Next funding deadline

14 December 2018

For: Feature-length Pasifika or Asian Project RFPs

See all funding deadlines here

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.

Our four-yearly Statement of Intent and annual Statement of Performance Expectations explain our high level objectives and activities.

Our strategy for investing is set out in the NZ Media Fund and in our About- Our funding strategy section.
You can also read our approach to investment in Scripted content in our Scripted Roadmap here.

Before you apply please read the Round information and Guidelines, as well as further information on how to structure your application, how we will assess your application and information for commissioning platforms.

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.

Current round

Information for those wanting to make an application to the December Scripted and Factual funding round can be found below.

December funding round priorities

The December round is for general applications to the Factual and Scripted funding streams.

Priority content outcomes we are seeking in this round include specialist audiovisual current affairs and targeted spoken word radio series for 2019.

Factual includes documentary, information, interactive documentary, docudrama, events , current affairs and spoken word (with a radio broadcast outcome).

Scripted includes drama and comedy, either series or one-off. Please refer to our Scripted Roadmap for further detail on our strategic priorities for Scripted content.

Development proposals

Due to constrained funding and the high number of projects currently in development we will be accepting a small number of proposals for new development projects for the December round. Our focus will be:

  • Existing projects with platform support applying for further development
  • New Premier projects with platform support
  • Newer Storyteller and Sustainable Production projects reflecting Pacific, Chinese or Indian storytelling.

We will be tough with our development decisions for the remainder of the 2018/19 financial year: it is not prudent to keep increasing our development slate if there is no practical way projects can be supported into production within a 12-18 month period following the conclusion of a successful development process.

Diverse development projects will be considered but our priority focus will be on projects that have platform support as we now have large volume of diverse development projects on the current slate.


This round has closed.

6 December 2018 - Applicants notified.

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

Current RFPs

From time to time we issue a request for proposals separate to a funding round.

We currently have four RFPs for:

  • digital media coproductions for children under 12 through the Canada NZ Digital Media Fund
  • a scripted feature-length Pasifika/Asian story (in partnership with NZFC and TVNZ)
  • Asian and Pacific storytelling projects
  • a multi-platform children's news service

Please also read about RFPs under the RNZ/NZ On Air Innovation Fund below.

Signature and Growth Audiences projects


Tues 20 Nov:

  • Signature Projects and Growth Audiences RFPs published, requesting 1 – 3 page(s) pitch. These RFPs will seek a broad range of projects, and will include requests for some specific content for key audiences.
  • Round opens in NZ On Air online application system.

Thurs 20 Dec:

  • 4pm Deadline for 1 – 3 page(s) pitch submitted via the online application system.

Tues 29 Jan 2019:

  • Shortlist announced with shortlisted projects being invited to submit full proposals. Unsuccessful projects also notified.

Mon 25 Feb 2019:

  • 4pm Deadline for full proposals submitted via the online application system.

Mar 2019 (date tbc):

  • Letters distributed advising of funding approval or decline.

The RFP for Diverse Journalism projects through the NZ On Air/RNZ joint Innovation Fund has closed. See below for details.

This creative collaboration is about the discovery of and support for stories and storytelling that crosses national boundaries and that carries important cultural content. This year the fund is open to projects with a target audience of children aged 12 and under, with a particular focus for children between 5 to 9 years old.


October 31 : Applications open

January 17 2019: Applications close

Early March 2019: Decisions released

This is a partnership between TVNZ, NZ On Air and the New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC).

The partnership seeks to develop a compelling, one-off feature-length Pasifika or Asian New Zealand story of an award-winning quality that will delight New Zealand audiences in a prime time TVNZ 1 Sunday slot and secure festival invitations and international sales.


2 November: Applications open

14 December 4pm: Applications close

16 January 2019: 3 development projects confirmed


Nov 2018 ‐ Guidelines for proposals issued and applications open

First quarter 2019 ‐ Deadline for applications

First quarter 2019 ‐ Up to 8 shortlisted projects confirmed

Second quarter 2019 ‐ Workshop for 8 shortlisted projects held

Second quarter 2019 ‐ Eligible shortlisted projects assessed for production funding

Second quarter 2019 ‐ Up to 4 projects confirmed (subject to funding contracts being agreed) and applicants notified

Further details around this assessment process, specific dates, and information about how you should structure your application will be published on our website in early November 2018.


9 Oct 2018 - Request for proposals issued

17 Jan 2019 - Deadline for applications

w/c 4 Mar 2019 - Project confirmed

Jun/Jul 2019 - Expectation that project launched by then


Applications have closed

30 November - Letters advising of either confirmation or decline.

General guidelines


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.

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

Content development


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


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 assessors use an assessment rating system
  • 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 point system we use to assess applications.

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

Funding decisions

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.