May 2017 newsletter

A note from the CEO

Jane Wrightson CEO

This newsletter marks the end of an era. The next batch of funding decisions (July) will be made under our new model, the NZ Media Fund and pretty much everything will have changed. The days of silo-ing money according to television, radio and digital are gone.

So this round was the last time we would consider television, online and radio content applications under separate frameworks. We were still able to select a fine range of diverse content. We took the opportunity to trial our new assessment processes and will apply what we've learned from this round to the first round of the NZMF in July. We hope for a smooth transition but bear with us if there are a couple of bumps. Please read the NZMF update section closely for anything that may apply to you.

It's also worth mentioning that our website is being revamped to reflect the new ‘world order’ and we expect this to be live around the end of this month. A full redesign will be undertaken next year.

We have submitted our Statement of Performance Expectations to our new Minister Hon. Maggie Barry and await her feedback. All going well it should be published around the end of the month. I can't reiterate enough that even with canny financial management and the changes we are implementing, competition for funds will only become more intense. But what hasn't changed is our quest for the best public media ideas. In the end, the best ideas still win.

And on the winning theme - how about Lippy Pictures and Jean?! Nine medals at the New York International Television and Film Awards - what an incredible outcome and testament to the hard work and dedication of the whole team.

Finally I want to thank all of our content producers and platforms who have helped us to shape the NZ Media Fund and given us feedback along the way. 18 months of hard work is about to come to fruition. We hope you will all be with us on this next exciting journey. Do get hold of me, Glenn Usmar or a Funding Advisor if you want to talk.

Ngā mihi


NZ Media Fund update

July round

Applications for the July funding round are open. If you are applying to the July round we hope you have by now registered with our online application system, Eric.

If you haven't yet registered please do so asap, as you can't make an application any other way. There are a large number of registrations that have been started but not finished. If you haven't finished the registration process you won't be able to apply.

Also note that the deadline for applications for July is 4pm on 1 June. The system will automatically close off at this time.

We expect producers and the platforms they are nominating as their primary platform to be communicating throughout the application process. Platforms will be asked to verify their support for an application based on the information provided through Eric. There should be no last minute surprises.

New information for supporting platforms

We have now added the capability for Eric to manage the process of platforms supporting an application (this is replacing the current broadcaster commitment form.)

Any platform supporting an application for funding of content will need to have registered with Eric. Once registered you will be able to access any applications that have identified your platform as the primary supporting platform. You will receive an email after applications close telling you when the applications are available to review.

You then need to review these applications and either confirm your involvement with the project or reject it.

For the current round because of the public holiday you will have until 4pm on 7 June to review applications assigned to you.

It is up to each platform to establish their own business processes around who is able to verify applications on your behalf.

Note: If you are also intending to apply for content funding - ie, as the producer - then you will need two registrations. One as an applicant and one as a platform. These will be two different log ins for Eric as they relate to two different processes.

September round information

We will publish guidelines for the September round in early June. You will find these documents in Eric and on our website.

Television & online content

The May meeting, as the last funding round in the financial year, was open to applications in all genres, with limited funding available.

We received 21 General Fund applications seeking nearly $3.6m and were pleased to support 18 applications (including 11 development projects) with $2.8m that will deliver 24 hours of content. The projects supported include:


Design Junkies is a celebration of the Kiwi obsession with DIY design and innovation. Over six episodes eight designers will turn junk into beautiful hand-crafted artwork and the winner will take their designs to the Milan Fair. Design Junkies will screen on TVNZ1.

Funding was also contributed to a music feature documentary Curse Of The Chills that will tell the story of Martin Phillips and the iconic NZ band The Chills. This project will screen on Prime after its theatrical release.


Subject: Dad is an online and TV project that will see comedian and actor Josh Thomson re-visit the funny emails that his Dad has sent him over a four year period from his farm in Timaru. This series of 10 five minute episodes will screen on 3NOW and Three.

Grand Designs, Imagination Television for Three


A new four part Nigel Latta series, The Curious Mind With Nigel Latta, will demonstrate how our minds work, with assistance of AUT’s virtual infant, Baby X. This series will screen on TVNZ1.

Beautiful and sometimes stressful house-builds will again feature in the third series of the popular Grand Designs New Zealand for Three.


A new online series, Kaupapa On The Couch, discussing current and Māori issues from a Māori perspective has been supported for The Spinoff.


The Real Me is a series of five 10 minute episodes for theCoconet.TV. Each episode will tell a first-person account of 'coming out' as a Pasifika person in the rainbow communities of Aotearoa.


Funding for three platforms (under the NZ Media Fund) for the 2017/18 financial year was confirmed.

These were; the Digital Media Trust for the NZ On Screen and Audioculture websites, the Media Access Charitable Trust (Able) providing captioning and audio description services, and the National Pacific Radio Trust for radio services on 531pi and NiuFM.


Suzy and Friends, for various radio stations

Three radio series also received funding for the June/July to December period. These were Paakiwaha - a weekly Māori current affairs series for broadcast on Radio Waatea; Real Life With John Cowan for Newstalk ZB, and Suzy And Friends for broadcast on various regional radio stations including Radio Rhema.

Regional Media

We are closely monitoring the performance of the current funded regional media services that have been operating for 7-9 months (funded following the review of regional TV).

We have decided it is too early to fully assess their effectiveness so we will consider applications in the July round from these existing regional media providers only, for an extension of the current projects until 30 June 2018.

Applications need to be made through the online application system, Eric by 4pm on 1 June.

We are not calling for new applications for regional media projects in this round as we do not have any additional funding to offer for 2017/18.


We are very pleased that so many of our funded projects have done well in festivals and awards competitions over the last few months. Congratulations to all the teams who work so hard to share their creative best with NZ and the world.

The HollyWeb Festival: High Road for Best Series and Bright Summer Night for Best Drama

Buenos Aires Web Fest: Amy Street for Best Documentary Award and High Road for Best Actor (Mark Mitcheson)

Washington DC Web & Digital Media Festival: The Watercooler - Silver Award

Congratulations once again to all finalists at the 2017 New York Festivals – World’s Best TV & Films; but particular, congratulations must go to Lippy Picture’s Jean, which won:

Five Gold Medals for: Best Camerawork, Best Original Music/Lyrics, Best Performance by an Actress (Kate Elliott), Drama Special, TV Movie and; four Silver Medals for: Best Direction, Best Screenplay, Best Sound Design, Best Special Visual Effects.

Mark Mitchinson in High Road


May is NZ Music Month

It’s been a busy NZ Music Month for our Music team, with events, live shows and seminars taking place all across the country. Our Head of Music has recently been part of the Going Local music seminar series which is organised by Independent Music NZ and featured panelists from APRA, Recorded Music NZ, NZ Music Commission, Independent Music NZ and an international music lawyer. The Going Local South Island seminars took place in Dunedin and Christchurch, and were followed by the YAMI (Youth and Adults in the Music Industry) conference in Wanaka.

Other industry events in May included the Music Managers Awards, and the forthcoming NZ Music Month Summit thanks to the NZ Music Commission - with 20 guest speakers covering an area of passion within the music industry at the Auckland Museum on May 20.

New Music Project update

The first year of the new New Music Project funding stream is now complete, with 39 new Projects invested in.

Artists such as David Dallas, Marlon Williams, Rhian Sheehan, Fazerdaze, MAALA, Sachi, The Black Seeds, Villainy, TY, Grayson Gilmour, Fly My Pretties, Devilskin, Aldous Harding, Tomorrow People, Cut Off Your Hands, Leisure, Nomad, Ladi6, Tiny Ruins, SWIDT, Yumi Zouma, Racing, Katchafire and more have been supported in the year to date.

We’re really excited to see these multi-single Projects gradually getting released, with new David Dallas, Fazerdaze and Aldous Harding records all coming out recently. Many more great songs, albums and eps to come!

Completed New Music Project funded albums from David Dallas, Fazerdaze and Aldous Harding

Taite Music Prize

We were pleased to again support the 2017 Independent Music NZ Taite Music Prize in April which celebrates excellence in recorded album works. Seven of the eight finalist albums had received NZ On Air funding for at least one of the songs on the record.

Big congratulations to the overall 2017 winning album - Street Chant with Hauora. We also congratulate Merk on being awarded the Best Independent Debut Award for Swordfish, and The Clean for the Classic Record Award for Boodle Boodle Boodle.

Winners of the 2017 Taite Music Prize - Street Chant

NZ Music Playlists

We have also launched a number of playlists for NZ Music Month, so whether you want to listen to a variety of songs from several eras, or just new music, or to specific genres of NZ music, then there are several options across different platforms:

Aotearoa All Day
NZ Alt + Indie
Fresh Cuts

iHeart Radio:
NZ Top 20

NZ Music Month Mixtape

Meet the team

Nicole Rex, Funding Advisor

To help us deliver the new processes and systems to manage the NZ Media Fund we have restructured. In our staff blog we introduce you to team members and explain what they do.

Today meet Nicole Rex who is new to NZ On Air as a Funding Advisor.

Industry news

Doc Edge Screen Forum

Time is running out to join a stellar line up of world leading industry innovators at this month’s Screen Forum. With over 30 international guests and master classes on offer with …

Nick Broomfield | Internationally acclaimed documentary director ( Elieen, Life and Death of a Serial Killer )
Alexandre Brachet |CEO and Founder of Upian, a world leader in digital and interactive storytelling ( Generation Quoi )
Jean Tsien | Internationally celebrated, Oscar winning editor. Scottsboro: (An American Tragedy)
Gabo Arora |Creative Director of United Nations and Founder of the U.N. Virtual Reality Lab ( Clouds over Sidra)

The Auckland Forum also hosts Story World, an exhibition of cutting edge digital and interactive, VR and AR projects, and Doc Pitch on Friday 26th, where selected filmmakers, pitch their projects to 25 local and international panellists.


Wellington Screen Forum: Friday 19 May at Park Road Post
Auckland Screen Forum: Saturday 27 May at Owen G Glen Bldg, University of Auckland

To register go to

Funding decisions

The latest funding decisions for Digital Media TelevisionMusicNZ Media Fund

Digital Media

Kaupapa On The Couch
The Spinoff for The Spinoff • 6 x 5 mins • $25,800

The Real Me
Tikilounge Productions for The CoconetTV • 5 x 10 mins • $88,924



Grand Designs NZ 3
Imagination Television for Three • 10 x 44 mins • $900,000

The Curious Mind With Nigel Latta
Ruckus Media for TVNZ 1 • 4 x 44 mins • $723,848


Design Junkies
Warner Bros International TV NZ for TVNZ 1 • 6 x 44 mins • $718,233

The Curse Of The Chills
Notable Pictures for Prime • 1 x 90 mins • $100,000


Subject: Dad
The Downlowconcept for Three • 2 x 22.5 mins • $723,848


Music Digital

APRA Silver Scroll 2017 content
APRA for Radio NZ • 1 x 180 mins • $25,000

New Music Project

Cut Off Your Hands
2017 EP • White Paper Industries Limited • Up to $19,770

Graeme James
2017 Project • Noise PR Limited • Up to $13,860

2017 Project • CRS Music Management • Up to $30,000

2017 Project • CRS Music Management • Up to $30,000

2017 Project • 1979 Management Ltd • Up to $21,720

The Adults
2017 Album • Warner Music New Zealand • Up to $30,000

The Black Seeds
2017 Album 6 • Triple M Management • Up to $30,000

New Music Single

(all up to $8,000)

9-5ERS • Talking To You feat Tyra Hammond
BESPIN • Who's Blues
CUT OFF YOUR HANDS • Live For Each Other
DEAD FAVOURS • High Flying
DECADES • Get Me Home
GREAT NORTH • Better Days
HEX • Runes / Ruins
KAYLEE BELL • Next Somebody
MIKEY MAYZ • I Can't Help It
NADIA REID • Preservation
PNC • All I See
SKINNY HOBOS • Suburban Living
SPACE ABOVE • Leave Home
SWIDT • Tonight
TEEKS • If Only
YUKON ERA • Tongue

NZ Media Fund 2017/18


National Pacific Radio Trust 2017/18
National Pacific Radio Trust • $3,250,000

TV Captioning & Audio Description 2017/18
Media Access Charitable Trust (ABLE) • $2,800,000

NZ On Screen and AudioCulture 2017/18
Digital Media Trust • $1,192,972


Current Affairs

Paakiwaha 2017
UMA Broadcasting for Various Stations • 24 x 120 mins • Up to $40,000


Real Life With John Cowan 2017
Christian Broadcasting Association for NewstalkZB • 24 x 30 mins • $18,736



Suzy & Friends 2017
Treehut for Various Station • 31 x 60 mins • $80,545