Before you apply
Before you apply here's some essential information that will help you understand how we invest in Scripted and Non-Fiction 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 On Air Investment Strategy 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.
These are the application deadline dates for Scripted, Non-Fiction 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.
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
Applications open: 3 March 2023
Deadline: 4:00 pm, 30 March 2023
Applicants informed: 1 June 2023
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
Special Scripted Round
Targeted and General Audiences, open for content development funding
Applications open: 29 June 2023
Deadline: 4:00 pm, 20 July 2023
Applicants informed: 22 September 2023
Targeted and General Audiences round
Applications open: 31 August 2023
Deadline: 4:00 pm, 28 September 2023
Applicants informed: 1 December 2023
Targeted and General Audiences round
Applications open: 18 January 2024
Deadline: 4:00 pm, 8 February 2024
Applicants informed: 12 April 2024
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 Round Tahi Information for Funding Applicants document here.
The funding allocations for this round are based on our recently confirmed funding for the 2023/24 financial year.
We have also recently released our new investment strategy, which can be read here.
Funding round priorities
We welcome projects intended for both hard-to-reach and general audiences. Non-Fiction and Scripted applications will be considered (including children’s content, podcasts, games as well as part-financing of feature films) as will applications for Factual and Scripted content development.
We will give priority to projects that cater to hard-to-reach audiences and have a practical distribution plan to ensure that the target audience is reached.
This round will also evaluate annual applications from existing funded platforms. Please note that this is a closed fund for platforms, and we will not be accepting new applications at this time.
Please read the full Round Tahi Information for Funding Applicants document for more detail about the Factual, Scripted, Platforms, Industry Development and Content Development applications we are looking for:
6 April 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.
27 April 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.
7 July 2023 - Decisions confirmed, applicants notified.
This date may be extended at NZ On Air’s sole discretion.
To cope with the increasing demand for our funding and the resulting surge in declined applications, we are implementing application limits (per round) for producers/production companies and platforms.
Producers/production companies are limited to a maximum of four applications, with a maximum of two applications per category (Scripted, Non-Fiction, Content Development, Industry Development). Platforms, on the other hand, can submit up to 10 applications per round, without any restrictions per category within that total. It's important to note that the platform application cap does not apply to children's applications and returning series.
If you have a strong case for exceeding these limits, please contact the Head of Funding before submitting your applications. For any questions, please email email@example.com.
From time to time we issue a request for proposals separate to a funding round. We currently have no open Tono ā-Marohi.
For information on the funding details of our recently closed RFPs please check the media release page here.
In April 2023 NZ On Air updated our Children’s Content Strategy – 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 Games and TVNZ On demand 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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.
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.
We aim to invest around half our contestable funds each year in Non-Fiction content.
This funding stream invests in audio/visual documentary and Non-Fiction 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 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
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
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.
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
- Measuring success
- How the proposal meets NZ On Air's goals.
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.
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 15 of the NZ On Air Investment Strategy.
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.
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
All applications 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
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.