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 kaupapa.

Our strategy for investing is set out in the NZ Media Fund and in our About- Our funding strategy section.

How to apply

To apply for funding you must first register as an applicant with our online applications system.

Once you're registered you can manage your tono 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.

Funding deadlines

These are the application deadline dates for Scripted, Factual and Platform applications. Please be familiar with the General Application Guidelines.

  • Applications for Māori Content, Content Development and Industry Development can be received at any round unless we specify otherwise.
  • Round Information will be issued at least one month before the deadline and will be available on our website and online application system. We’ll also advise by a shorts newsletter.
  • You must read the current Round Information before applying as we may change any of the rounds described below, depending on funding trends.
  • We may also issue specific project RFPs during the year: deadlines for these will be specified in the RFP.
  • If in any doubt, please contact a Funding Advisor.

Development round

Applications open: 12 January 2023

Deadline: 4:00 pm, 9 February 2023

Applicants informed: 14 April 2023

Te Māngai Pāho co-fund

Applications open: 27 January 2023

Deadline: 4:00 pm, 24 February 2023

Applicants informed: 14 April 2023

Children's round

Applications open: 3 March 2023

Deadline: 4:00 pm, 30 March 2023

Applicants informed: 1 June 2023

Round Tahi

Targeted and General Audiences, annual closed Platforms round

Applications open: 6 April 2023

Deadline: 4:00 pm, 27 April 2023

Applicants informed: 7 July 2023

Round Rua

Targeted and General Audiences round

Applications open: 31 August 2023

Deadline: 4:00 pm, 28 September 2023

Applicants informed: 1 December 2023

Round Toru

Targeted and General Audiences round

Applications open: 18 January 2024

Deadline: 4:00 pm, 8 February 2024

Applicants informed: 12 April 2024

Current rounds

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.

Read the full January - April 2023 Content Development and Industry Development Fund round information here.

Funding round priorities

The January - April round is only open to Content Development and Industry Development applications. However, funding for both streams is limited and applications will have to reach a high bar to be successful. Please see the Development Roadmap. For information on other upcoming rounds, see paragraph F of the full round information.

  • Newer Storytellers and Sustainable content development applications, that don’t require a platform to be attached, and platform-supported development applications, will be considered in this round, but it is likely that only up to four applications can be funded out of the remaining annual budget.
  • Factual content development applications will only be accepted for projects that require significant research. There is limited pūtea remaining in the Factual development budget and we encourage applications to have co-funding attached from a supporting platform.
  • Industry Development Fund: To this round we are accepting applications to all three strands of our Industry Development Fund: Professional Development, National Conferences and National Awards. If you have a new IDF initiative, please discuss this with glenn@nzonair.govt.nz before applying. You can see more information here.

Timeline

12 January 2023 - 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.

9 February 2023, 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.

14 April 2023 - Applicants notified of funding decisions.

This date may be extended at NZ On Air’s sole discretion.

Read the full March - June 2023 Children's Content Development and Production Funding round information here.

Funding round priorities

The focus for this Children's content round will be Scripted production funding, and we will prioritise funding projects that have received development support in the most recent children’s content round.

Funding for children’s Factual projects that meet the proposed scale outlined in the round information will only be considered with the prior approval of Head of Funding, Amie Mills, amie@nzonair.govt.nz

How to apply

Production companies may submit up to a maximum total of three proposals (across Scripted production, and Scripted and Factual Content Development) to manage demands on the fund. We want your best ideas.

It is not a requirement to have a local platform attached.

Timeline

3 March 2023, 4pm - Round open for applications.

All applications must be made through NZ On Air’s online application system. Applications not submitted through this system will not be accepted.

30 March 2023, 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.

1 June 2023 - Applicants notified of funding decisions.

This date may be extended at NZ On Air’s sole discretion.

RFPs

From time to time we issue a request for proposals separate to a funding round. We currently have one open Tono ā-Marohi.

For information on the funding details of our recently closed RFPs please check the media release page here.

Read the full NZ On Air and Te Māngai Pāho round information here.

Te Māngai Pāho and NZ On Air seek proposals for the creation of either Receptive (20-70%) and / or Fluent (70-100%) Te reo Māori content for general audiences, distributed via established platforms, or platforms that have an established audience relevant to the idea.

Whether your idea is receptive or fluent, we are looking for ideas that strongly convey a Māori world view – content that highlights the beauty of te ao Māori and te reo Māori on screen.

Timeline

Friday 27 January 2023 - Funding round opens via Te Pūahatanga

You must be registered with Te Pūahatanga, the online application system operated by Te Māngai Pāho to apply. Only applications submitted through this portal will be considered.

Friday 24 February 2023 - Deadline for full proposals via Te Pūahatanga

If a proposal is received after 5:00pm on the closing date it may not be considered in this round. However, we reserve the right to extend the period allowed for submission of proposals at our sole discretion. Our current policy is that extensions may only be granted by the Chief Executive of Te Māngai Pāho, and Head of Funding at NZ On Air.

Friday 14 April 2023 - Decision letters distributed.

Children's content

In May 2022 NZ On Air updated our Children’s Content Funding Framework – with some key changes to how we plan to reach and strengthen onscreen representation of tamariki and rangatahi aged 0 – 14 years in Aotearoa.

This strategy is led by audience research and is actively seeking ways to be present in more places where children spend time consuming media. This includes local platforms like HEIHEI on TVNZ+ and HEIHEI Games, as well as YouTube Kids and other digital-first platforms.

It is important New Zealanders know what their taxpayer dollars have funded. Consistent accreditation also helps reinforce the cultural value of this funding to Aotearoa.

There are specific requirements for the accreditation of funded children's content when it is broadcast or uploaded/published, and in publicity and promotional material. These accreditation requirements form part of the contract for pūtea tautoko.

Should you have further queries relating to these requirements or the NZ On Air tamariki logo assets, please contact: communications@nzonair.govt.nz

On March 26 2018, NZ On Air and TVNZ launched HEIHEI as a free website, iOS app and Android app. The website featured newly-funded local content and a range of hand-picked international titles for primary-aged children.

On May 12 2020, it was announced that the underlying software platform supporting HEIHEI would no longer be available, and so HEIHEI video content was moved to its new home on TVNZ + and HEIHEI Games moved to a new digital platform.

More information about the history of HEIHEI, children's research, and HEIHEI brand assets for children's content funded prior to September 2022 is available here.

Resources to apply

Overview

In an environment where there are more applications than available funding, we want to show you how to submit an tono 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 kaupapa 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.

Scripted roadmap

We aim to invest around half our contestable funds each year in Scripted content.

This funding stream includes audio/visual drama, comedy, animation and other entertaining content requiring a planned creative approach.

Projects range from relatively large budget pouaka whakaata series and tele-features to smaller-scale quality webseries.

Scripted Roadmap 2018

Factual roadmap

We aim to invest around half our contestable funds each year in Factual content.

This funding stream invests in audio/visual documentary and factual projects for diverse audiences.

Projects may involve different New Zealand regions and cultures, investigate significant local topics, cover events or issues important to our culture and identity, or reveal an aspect of te ao Māori.

NZ On Air's Factual Roadmap FINAL.pdf

Development roadmap

Development pūtea tautoko 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.

Development roadmap 2022 PDF 258.3 KB

Podcast Policy

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.

NZ On Air's Podcast Funding Policy.pdf

Rautaki Māori

An important part of our funding strategy is to make special provision for Māori kaupapa.

Our Rautaki Māori ensures we:

  • support the production of quality Māori content made for a general audience
  • have good relationships with Māori content creators and
  • uphold the mana tangata and mana iwi of funded content.

Our work complements the work of Te Māngai Pāho.
We focus on content in English for audiences interested in te ao Māori, encouraging the use of te reo as appropriate to normalise the language for non-fluent audiences.

Rautaki Māori 2018

Overview

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 tono.

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 pārongo 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
  • Budget
  • Measuring success
  • How the proposal meets NZ On Air's goals.

Overview

This document clarifies NZ On Air’s expectations around acceptable pūtea/line-items for funded projects. It should be read in conjunction with the advice given on our resources for producers page, 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 tono 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.

Overview

As there will be more applications than available funding, aromatawai 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 pārongo 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.

Overview

This funding assessment exemplar sets out the paearu we use to assess individual applications.

Download the exemplar to see the criteria we will use to assess your application.

Info for commissioning platforms

Overview

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 kaupapa 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 paearu 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

Funding decisions

We notify the producer and platform and/or ngā kaipāho 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 pūtea tautoko.

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.