May 2016 Newsletter

A note from the CEO

Jane Wrightson, CEO

As our funding year draws to a close the May round was focused on ensuring the limited remaining funds were directed to achieving our annual targets. This meant, in particular, we were looking for the right TV Platinum Fund and documentary projects. Full results will be reported in our annual report later in the year.

The changing media environment continues to be front of mind for us. The first area for change has been regional media, where we are transitioning from funding content specifically for regional TV channels, to content for regional audiences on multiple platforms.

Last week we announced the outcome of the call for new collaborations for regional media. We had 10 developed applications and were pleased to support four projects covering seven regions. This will expand the footprint of funded regional media and is intended to increase audience engagement and output of regional journalism. 

We are still considering options for an online home for local children's audio-visual content. Our call for expressions of interest in providing a cohesive online local content solution for primary aged-children resulted in eight submissions. We have evaluated these and chosen two companies to have more detailed discussions with. We hope to make a final decision on whether to proceed next month. The solution would be expected to be up and running by mid 2017.

Today we have published the first NZ On Air Diversity report. We have gathered information on television and digital projects funded over the past two years to assess the gender and ethnic diversity of producers, directors and writers. The report highlights some disparities we think need to be addressed. I encourage those in decision-making roles in the industry to read the report and think about what we can do collectively to address the gaps.

On the governance front we were very sad to farewell Board member Caren Rangi after two terms. Caren is remaining as an independent member of our Audit and Risk Committee until the end of the year. At the same time we are pleased to welcome Wellington lawyer John McCay to the Board. John is well versed in the screen sector and we are pleased to benefit from his knowledge.

Finally, happy NZ Music month! Get out there and enjoy one of the many live gigs, or maybe add some new NZ songs to your playlist. 


Diversity report 2016

Today we have published the first in an ongoing annual series of reports on the gender and ethnic diversity of above-the-line roles in funded television and digital projects. 

There are some clear disparities to address. In particular women are under-represented in director roles, especially in drama, and people identifying as Asian are under-represented across the board.

In publishing this report we have proposed a three pronged approach to addressing the issues:

  • We will continue to collect and publish information and statistics on the gender and ethnicity of people working on funded television and digital media content sector to build a picture over time. This will provide the sector with reliable data.
  • We will encourage all guilds to discuss these matters with the industry and propose options for change.
  • We will discuss this data with the guilds and consider if there are useful ways we might use our Industry Development Fund, in particular, to influence the diversity of people working in creative roles. 

The full report is available below. 

Health & Safety

As a result of the new Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 coming into effect from 4 April we have reviewed all of our contracts and made a small number of alterations to better reflect responsibilities under the new legislation.

Changes will be highlighted when contracts are forwarded to funding recipients. Our revised template contracts should be available on our website on 1 June 2016.

NZ On Air is pleased to have supported the work done by Screensafe in updating the existing Code of Practice to create a set of NZ Screen Sector Health & Safety Guidelines. This is a great start to ensuring that people working in the screen sector get to come home safe and healthy and we would encourage all producers and crew to check out the website. We want to thank all those involved in Screensafe for their terrific efforts.


May round

The May meeting saw 25 applications across the General and Platinum funds seeking a total of nearly $14.4m. As this was the final meeting of the financial year funding was more constrained than usual. We were pleased to support 15 of these projects and confirmed funding of $7.3m delivering 31 hours of content.

Cul De Sac, Greenstone TV for TV2


A second series of the historical documentary series Decades In Colour was supported for Prime along with a second season of the successful TV2 children’s/family drama series, The Cul De Sac.


Four additional episodes of the second season of Grand Designs NZ were supported for TV3 along with single documentary All In The Mind, for Prime, which will explain the structural differences between male and female brains while injecting a large dose of common sense and humour into neuroscience.

A documentary web-series Portraits Of Poly PKs, for screening on the, was also supported. It will provide an insight into the lives of Pacific ‘Pastor’s Kids’, children of clergy who live in the spotlight of their parents’ role in the community.


A new five-part drama series, Dear Murderer, will tell the personal and professional story of the well-known NZ lawyer Mike Bungay for screening on TV One. This series will be produced by Screentime and will draw on the biography of the same name written by Ronda Bungay.


Two new Māori projects were supported in this round. The Loggers will profile the forestry business of one whanau and screen on Prime, and Maui’s Hook will profile the sensitive but important subject of Māori youth suicide in a docu-drama that will screen on Māori Television.

University Challenge, Cue Productions for Prime


University Challenge will be returning to Prime following support for a third season of the quiz series that tests the knowledge of our tertiary scholars.

Community broadcasting

Regional Media 

This month we've announced $1.3m in funding for four projects that will provide multi-media regional news and information to regional audiences. 

It results from the review of regional TV content and the subsequent RFP for new ideas on reaching these audiences with audio-visual content via converged media platforms.

Four projects have been supported in the first year of the new regional media content fund - two each in the North and South islands.

  • Christchurch’s CTV will have an integrated newsroom with local print publishing group Star Media and multi-platform distribution for local news and information, covering the greater Canterbury area.
  • Dedicated video journalists will provide audio-visual news content both on 39 Dunedin Television and on a group of regional websites owned by Allied Press including the Otago Daily Times. Coverage will extend from Otago and Southland north to Ashburton, and across to the West Coast.
  • In the far north, two incumbent operators are collaborating to provide coverage in Te Tai Tokerau. Te Hiku Media, an online media organisation, will work with Channel North, a television news provider, to provide a new integrated news and information service.
  • A new collaboration between an independent multi-media producer Very Nice Productions (Alastair Wilkinson & Myles Thomas), and NZME will champion local stories for and about the lower-mid North Island regions. Called Local Focus, they will provide stories that would not otherwise be covered and will be published in a new regional section on the home page.

The Big Listen

We are excited to be partnering with the 12 community access radio stations around the country and the Association of Community Access Broadcasters (ACAB) to promote The Big Listen.

The Big Listen will be a month of activities (August) drawing attention to the huge diversity of content available on access stations and online. Watch out for more about this. We want all of NZ to know what a treasure trove of content is available. Check out The Big Listen on Facebook.


From a three-city one day Shihad tour to kick it off, right through to an all-day Music Summit on the last Saturday of the month, May is proving to be a very busy time for NZ On Air Music, and rightly so - it’s NZ Music Month after all.

The NZ On Air Music team have participated in a number of seminars around the country including Hamilton’s ‘Tron Music Summit’, the YAMI Sounz Summit in Wanaka, and IMNZ’s Going Local music seminar in Dunedin. Still to come is the Christchurch’s CHART Music Matters seminar on 26 May and the NZ Music Month Summit at Auckland’s Sky City on 28 May.

Also scheduled through May are events such as the Music Managers Forum awards and the launch for Auckland Museum’s forthcoming ‘Volume’ NZ music exhibition.

Plus plenty of live music gigs to top it all off. NZ Music Month has had high profile up and down the country and across all media, and has once again proved a great way to celebrate the wonderful music of Aotearoa.

Jon Toogood (Shihad) with YAMI (Youth and Adults Music Industry) students


Julia Parnell of Loading Docs and Brenda Leeuwenberg

Congratulations to Loading Docs, winning NZ On Air Best NZ Online Documentary or Factual Series at the Documentary Edge Awards 2016. Series 2 is available at

Loading Docs is produced by Notable Pictures - well done to Julia Parnell and Anna Jackson!


And some more bouquets - firstly big congratulations to all the winners in the NZ Radio Awards handed out last week. In particular we congratulate the winners of the NZ On Air sponsored awards:

NZ On Air Best Children's programme:  The Crazy Kiwi Christmas Kids Show  - Phil Guyan and the team at Christian Broadcasting Association & NZME

NZ On Air Best Community Access programme (Music): Space Station Kiwi - Marchell Linzey at Otago Access Radio

NZ On Air Best Community Access programme (Spoken): Kapija - Bernard Jervis, Michael Wilson  at Access Radio Wairarapa

NZ On Air Best Spoken Programme - Best Daily or Weekly Series:  KPMG Early Edition - Rachel Smalley & Laura Smith on the Newstalk ZB Network

NZ On Air Best Spoken Programme - Best Documentary: ANZAC Centenary Tribute - Leighton Smith Josh Couch Christian Broadcasting Association & NZME

Congratulations also to Radio NZ for their wins in the Canon Media Awards:

Website of the year - The Wireless

Opinion writing - General - Toby Manhire and Toby Morris - RNZ Online

Junior feature writer of the year - Tess McClure - RNZ

Funding decisions

The latest funding decisions for TelevisionRegional Media • Radio Digital MediaMusic • Industry Development



TV Captioning & Audio Description 2016/17
Media Access Charitable Trust (Able) • $2,800,000


All In The Mind 
The Gibson Group for Prime • 1 x 60 • $197,650

Grand Designs NZ (additional episodes)
Imagination Television for TV3 • 4 x 60 • $360,000

Maui's Hook
Kura Productions for Māori Television • 1 x 60 • $78,800

Sisters (additional)
Rogue Productions for Māori Television • $32,197

The Loggers
Great Southern for Television Prime • 10 x 30 • $463,877


Dear Murderer
Screentime New Zealand for TV One • 5 x 60 • $3,945,000

Special Interest

Portraits Of Poly Pks 
Tikilounge Productions for The Coconet TV • 5 x 15 • $64,902


University Challenge 2016
Cue Productions Prime • 15 x 30 • $313,432

PLATINUM FUND - Children's Drama

The Cul De Sac 2
Greenstone TV for TV 2 • 6 x 30 • $1,139,997

PLATINUM FUND - Documentary

Decades In Colour 2
Greenstone TV for Prime • 3 x 60 • $579,743

Regional Media

Current Affairs

CTV News 2016/17
Star Media for Star Media Ltd • 300 x 30 • $400,000

Haukāinga 2016/17
Te Reo Irirangi O Te Hiku O Te Ika (Inc) for Te Hiku Television • 520 x 6 • $180,000

Local Lead 2016/17
Very Nice Productions for NZME • 360 x 3 • $400,000

Southern Media Partnership 2016/17
Allied Press for Allied Press • 288 x 22 • $396,821



Suzy & Friends 2016/17
Treehut for Various Stations • 52 x 60 • $135,665

News / Current Affairs

Paakiwaha 2016/17
UMA Broadcasting for Various Stations • 48 x 120 • $75,000

Special Interest

Real Life With John Cowan 2016/17
Christian Broadcasting Association for NewstalkZB • 48 x 30 • $36,362

Access Radio

Pacific Radio Station
National Pacific Radio Trust for 531Pi and NiuFM • $3,250,000 

Digital Media

NZ On Screen and Audioculture 2016/17
Digital Media Trust • $1,209,406


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

Asti-Loren • Psychedelic Rose
B O K E H • Forget The Rules
Chores • Telling Lies
Earth Tiger • Lucky Ones
Ezra Vine • Say My Name
Fazerdaze • Lucky Girl
Fly My Pretties ft. Tiki Taane • Bag Of Money 
Fraser Ross • In The Rain
Grayson Gilmour • One Hundred Waters
Israel Starr ft. Majik • We're In This Love 
Knives At Noon • We Live In An Airport Now
Lake South • Renters
Lord Echo ft. Mara TK • Do U 
Maala • Kind Of Love
Miu • Roam
Nakita • Second Chances
Nakita • Where Are You?
Pacific Heights ft. Deanne Krieg• Breath And Bone
Racing • Let It Slip
Rei • The Chief's Speech
Ryan Enzed ft. Sahara Skye • Crawling 
Ryan Enzed ft. Helen Corry • She Said 
Scuba Diva • Weed It Out
Shakes • Strange Tides
Skelter • Get Outta My Face
Streets Of Laredo • 99.90%
Thomas Oliver • Shine Like The Sun
Unknown Mortal Orchestra • First World Problem
Unknown Mortal Orchestra • Shakedown Street
Weird Together • Ready For This
Young Tapz • Didn't Know
Yumi Zouma • Text From Sweden

Making Tracks • Music Video • $6,000

Armed In Advance • Same Old Story
Avalanche City • Little Fire
Drax Project • Seemed Like Trouble
Ghost Wave • Don't Ask Why
Hollie Smith • Water Or Gold
Ill Semantics ft. Flowz & K.One • I'm Ill 
Jason Kerrison •  All Of Us
Kings • What We Supposed To Do
Noah Slee •  Rampant Wild Free
Openside •  Letting It Out
Pause Applause • Islands
Sons Of Zion • Hungover
Space Above • Fall Through
Tipene ft. Pieter T • Comfortable 
Tomorrow People ft. Paua •  Train To Nowhere 

Industry Development

Big Screen Symposium 2016
Big Screen Symposium • $30,205

Music Month Summit 2016
Music Managers Forum • $2,000

NZ Game Developers Conference 2016
NZ Game Developers Association Inc • $8,000

WeCreate 2016
WeCreate Incorporated • $10,000