Next funding deadline
20 May 2021
For: General audiences
Before you apply
Before you apply here's some essential information that will help you understand how we invest in Scripted and Factual content.
Our core functions are set out in the 1989 Broadcasting Act.
In simple terms, we invest in quality, diverse and discoverable public media content.
How to apply
To apply for funding you must first register as an applicant with our online application system.
Once you're registered you can manage your applications through your personal dashboard, nominate supporting platforms, and update your business information.
Any applications not submitted online will not be considered.
Please note: all material submitted to NZ On Air is covered by the Official Information Act.
The information below is for producers intending to make a funding application to the Scripted or Factual streams of the NZ Media Fund or Industry Development Fund for the May 2021 round.
Please note: NZ On Air is working closely with the screen production industry to understand the impacts of Covid-19. It is vital that any application you make can be delivered safely, under the relevant Alert level restrictions. Please ensure you read our Responding To Covid-19 page before you submit a funding application.
July is the first round of the new financial year and we expect to receive many applications.
As we did last year, we intend to provisionally cap the Factual and Scripted funding committed to this round to ensure funds remain for later rounds.
- Factual – genres prioritised for this round include Documentary and General Factual applications (including Events). Approximately $10m has been allocated for content intended for general audiences.
- Scripted – applications for the Premier, Sustainable, Newer Storytellers strands of our Scripted Roadmap will be considered. Approximately $20m has been allocated for content intended for general audiences.
- Development – both Content (including Diverse Development) and Industry Development applications will be considered. Please see the Development Roadmap.
Information regarding the Public Interest Journalism round will be released separately on Friday, 30 April.
22 April 2021 - Funding round opens.
All applications must be made through NZ On Air’s online application system. Applications not submitted through this system will not be accepted. You must submit a request to register with our online system well in advance of the application deadline day.
20 May 2021, 4pm - Application deadline. Round closes.
Late applications will not be considered. In very exceptional circumstances, for time-sensitive projects agreed prior by the Head of Funding, we may consider an out of time application. But we will not be generous.
14 July 2021 - Decisions confirmed, applicants notified the following day.
This date may be extended at NZ On Air’s sole discretion
From time to time we issue a request for proposals separate to a funding round. We currently have no open RFPs.
For information on the funding details of our recently closed RFPs please check the media release page here.
In an environment where there are more applications than available funding, we want to show you how to submit an application and how it will be assessed. More specific information is published prior to each round about the applications we are seeking.NZ On Air’s funding strategy is founded on core public media principles.These include enriching the New Zealand cultural experience, improving diversity of media content in many forms, ensuring content is accessible, strengthening community life, and promoting informed debate.The resource below walks you through:
- Applying online
- General expectations of production applications
- Qualifying platforms
- Business case expectations such as co-investment
- The different levels of application requirements depending on the level of funding requested
- Applying for development funding
- How we assess proposals
- The fine print.
This guidance sets out NZ On Air’s approach to funding the production of podcasts.
With increasing interest in this content format, this policy is intended to help podcast producers determine whether to apply for production funding.
Info for commissioning platforms
All applications to the NZ Media Fund must be able to confirm the platform where the content will appear.
This maximises the likelihood of funded content being completed and found by an audience.
NZ On Air’s funding strategy is founded on core public media principles.
These include enriching the New Zealand cultural experience, improving diversity of media content in many forms, ensuring content is accessible, strengthening community life, and promoting informed debate.
For more detail on the strategy which underpins the NZ Media Fund please read the Funding Strategy.
We also issue specific information for each round and guidelines to assist funding applicants.
The resource below walks you through what you will need to consider such as:
- Your financial contribution to the budget
- Free availability of the content
- Confirming support for a project
- Providing audience data
- Fine print
Development funding is for researching or writing scripts or treatments.
We mostly contribute to drama; and occasionally to documentary development.
To extend the range of scripted drama and comedy development projects we now offer a pathway for a limited number of eligible projects to access first-stage development funding without the support of a platform.
To apply for development funding you must first register as an applicant with our online application system which you can do here.
Once you're registered you can manage your applications through your personal dashboard, nominate supporting platforms and update your business information.
Resources to apply
Your content proposal is your pitch where you describe and define the content you want to make, how and who will make it, and how you plan to reach your intended audience.
You do not need to follow this structure directly but you should address the aspects relevant to your application.
As a general rule, the higher the level of funding requested the more developed and detailed we will require your application to be.
That said, less is often best. Be clear and succinct - there are no prizes for applications with the most pages.
Make sure you refer to the round information that we will issue for each funding round.
The resource below walks you through what you will need to consider such as:
- The quality of the idea
- The platform your content will be on
- How the content will be promoted
- Measuring success
- How the proposal meets NZ On Air's goals.
This document clarifies NZ On Air’s expectations around acceptable budget/line-items for funded projects. It should be read in conjunction with the advice given in our resources for producers, particularly the contract initiation form and the producers and cost reporting documents.
This document will be reviewed and updated regularly, so please do refer to it when preparing your application budgets.
NZ On Air tries to limit the number of rules we have around acceptable budget/line-items, as we accept that every project has its own unique situation. However there are some line items we will not accept within any funded budget. There are also some specific expectations around how certain line items should be treated.
NZ On Air’s role is to provide a production subsidy for content creation, not provide a means for commissioning platforms to defray content acquisition expenses.
As there will be more applications than available funding, assessment stages are tiered so that ultimately the most work and resources are spent on the applications with the most likelihood of success.
We will assess proposals using the nine investment principles set out on page 11 of the NZ Media Fund.
These investment principles allow us to assess the business case for each application alongside the application’s cultural case and how it contributes to NZ On Air’s three funding goals:
- Quality content: New Zealand audiences enjoy well-made local content that matters.
- Diverse content: New Zealand audiences value local content made for a range of communities.
- Discoverable content: New Zealand audiences can find and appreciate local content.
The resource below walks you through each step of the process. It covers:
- Preliminary step - confirm eligibility
- Stage 1 Assessment- groups of individual assessors assess applications while considering the nine investment principles
- Stage 2 Assessment - funding recommendations are prepared
- Stage 3 - Decisions by the Staff Investment Committee or the Board.
This funding assessment exemplar sets out the criteria we use to assess individual applications.
Download the exemplar to see the criteria we will use to assess your application.
We notify the producer and broadcaster/platform of funding decisions within 48 hours of the Board meeting.
A full list of decisions is included in our newsletter. We may also issue a media release.
Funding is confidential until we have announced it.
All funding decisions are also available through our funding decisions search.
Resources for funded projects
If your application is successful there are a number of steps you will need to take to receive your funding.
Check out the resources for producers page below to find all the information you'll need for the next step in the post-funding process.