Creating high quality, thought-provoking television

We invest in high quality factual and documentary programmes that would not otherwise be produced. These programmes span a broad and diverse range of topics that have relevance and value to New Zealand audiences.


Overview

New Zealanders have a strong appetite for local documentaries. We extend the diversity of what’s available by funding a mix of styles and story-telling techniques, designed to appeal to a range of tastes. 

We regularly assess the amount and types of documentary and factual content available on New Zealand free-to-air television. Where gaps are identified we look to fill them by seeking proposals outside our usual funding rounds that target a particular audience need.

We aim for the majority of our documentary and factual programming to broadcast during prime time. When we cannot achieve programming goals on free-to-air channels with large audience reach (Type 1 channels - TV One, TV2 and TV3) we will fund this programming on channels with smaller more specialised audiences (Type 2 channels - FOUR, Māori Television or Prime).

We encourage broadcasters to take risks with funded documentary and factual programming.

Annually we spend around $15million on documentary and factual programmes from the General and Platinum contestable funds.


Showcase

Beneath New Zealand

March 2016

Beneath New Zealand

Beneath New Zealand provides a unique look at how the forces above and below New Zealand formed this land.

Nigel Latta In Antarctica

March 2015

Nigel Latta In Antarctica

Nigel Latta is a psychologist, author and television presenter who has graced New Zealand screens since 2008. In this documentary series, he takes us to Scott Base in Antarctica to experience life on the ice.

Country Calendar

March 2016

Country Calendar

Giving rural people their own voice and urban viewers a genuine insight into rural life.

The DNA Detectives

October 2015

The DNA Detectives

Let The DNA Detectives take you on a scientific journey around the globe as they unravel the genetic history of well-known New Zealanders.

The Palace

November 2015

The Palace

Follow top dancers from Parris Goebel’s Auckland-based dance studio, The Palace, as they take on their dreams and prepare for the World Hip Hop Dance Championships in San Diego.


Strategy

In June 2012 we initiated a conversation about our role in funding documentary and factual television.

We issued a discussion paper, consulted with the industry and commissioned research into audience needs.

At the conclusion of this work we published a refreshed strategy that will inform and diversify what we fund in the future.

Also relevant is our Pacific Content Strategy:

And Rautaki Māori, our strategy for mainstream Māori content:


Research

21st June 2013

NZ On Air Documentary Survey

A survey of 1,000 New Zealanders who watch television conducted by Colmar Brunton. The survey reinforced the importance of documentary to respondents who acknowledged the quality of New Zealand documentaries, particularly their production values and presentation.


Apply for funding

There are three funding rounds a year for Documentary and Factual programming. In 2015 decisions will be announced in May, July and December.

Funding deadlines and how to apply


Funding to date, 2016-17

Sunday Special: Operation Manuka $150,000

Mar 2017 · Greenstone TV · TVNZ 1 · 1 x 60 mins · Documentary · TV Platinum Fund

Herbs: Songs Of Freedom $199,000

Dec 2016 · Jawbone Pictures · Maori Television · 1 x 120 mins · Documentary · TV Production

Karena And Kasey's Kitchen Diplomacy 2 $966,597

Dec 2016 · Imagination Television · TVNZ 1 · 10 x 30 mins · Documentary · TV Production

The Last Of The Few $90,157

Dec 2016 · PDQ Productions Ltd · Stuff.co.nz · 5 x 7 mins · Documentary · TV Digital Funding

Christchurch Dilemmas 2 $250,000

Dec 2016 · Frank Film · Chchdilemmas.co.nz · 17 x 5 mins · Documentary · TV Digital Funding

Shortland Street: Mirror Of A Culture $144,890

Dec 2016 · South Pacific Pictures · TVNZ 2 · 1 x 60 mins · Documentary · TV Platinum Fund

The 501 Club $125,015

Dec 2016 · Notable Pictures · Maori Television · 1 x 60 mins · Documentary · TV Production

Cold Case $1,040,509

Dec 2016 · Screentime New Zealand · TVNZ 1 · 8 x 60 mins · Documentary · TV Production

Toa Hunter Gatherer 2 $273,616

Dec 2016 · Haka Boy Films · Maori Television · 8 x 30 mins · Documentary · TV Production

Beneath New Zealand 2: Creation And Destruction $425,281

Dec 2016 · Making Movies · Prime · 3 x 60 mins · Documentary · TV Platinum Fund

Where To Next? $1,219,288

Dec 2016 · Ruckus Media · TVNZ 1 · 5 x 60 mins · Documentary · TV Production

The Demolition Team $83,000

Sep 2016 · Broadcast Media · Prime · 1 x 60 mins · Documentary · TV Production

Sunday Special: The Secret Lives Of Fussy Eaters $149,995

Sep 2016 · The Gibson Group · TV One · 1 x 60 mins · Documentary · TV Platinum Fund

Sunday Special: She'll Be Right $150,000

Sep 2016 · Attitude Pictures · TV One · 1 x 60 mins · Documentary · TV Platinum Fund

Country Calendar 2017 $566,720

Jul 2016 · TVNZ · TV One · 40 x 30 mins · Documentary · TV Production

The Big Ward 2 $433,611

Jul 2016 · Greenstone TV · TV 2 · 10 x 30 mins · Documentary · TV Production

Coast New Zealand 2 $1,800,901

Jul 2016 · Great Southern Television · TV One · 6 x 60 mins · Documentary · TV Platinum Fund

Uncharted $1,500,000

Jul 2016 · Frame Up Films · Prime · 6 x 60 mins · Documentary · TV Platinum Fund

Beyond The Battalion $200,000

Jul 2016 · Awa Films · Maori Television · 1 x 60 mins · Documentary · TV Production

Ngarara $92,636

Jul 2016 · Tellyvise · Maori Television · 1 x 60 mins · Documentary · TV Production

Artefact $1,150,277

Jul 2016 · Greenstone TV · Maori Television · 6 x 60 mins · Documentary · TV Production

Game Of Bros 2 $348,392

Jul 2016 · Tikilounge Productions · Maori Television · 7 x 30 mins · Documentary · TV Production

Islands Of The Gulf $362,486

Jul 2016 · Top Shelf Productions · TV One · 5 x 30 mins · Documentary · TV Production

Sunday Special: Born This Way $150,000

Jul 2016 · Ruckus Media · TV One · 1 x 60 mins · Documentary · TV Platinum Fund

Camp Twitch $125,000

Jul 2016 · 2B Media · TV 2 · 1 x 60 mins · Documentary · TV Production

The King In The Ring $130,179

Jul 2016 · Notable Pictures · Maori Television · 1 x 60 mins · Documentary · TV Production

Under The Bridge $71,495

Jul 2016 · NZME · NZ Herald · 4 x 10 mins · Documentary · TV Digital Funding

Forensics NZ 2 $1,020,000

Jul 2016 · South Pacific Pictures · Prime · 6 x 60 mins · Documentary · TV Production

The Trial $759,679

Jul 2016 · Razor Films · TV3 · 4 x 60 mins · Documentary · TV Production

Lost And Found 3 $1,032,439

Jul 2016 · Warner Bros. International Television ProductionNZ · TV3 · 12 x 60 mins · Documentary · TV Production

Te Radar's Chequered Past (Additional) $445,240

Jul 2014 · Zeitgeist Productions · TV One · 8 x 30 · Documentary · Tv Productions