Apply for radio funding

We have two types of funding arrangements for radio. Radio New Zealand and eligible Access and Pacific radio stations receive an annual operating grant. We also have a contestable fund which supports some types of specialist radio programmes for national networks. Both types of funding will be wrapped into the NZ Media Fund from 1 July 2017.

What do we fund?

Access Radio 

We currently fund 12 Access Radio stations across the country. Funding is by way of an annual contribution to operating expenses.

A community wanting funding from NZ On Air for a new Access Radio station needs to be able to fulfill criteria explained in the publication Radio Diversity - A Handbook for Access Radio. 

It is unlikely we will be able to fund new stations for the forseeable future.

Pacific Radio

We fund the National Pacific Radio Trust, which operates Niu FM and 531pi. Niu FM broadcasts nationally offering music, diverse cultures, topical news, and information for Pacific peoples. 531pi broadcasts news, information, talkback and music, and community language programmes.

We also fund Samoa Capital Radio which leases the Wellington Access Radio spectrum for 35 hours a week.

Radio New Zealand National and Radio New Zealand Concert

We fund our national public broadcaster, providing an annual operating grant and ensuring it meets performance targets. 

Spoken radio programmes for multiple platforms

We have a contestable fund that is used to increase diversity on airwaves. Our priority is spoken programmes on nationwide networks to reach the largest number of listeners. We mainly support youth, children's ethnic and spiritual programmes. Read our Spoken radio programmmes funding criteria.

We also fund specialist music programmes which aim to introduce audiences to new local music. These programmes are funded as part of our Music promotions work.


From 1 July 2017 Radio NZ, eligible access stations and Pacific radio stations will be funded from the Platforms stream of the new platform neutral NZ Media Fund. Specialist radio programmes will be funded from either Scripted or most likely Factual funding streams.  

Access Radio

Funding is considered annually. 

Existing funded stations need to furnish a new application each year. Applications for the 2017/18 year must be received by 5 May 2017.  

Apply to our Funding Advisor, Nicole Rex.

Pacific Radio

We do not currently have funding available for new Pacific stations. 

Spoken radio programmes for multiple platforms

Funding is considered annually. Applications must be received by the date applicable in the Funding Deadlines  Calendar.  

For programmes for youth, children, ethnic minorities and on spiritual matters please:

Music radio programmes

For information about music programmes contact our Head of Music, David Ridler