentations from key people in the emerging digital distribution sector (Anna Dean, NZ Herald and TVNZ) along with case studies and learnings from previous projects.

Participants workshopped their projects with the group, each leaving with a raft of diverse ideas and strategies for promoting their projects and reaching audiences.

This is the second year we have run this workshop and it is always well received by participants. The challenge of publicising digital projects and raising awareness with target audiences is one that producers worldwide are grappling with. We are keen to help our funded projects rise to the challenge!

Loading Docs 2015

Loading Docs is thrilled with the calibre and quantity of submissions received for the 2015 crop.

The submissions are currently being assessed - stand by for an announcement of fresh innovative micro-documentaries on the theme of Connection in the new year.

The project is co-funded by our Digital Media Fund and the NZ Film Commission.

On the road

If you somehow managed to miss the comedy docu-drama webseries Road Trip as it featured on Stuff a few weeks ago, you can now catch up on all the goodness in one YouTube playlist here.

The series received great feedback as viewers wrestled with the challenging mix of reality and scripted drama - take a look and see some of NZ’s quirkiest characters interwoven with the story of Beni and Sarah.

High Road - Justin Matthews (producer), Brenda Leeuwenberg, Justin Harwood (director, writer)

And still with the Road theme ...

We were very happy to attend the premiere launch of the new season of High Road webseries last month. The Digital Media Fund supported the second season of this popular series following an initial self-funded season. Follow the trials and tribulations (mostly trials) of ex-rocker Terry Huffer here.


Rising on the radio


According to the latest RadioScope report , New Zealand music content on all radio –commercial stations, students and the iwi stations, etc – hit 19.86% in the week to 7 December, which is up from 18.35% at the time of our last newsletter and 17.71% the newsletter before that.

On commercial radio, it is 19.45% which is well up on last time as well. In fact, that’s better than at any time in the last three years. We commend our friends at commercial radio on their contribution to the cause!

Lorde has the #1 song on the New Zealand airplay chart at the moment with Yellow Flicker Beat, the Golden Globe-nominated song from The Hunger Games, and Six60 is at #2 with Special.

Meanwhile, over on Alt radio, local content is at 44.52%. Tom Lark tops the Alt Airplay chart with Something To Tell You and She’s So Rad are at #2 with their Making Tracks-funded song, Cool It.

Making More Tracks

Maybe Rave

We are half way through the fourth year of Making Tracks, and have just wrapped up our fifth Making Tracks funding round for the 2014-2015 year. At this half-way mark, we have had 648 applications and we have funded 112 songs. The last round for the year in November attracted 146 applications, the biggest mail bag this funding year, and gave us new songs by perennials like The Black Seeds and Taite Music Prize winner, SJD, as well as first-timers like Kamandi and Maybe Rave.

Making Tracks now takes a two month break. The next round closes on Sunday 01 February. Applications online only at


Stan Walker, winner NZ On Air Radio Airplay Award 2014

It has been a feast of music awards lately -

the APRA Silver Scrolls, the NZ On Air Critics Choice Prize and the Vodafone NZ Music Awards.

Country music queen, Tami Neilson won the Silver Scroll for her (Making Tracks-funded) song, Walk (Back To Your Arms) and rapper, Randa won the NZ On Air Critics’ Choice Prize on 29 October, taking out the prize ahead of two other Making Tracks artists, Lake South and Estére.

The ebullient Stan Walker won the NZ On Air Radio Airplay Award at the Vodafone NZ Music Awards on 20 November with Bulletproof while the NZ On Air Best Music Video went to Cam Hooper for Hearts Like Ours by The Naked + Famous.

And on the subject of celebrations - check out the Can’t Get Enough music video that we made behind the scenes at the NZ Music Awards this year to mark 25 years of NZ On Air's championing NZ Music.

Follow us

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Community broadcasting

Pacific collaboration

A new partnership between Pacific broadcasters means Auckland listeners of 531pi and network audiences of Niu FM around New Zealand are now able to hear six hours per week of programmes from long-standing Wellington broadcaster Samoa Capital Radio. NZ On Air is delighted to see content choices for Pacific audiences being extended.

Regional TV review

A review of our funding support for regional television is underway. Independent reviewer Paul France is visiting regions to speak to channels and local stakeholders. We expect to have his report in early 2015.

Community engagement

It was great to see some of our access radio people making cameo appearances in the NZ On Air-funded transmedia project Road Trip. With the KHF Media crew working their way through the country looking for interesting local characters it seemed an excellent opportunity for access radio to hook in, showing access radio to be at the heart of our communities. If you missed it - see who you can spot in Road Trip here.


With our office closed from 24 December until January 12, please note that our first payments for 2015 will be on 22 January.

Funding details

The latest funding decisions for Television • Radio Music



Twain's Tour
Jam TV for TV One • 8 x 30 • $890,556


The Cul De Sac
Greenstone TV for TV2 • 6 x 30 • $1,024,942


Comedy Gala 2015
MediaWorks TV for TV3 • 1 x 120 • $121,477


Great War Stories (Additional)
A C Productions for TV3 • 14 x 4 • $30,000

Nigel Latta Blows Stuff Up (Additional)
Razor Films for TV One • 8 x 30 • $45,500

Songs From The Inside 3
Awa Films for Māori Television • 11 x 30 • $285,000

The Crayfishers
Great Southern Television for Prime • 10 x 30 • $647,200

The Hard Stuff With Nigel Latta 2
Razor Films for TV One • 8 x 60 • $1,361,790

The Pacific Voyagers Te Mana O Te Moana
Zoomslide Media for Māori Television • 10 x 30 • $746,430

Topp Country 2
Diva Productions for TV One • 10 x 30 • $685,095

PLATINUM FUND - Documentary

Coast New Zealand
Great Southern Television for TV One • 6 x 60 • $1,748,576

History Of The New Zealand Home
Eyeworks NZ for TV One • 7 x 60 • $746,889

The Monster Of Mangatiti
Screentime New Zealand for TV One • 1 x 90 • Docudrama •  $897,101

PLATINUM FUND - Current Affairs

Q + A 2015
TVNZ for TV One • 40 x 60 • $845,356

The Nation 2015
MediaWorks TV for TV3 • 40 x 60 • $899,260


Born To Dance
Sector 7 Productions for Māori Television • 1 x 90 • $110,000

The Brokenwood Mysteries 2
South Pacific Pictures for Prime • 4 x 120 • $4,036,000

Special Interest

Media Take 2
Top Shelf Productions Ltd for Māori Television • 20 x 30 • $482,193

Pukana Subtitles 2015
Cinco Cine Film Productions for FOUR • $54,901

The Dream Team - An Attitude Special
Attitude Pictures • 1x 60 • $176,500


Access Radio Capital Fund

Tasman Broadcasting Trust
Fresh FM Nelson Marlborough • $24,759

Special Interest programmes

Christmas 2014
Christian Broadcasting Association for Newstalk ZB • 1 x 6hrs & 1 x 12hrs • $17,090

Sealed Section 2014/15
NZME. Radio for ZM  • 40 x 90 mins •$49,000


Resound 2015
Centre for NZ Music Trust (Sounz) • $130,000


Music programme sponsorship

As Kiwi As 2015 • NZME.Radio for The Hits • 35 per week x 5 mins •  $40,000

Backyard Beats 2015 • Mediaworks Radio for Mai FM • 28 per week x 5 mins • $40,000

Fresh Produce 2015 • NZME.Radio for Flava FM •  20 per week x 5 mins • $30,000

Homegrown 2015 • Rhema Media for Radio Rhema & Life FM • 3 per week x 60 mins • $30,000

Locals Only 2015 • NZME.Radio for Radio Hauraki • 33 per week x 5 mins • $30,000

Soundcheck 2015 • Mediaworks Radio for The Rock • 28 per week x 5 mins • $40,000

The Anatomy Of A Song 2 • RDU 98.5FM for RDU & RNZ National, 2 per week x 10-12 mins, $25,260

The Jump 2015 • Mediaworks Radio for George FM • 20 per week x 5 mins • $20,000

The Slab 2015 • Mediaworks Radio for The Edge • 20 per week x 5 mins • $50,000

The Word 2015 • NZME.Radio for ZM • 20 per week x 5 mins •  $50,000

Wired 2015 • Mediaworks Radio for More FM • 30 per week x 5 mins • $40,000

Making Tracks • Recording and Music Video • $10,000

All The Colours • I'll Be There With You

Anika Moa • Running

Beach Pigs • Painkiller

Benny Tipene • Good Man

Bulletproof • Light Up Ft. Jupiter Project

Bunnies On Ponies • Nothing

CYMBOL 303 & THIS PALE FIRE • Burst Of Colour

Dictaphone Blues • Cryptic Lipstick

Eden Mulholland • Thoroughbred

Esther Stephens & The Means • Light In You

Fazerdaze • Little Uneasy

Gala • Serendipity

Gareth Thomas • I'd Like

Georgia Lines • Wannabe • (Rockquest Winner)

Ginny Blackmore • Love Me Anyway

Headchef • Think Of Me • (Rockquest Winner)

Idiio • Sway

Jason Kerrison • You Want Me As Me

K.One • So Good Ft. P.Money

Kittens Of The Internet • Golden Lights

L.A.B • 28 Months Later

Ladies And Gentlemen.. • You Make Me So High

Lakes • Daydream

Lontalius • All I Wanna Say

Lydia Cole • Stay

Maala • In The Air

Males • Heavy Going

Maybe Rave • Footloose

Racing • Stereo Fields

Rezist • Lockdown • (Wildcard Winner)

Ruby Frost • Comeback Queen

Six60 • Special

Sjd • Little Pieces

Soulful7 • Do It • (Pacifica Beats Winner)

Taste Nasa • Time Goes By

The Black Seeds • Hypnotized Again (Builders Pencil)

The Phoenix Foundation • Sunbed

Titanium • Honey 'n' Bees

Titanium • Parade

Tomorrow People • Again & Again

Trinity Roots • El Kaptain

Troy Kingi • Break A Bone

Unknown Mortal Orchestra • Your Life, One Night

Venus In Transit • Rescue Me • (Wildcard Winner)

Villainy • Nothing

Vince Harder • Shot Me Down

Young Lyre • We Go Faster

Yumi Zouma • Alena

Making Tracks • Music Video • $6,000

Anthonie Tonnon • Railway Lines

Don McGlashan • Lucky Stars

Fire At Will • Bloody Arcade

Ha The Unclear • Growing Mould

Kamandi • Martyrs

L40 • Cassette

Las Tetas • Two Marriages

Little Bark • Poly

Marino Mariner • Stronger Ft. Shaqles (The Doqument)

Mel Parsons • Driving Man

Moorhouse • Somebody Loves You

Mulholland • Sleep Forever

Nameul • Only16

PNC • Feelin' Crucial

Randa • Rangers

Silence The City • The Chase

Sola Rosa • Get Your Move Gone

Sons Of Zion • Stuck On Stupid

Spycc • Run It

Suren Unka • Whether Science

The Leers • I Can't Cope

Three Houses Down • On My Heart

Twin Cities • Worry No More