June 2014

June 2014 newsletter

A note from the CEO

Jane Wrightson - CEO

We’ve just completed our final funding round for the financial year, and put the finishing touches on our strategy for the next four years in a new Statement of Intent.

The May round considered the annual commitments to access radio, public radio, student/alternative radio, and special interest audiences on commercial radio. The TV projects include a number of excellent documentaries and a new series for Māori youth. We also confirmed support for two further projects under the Joint Documentary Fund with the NZFC.

Successful local drama series on our screens remains an important goal for us. We recently talked with broadcasters and producers about the challenges local (and international) drama series have been having in maintaining audiences. A refreshed Drama Strategy is published today and we'd welcome your comments.

Given the fast-changing environment, we have also reviewed and updated our Channel Preference Policy for television and are seeking comment.

Neither document is proposing radical change: the purpose is to clarify our expectations and ambitions.

The new Statement of Intent 2014-18 sets out our high level direction. Changes to the Crown Entities Act mean we don’t now need to produce an SOI every year, and we're likely to be looking at a 3-4 year life cycle.

Annual budget details and targets are in a new document called the Statement of Performance Expectations. You can see the 2014/15 targets here.

The SOI is available in hard copy. The SPE will be printed in hard copy within our Annual Report.

We're grateful that our funding has been confirmed at the same level as last year. We continue to be focused on achieving the best bang for buck for New Zealand audiences and taxpayers. We look forward to supporting even more great local content and thank our hard-working content creators and broadcasters for the commitment they share with us to NZ stories and songs.



Well-deserved recognition

Operation Overdue - Rogue Productions for TV One

Queen's Birthday Honours

It was wonderful to see so many industry stalwarts recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honours list. 

We applaud television's Robyn Scott-Vincent; radio's Geoff Robinson, Jim Sullivan, John Markby, Glenn Smith, Fereni Ete; and our film colleagues Patsy Reddy, Catherine Fitzgerald and Frank Stark.

Industry awards

NZ On Air-funded content and content-makers have been earning more recognition here and abroad. We like that!

Congratulations to Rogue Productions, the makers of Erebus: Operation Overdue a docudrama on the police recovery operation of the Air NZ crash in Antarctica. They've won four awards at the NZ Documentary Edge Festival including Best NZ Feature, Best Director, Best Cinematography and Best Editing.

The docudrama was commissioned by TVNZ and is soon to be shown on TV One. It will also have a theatrical release in the UK. 

Our warm congratulations also to Attitude Pictures for their NZ Sign Language in Media Award. 

A number of radio programmes we fund also won at the annual NZ Radio Awards.

The Crazy Christmas Kids Show, produced by CBA, and hosted by Julia Bloore, Frank Ritchie and 10-year-old Levi Guyan, has become appointment radio each year for thousands of kids and their families throughout New Zealand.

The real stars of the show are the kids themselves, who phone up to talk with Santa, live, via sat-phone, as he flies through the night sky delivering presents around the world.

In the Best Access Radio Programmes category - Best Music Programme in Any Language went to The World of Leopold Bloom presents Nelson Mandela & The Music of South Africa on Fresh FM, Nelson.

The Best Spoken/ Informational English Language Programme went to South Africa New Zealand Mandela Memorial Programme broadcast on Planet FM, Auckland.

Policy & Strategy Update

Television Channel Preference Policy

NZ On Air invests in television and online content, not channels themselves. This is because our primary task is to support local content on a contestable basis. For television content, a channel partner is a prerequisite for funding applications.

We have reviewed our Channel Preference Policy to  provide clarity for funding applicants seeking potential channel partners. The Channel Preference Policy does not propose significant change from current practice, but rather formalises our approach, and sets out minimum criteria that we intend to apply before accepting applications for content funding. This clarifies our approach to newer and potential market entrants.

You can read the proposed Channel Preference Policy here. Feedback can be provided to nicky@nzonair.govt.nz by 30 June 2014.

Television Drama Strategy

NZ On Air is the key funder of local television drama in New Zealand. It is a high-stakes environment involving high cost and high risk – both for broadcasters and NZ On Air. Changing audience behaviour around drama viewing (both local and international) makes it important that we have a clear understanding of this genre, and promote a sustainable approach.

The Drama Funding Strategy seeks to deliver this outcome: Distinctive local drama is enjoyed and valued by sizeable New Zealand audiences on multiple platforms.

We will shape our work around three goals:

  • Support diverse NZ dramas that appeal to local audiences
  • Encourage multiple broadcaster and online outlets for NZ drama to maximise audience interest
  • Ensure NZ dramas deliver value for money by being appropriately budgeted and enjoyed by target audiences

You can read the refreshed Television Drama Funding Strategy here. Feedback can be provided to nicky@nzonair.govt.nz by 30 June 2014.


Funding Overview

The May meeting was the final funding round of the 2013/14 financial year and attracted 25 applications. We are pleased to have supported projects with total funding of $5.5m for 39.5 hours of content.

Documentary/information programming was to the fore with several projects being supported from the Arts/Culture, Documentary and Special Interest budgets. Three series for TV One were funded including a second series of the popular This Town as well as another series of Christchurch From The Streets. A new series Keeping Up with the Kaimanawas was also supported – this half-hour series follows three sisters as they train wild Kaimanawa horses for the show ring.

We supported three projects for Prime including; Rock Chicks – a history of popular NZ female recording artists; Little Criminals a one hour documentary that explores the impact on three men who were sent to a correctional facility as youths; and Bullies, a three-part series that will explore current issues of bullying and what can be done to combat it.

Poi E a feature documentary to be directed by Te Arepa Kahi (Mt. Zion) was co-funded with NZFC for screening on Māori Television. Four single documentaries will complete the 2013/14 season of Pakipūmeka.

A new rangitahi series 2Kaha was funded for TV2 and will be made by Christchurch-based Whitebait Productions who will also produce a one-off special, TV2 Kids Awards.

The election has not been forgotten with two election specials from 7 Days and Jono and Ben at Ten (TV3) providing a satirical review of the campaign.

Funding for Able to provide captions and audio description for the 2014/15 year was also approved.

Joint Documentary Fund

Two further projects for this theatrical/television initiative run in conjunction with NZFC have been green-lit. Too Much Love, to be produced by KHF Media for screening on TV One will examine the tragic case of a young woman who died after a mākutu raising ceremony. Back from the Death Zone, produced by Paua Productions for Prime, will be directed by Justin Pemberton (The Golden Hour) and follow an Everest expedition to recover bodies of climbers who have died in their attempt to summit the world’s highest mountain.

These two new projects along with Waves of Anzac Cove, currently in production, complete this tranche of funding.

Best practice agreements: cast and crew

NZ On Air and The New Zealand Film Commission welcome the collaboration and agreement between SPADA and New Zealand Actors' Equity setting out best practice in the Individual Performance Agreement.

NZ On Air and the NZFC are supporting this approach by including a clause in our contracts; we will expect producers to engage cast using this new agreement. Both NZFC and NZ On Air also expect producers and crew to adhere to the “Blue Book” (published by the New Zealand Film and Video Technicians’Guild Inc) for best practice on crew engagement.

Digital Media


Loading Docs launched

Notable Pictures launched Loading Docs, for documentary shorts, last month. This project was co-funded by the NZ Film Commission and NZ On Air's Digital Media Fund.

An eclectic creative range of 3 minute documentaries on the theme of Home are available to watch and share online. The filmmakers were selected from a pool of applicants and finalists were taken through workshops about documentary creation and distribution. Each project also needed to raise $2,000 through crowdfunding site PledgeMe towards the cost of production.

This is an innovative format for online storytelling, and we're proud to have been able to support this project. 

Loading Docs trailer, Notable Pictures

Call for Ideas open

Our Digital Media Fund Kickstart opened on May 22nd with a Call for Ideas. If you have any questions, or you'd like to talk about your project, please get in touch with Brenda Leeuwenberg. Brenda will be in Auckland on June 10 and 11, and in Christchurch on June 20. 

Māori webseries fund

We received 53 applications for the Māori webseries fund which closed on May 30th. This is a joint initiative with Te Māngai Pāho and the first time we've run a digital initiative for Māori content. We aim to support up to five webseries, with at least one in te reo. Keep an eye out for our decisions next month.


Ginny Blackmore and Stan Walker


The biggest New Zealand song on radio at the moment is Holding You, the duet from Stan Walker and Ginny Blackmore, followed by Lonely, the third single from X Factor finalist, Benny Tipene. Third most-played is Bad Philosophy, the debut solo single from Jeremy Redmore who used to front Midnight Youth. It’s a Making Tracks trifecta.

According to the latest report that we have from RadioScope, New Zealand music content on all radio – including commercial stations, student radio, iwi stations, etc – was 18.29% in the week to 1 June.

Making More Tracks

We have completed nine Making Tracks funding rounds so far this funding year with one more to go. So far, we have taken in 1,169 applications and funded 206 projects.

In the latest round – the May round – we took in 132 applications and funded 22 projects. It's another quality mix of brand new and tried and true. Like Shihad, who we have supported for pretty much all of our 25 years and who are still making the best loud rock, and the mighty Shapeshifter, through to debutantes like The Heart Of Katherine and Imagine This.

Strange Babes

There are a couple who are making some waves internationally like Janine + The Mixtape and Strange Babes, Sam McCarthy from Kids Of 88’s new band who are supporting The Naked + Famous on their current American tour. In the mix there's also Jason Kerrison going solo and the coourful and innovative Orchestra Of Spheres from Wellington. Quality and diversity.

We are in the middle of the June round now. Decisions are out on 26 June. The July round closes on Tuesday 01 July.

Applications online only at makingtracksfunding.co.nz

Difference & diversity

We have just confirmed the sponsorship of New Zealand music shows on independent alternative radio stations around the country for the next 12 months.

These stations are champions of difference and diversity in New Zealand music and are incubators for new New Zealand music. They are important partners in our quest to celebrate diversity and get more New Zealand music out to the audience.

You will find these great music programmes on bFM and Base FM in Auckland; The Most FM in New Plymouth; Radio Control in Palmerston North; Radio Active in Wellington; RDU in Christchurch, Radio One in Dunedin and of course, Kiwi FM in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

This year we have brought a new station into the funding fold. We will sponsor a new show called Grid City Grooves on Pulzar FM in Christchurch.

Tune in … on air and on line.

It’s about theaudience

We have also confirmed funding for theaudience, the new music discovery website run by the good folk at Amplifier.

theaudience is two years old now. It’s a one-stop-shop for new and unsigned artists to showcase their music and build their audience.

After two years, the site has 2,153 artists represented and has 65,758 registered users. In the 12 months to June 2014, page views were up to 1.6 million and 195,667 votes have been cast for the monthly Wildcard Making Tracks grant.

Lawrence Arabia

May = Music Month

NZ Music Month has come and gone again. The annual celebration of all things good in New Zealand music launched with a free Lawrence Arabia show in Takutai Square in The Britomart on 01 May.

NZ Music Month is the NZ Music Commission’s gig but NZ On Air pitches in. This year, we did NZ Music Month promotions with Radio Hauraki, The Edge, Mai FM, ZM and Radio Rhema. We also partnered with the RBA (Radio Broadcasters Association) and The Radio Bureau to do a special NZ Music Month radio showcase at The Nathan Club in Auckland featuring Christchurch’s Doprah, Jeremy Redmore (ex-Midnight Youth), Lizzie Marvelly, Benny Tipene and last but not least, the loud Villainy.

A couple of NZ Music Month highlights for us - the awesome Beck’s “playable posters” in 150 public places around the country and Recorded Music New Zealand’s digitisation project, Tied To The Tracks, (link) which has seen 231 New Zealand albums reissued and available for the first time for digital download and streaming.

And a highlight closer to home - NZ On Air was presented with an Industry Champion award at the annual Music Managers Forum Awards at The Vector on 16 May. The Music team is proud and humbled.

The Becks Playable Posters for NZ Music Month

Katie Thompson


The awesome Lorde added the 2014 Taite Music Prize to her slew of trophies in April. The Taite acknowledges an album of exceptional artistic merit and her Pure Heroine was a most worthy winner. Congratulations, Ella and Joel and the Lorde entourage.

At the 10th annual Pacific Music Awards, David Dallas was presented with the NZ On Air Radio Airplay Award for his song, Runnin’. The award goes to the most-played song on radio by a Pacific artist in the last year. King Kapisi won the NZ On Air Best Pacific Music Video for his song, Crush.

We were chuffed to see Mark Vanilau win the APRA Best Pacific Song for the exquisite Giant Of The Sea. The song was the winner of our Making Tracks Wildcard through theaudience new music discovery website in August 2012 and so it is special to us.

And it was wonderful to see the legend, Che Fu receive a Lifetime Achievement Award. Che has been a big part of the NZ On Air music story over the past 25 years. Che got his first NZ On Air funding (when he was with Supergroove) in June 1992 and he featured on the first of our Kiwi Hit Discs in 1993 with Supergroove’s second single, You Gotta Know.

And while we are talking winners - how about the enterprising Katie Thompson winning the May Making Tracks Wildcard through theaudience. Her song Leave Your Hat On picked up the most points from fan votes, streams, shares and playlisting in the 31 days of May. Katie, originally from the West Coast but now based in Christchurch, fan-funded her second album through Sellaband, the first New Zealand-based artist to use crowd-funding to make a record and through May, she recorded a cover of a New Zealand song a day for YouTube as her contribution to NZ Music Month.

Community Broadcasting

It was a big funding round for Radio with all of our annual funding allocations made. The Access radio funding allocations are broadly in line with previous years. Increases in funding, if they become possible, will be tied to our strategic goals which are to increase the range and diversity and the accessibility of s36c (special interest) programmes.

The annual deadline for regional television programme applications is coming up fast - mark 13 June in your calendar.

We recently undertook market research on regional TV viewing. We expect to be able to release the results around the end of June. 

Funding decisions

The latest funding decisions for Television • MusicRadioDigital Media


Arts, Culture and Performance

Rock Chicks
Kingfisher Films for Prime • 1 x 1 hr • $179,957


TV2 Kids Awards
Whitebait Productions for TV2 • 1 x 1 hr • $142,000


Election specials - 7 Days & Jono And Ben At Ten
MediaworksTV for TV3 • 2 x 30 min • $85,940


Keeping Up With The Kaimanawas
Project Melting Pot for TV One • 8 x 30mins • $493,800

The Gloriavale Project (additional)
Pacific Screen for TV One • $15,000

This Town 2
Jam TV for TV One • 8 x 1 hr • $968,820

The Gibson Group for Prime • 3 x 1 hr • $439,200

Little Criminals
White Balance Pictures for Prime • 1 x 1 hr • 169,967


The Patriarch (additional)
Jump Film and Television for Māori Television (and Prime) • 1 x 2 hr • $150,000


Poi E
Jawbone Pictures for Māori Television • 1 x 2 hr • $189,000

Whitebait Productions for TV2 • 25 x 30 min • $1,025,00

Pakipūmeka Aotearoa (2013/14)

A Karakia For Alan Smith
Blue Bach Productions for Māori Television • 1 x 1 hr • $124,990

A New Zealand Way Of Death
Pou Media Limited for Māori Television • 1 x 1 hr • $125,000

Murupara Dreaming
Bates Productions for Māori Television • 1 x 1 hr • $125,596

The Silent Soldiers
Whitiora Productions for Māori Television • 1 x 1 hr • $125,053

Special Interest

Attitude Awards 2014
Attitude Pictures for TV One • 1 x 1 hr • $159,900

Christchurch From The Streets 2
Frank Film for TV One • 6 x 30 min • $248,425

TV Captioning & Audio Description
Media Access Charitable Trust (Able) for TV One, TV2 , TV3 • $2,400,000

PLATINUM FUND • Documentary

Back From The Death Zone
Paua Productions for Prime • 1 x 1 hr • $515,977

Too Much Love
KHF Media for TV One • 1 x 1 hr • $585,701



13 x Music radio programmes • Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch • $260,000

9 x Music radio programmes • Auckland • $180,000

Base FM
4 x Music radio programmes • Auckland & Freeview • $80,000

The Most FM
2 x Music radio programmes • New Plymouth • $40,000

Radio Control
3 x Music radio programmes • Palmerston North • $60,000

Radio Active
5 x Music radio programmes • Wellington • $100,000

6 x Music radio programmes • Christchurch • $100,000

Pulzar FM
1 x Music radio programmes • Christchurch • $20,000

Radio One
4 x Music radio programmes • Dunedin • $80,000

Music Digital

theaudience website
Amplifier Holdings •  $370,000

theaudience chart show
Syndicated radio programmes, 48 x 1 hr • $99,500

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

ATP • Boss’n Up featuring Ill Semantics
Cairo Knife Fight • Rezlord
Jason Kerrison • I Don’t Care What They Think
Jonathan Bree • IBlur
J Williams • Breathe featuring Brooke Duff
K.One • Love Don’t Live Around Here
Luke Thompson • Keep Rolling On
Shapeshifter • Beat 25
Shihad • Song 2
Strange Babes • Come Back Around
The Impending Adorations • The Best Is Yet To Come

Making Tracks • Music Video • $6,000

Aldous Harding • Stop Your Tears
Drew • Next Time featuring Sid Diamond
Electric Wire Hustle • Bottom Line
Imagine This • Find A Way
Janine & The Mixtape • Walk Away
Jesse Sheehan • Meredith
Orchestra Of Spheres • 2,000,000 Years
Sid Diamond • Show Me The Paper
Team Dynamite • Coconut Lime featuring Che Fu
The Heart Of Katherine • Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind



Radio New Zealand
Annual funding for 2014/15  $31.816 million

Access Radio

Access Manawatu
Lower North Island • $165,000

Access Radio Taranaki
Taranaki • $174,000

Arrow FM
Lower North Island • $135,000

Coast Access Radio
Lower North Island • $135,000

Free FM
Waikato/Lakes • $230,000

Fresh FM
Nelson/Marlborough • $195,000

Otago Access Radio
Otago • $169,000

Plains FM
Canterbury • $230,000

Planet FM
Auckland • $250,000

Radio Kidnappers
East Coast/Hawkes Bay • $170,000

Radio Southland
Southland • $165,000

Wellington Access Radio
Lower North Island • $210,000

Radio Reading Service
Lower North Island • $110,348

Coast Access Radio relocation
Lower North Island • up to $72,500

Pacific radio

National Pacific Radio Trust
NiuFM & 531pi • $3,250,000

Samoa Capital Radio
Lower North Island • $180,000

Special Interest

UMA Broadcasting for various stations • 48 x 2 hr • $75,000

Real Life With John Cowan
Christian Broadcasting Association for NewstalkZB • 48 x 30 min • $12,000

Christian Broadcasting Association for NewstalkZB • 240 x 1 min • $70,000

The Great Big Kids' Show - series 7
Treehut Ltd for various stations • 53 x 1 hr • $118,175

The Nutters Club Radio Show
The Key To Life Charitable Trust for NewstalkZB • 52 x 2 hr • $69,400

Digital Media

NZ On Screen & AudioCulture
Digital Media Trust • $1,400,154