Next funding deadline

1 April 2019

For: Raupapa Whakaari Funding: Dramas to the world

See all funding deadlines

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

This information is for producers intending to make a funding application to the Scripted or Factual streams of the NZ Media Fund for the May round.

May 2019 funding round priorities

With May the final round of the current financial year available funding for Factual and Scripted content is limited.

Given the level of funding remaining we have refined the scope of the May round as follows:

  • We are seeking applications for content that will commemorate Tuia Encounters 250 (Tuia 250) – around $1.5m is available - read May 2019 Information for applicants for details.


  • We are not seeking general Factual production applications in this round.
  • We may consider time-sensitive general production applications seeking modest funding at the discretion of the Head of Funding. Approval to submit these sorts of applications will be rarely given as our ability to provide any funding for them is extremely constrained.
  • Development applications for complex factual projects that require significant research and that are co-funded by the supporting platform will be accepted in this round.


  • There is approximately $2.2m available for general Scripted production. Taking into consideration the level of funding available and the type of projects already funded in the current financial year we are prioritising projects that fit within the Sustainable and Newer Storyteller strands of our Scripted Roadmap. Projects already in development that are ready to seek production funding will be prioritised.
  • Development applications for existing projects with platforms attached that are seeking additional development will be accepted for this round. New development projects will not be accepted.*

*Development: Due to the large number of projects currently in development (35) and the high level of development funding committed this year (close to $800K), we are not accepting applications for new projects. A small number of applications for existing projects will be considered for additional development if they have matched funding from a platform.


8 Feb 2019, 4pm 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.

21 Mar 2019, 4pm Application deadline. Round closes.

Late applications will not be considered. In exceptional circumstances, for time-sensitive projects agreed prior by the Head of Funding, we may consider an out of time application. But we won’t be generous.

9 May 2019: 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 one RFP open for:

  • Raupapa Whakaari Funding: Dramas to the World

Raupapa Whakaari Funding: Dramas to the world

Deadline extended

Based on industry feedback NZ On Air, the NZ Film Commission, and Script to Screen have decided to extend the deadline for applications for Raupapa Whakaari by two weeks.

  • New deadline for Raupapa Whakaari: Monday April 1, 9am.

Due to the extension, successful applicant teams will now be notified on or before Monday May 6. Those teams will need to be available to participate in the Series Drama Lab 10-15 June.

About this initiative

NZ On Air andtThe New Zealand Film Commission are seeking to develop 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. The initiative will include development funding and a Series Drama Lab run by Script to Screen.

Your application must be completed online through the NZFC application portal.

Only applications submitted through the online portal using its form and template will be considered. Once compiled on the portal textboxes fields, the requested elements should be no longer than 7 pages.


18 February 2019, applications open

9am 1 April 2019, applications close

No late applications will be accepted. Decisions will be notified on or before May 6.

Updates as of February 18 2019:

Please note:

  • A production company can submit more than two proposals if no more than two share the same lead producer. In the case of EPs, there is no limit to the number of projects he/she can be attached to.
  • The addition of theme in the what to include section


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

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.