Next funding deadline

11 February 2019

For: Asian and Pacific Storytelling Projects. All deadlines are now 4pm.

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

Applications for the March Scripted and Factual funding round have now closed.

For information on our next Scripted and Factual funding round please check our funding deadlines page.

March 2019 funding round priorities

The March round is for the Factual and Scripted streams, but is limited in scope due to the small amount funding remaining available.

Priority content outcomes we are seeking in this round include interactive content for HEIHEI (see separate information published below).

We are generally not accepting General Factual or Scripted Funding applications in this round.

  • We may consider time sensitive Scripted and Factual production funding applications seeking modest funding at the discretion of the Head of Funding.

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 are now limiting applications for development funding to:

  • Significant Factual projects that are co-funded by the supporting platform will be accepted in this round
  • existing Scripted projects with platforms attached that are seeking further development will be accepted for this round. New Scripted development projects will not be accepted.*

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.

Current RFPs

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

We currently have one RFP open for:

  • Asian and Pacific storytelling projects


30 Nov 2018 ‐ Guidelines for proposals issued and applications open

11 Feb 2019 ‐ Deadline for applications

15 Mar 2019 ‐ Up to 8 shortlisted projects confirmed

6 -7 April 2019 ‐ Stage 1 Development Workshop

April - May 2019 ‐ Stage 2 Follow-up mentoring

31 May 2019 ‐ Stage 3 Pitching Day with Platforms

7 June 2019 - Eligible, shortlisted projects re-submit their applications for production funding

w/c 24 June 2019 - Up to 4 projects confirmed for production (subject to funding contracts being agreed and platform support secured) and applicants notified

Signature Projects - CLOSED

This RFP is for major productions of national significance, scale and interest to a broad audience. These will include audio and video content, and those requesting funds at the higher end of the budget spectrum will likely include some interactive elements.

Please read the RFP below, and the timeline for applicants.

Growth Audiences- CLOSED

This RFP is for innovative multi-media ideas that will serve Māori, Pasifika, Regional audiences and Younger New Zealanders (under 24 yrs).

Please read the RFP below, and the timeline for applicants.

Timeline for Signature Projects and Growth Audiences

Applications have now closed

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.


Results from the earlier RFP for Diverse Journalism projects can be found here.

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.


Applications have now closed.

20 February 2019: 3 development projects confirmed


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

Upcoming RFPs

Raupapa Whakaari Funding: Dramas to the world

Advance information for applicants

Recently NZ On Air and NZ Film Commission (NZFC) announced at SPADA a joint venture to co-fund the development of high-end adult drama series that will appeal to the international market as well as New Zealand audiences. The Raupapa Whakaari Funding (RWF) initiative is designed to stimulate and grow opportunities for New Zealand feature film and drama producers to participate in the global series drama marketplace and attract finance. This will be achieved by supporting local producers and writers to develop quality, diverse and exciting drama series that are informed by, and attractive to, the global market.

This initiative will comprise two stages of development funding for successful applicants; with up to 10 concepts receiving early development support and up to four projects then receiving advanced development support to create market ready materials to sell the series internationally. At the outset we will be looking for well-realised concepts only for a series drama. Format could be 30 or 60 minute episodes. We anticipate the series will be designed to be eligible for the New Zealand Screen Production Grant (NZSPG).

We are expecting writers and producers to team up to submit their concepts. Applicants must be an established producer with at least one ‘produced by’ credit on a feature film that has been released theatrically by a distributor, or scripted television that has been broadcast. However, the writer is not required to have screen credits (but will need to provide a script sample).

If the project you are looking to apply for has previously been granted any development funding from either agency (NZFC’s Boost Scheme included) or has been and/or is involved in the Episodic Lab scheme, you are still eligible to apply for RWF.

  • Applications will be opening on the 18 February 2019 and closing at 9am on 18 March 2019.
  • The Request for Proposals for the RWF will be published early 2019.

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.