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.

Current round

November is the third round of the 2022/2023 financial year and is focused on projects intended for general audiences.

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.

Funding round priorities

Factual, Scripted and Development applications will be accepted as follows, but available funding is constrained:

  • Factual – applications for the Premier stories, Many Perspectives and Fresh Opportunities streams of the Factual Roadmap will be considered.
    • Approximately $4m has been allocated for content intended for general audiences.
  • Scripted – applications for the Sustainable and Newer Storytellers streams of our Scripted Roadmap will be considered.
    • Approximately $9m has been allocated for content intended for general audiences. This round is open to Drama, Scripted Comedy and Unscripted Comedy (e.g. comedy/panel shows) content genres.
  • Development – both Content (including Diverse Development) and Industry development applications will be considered. However, funding for both streams is limited and applications will have to reach a high bar to be successful. Please see the Development Roadmap.

Important dates

1 September 2022 - 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.

29 September 2022, 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. But we will not be generous.

30 November 2022 - Decisions confirmed, applicants notified the following day. This date may be extended at NZ On Air’s sole discretion.


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.

NZ On Air, Screen Australia and TikTok are excited to announce that the Every Voice initiative is returning in 2022, with applications now open. Now in its second year, Every Voice is an initiative to support creatives with diverse and distinct voices to develop episodic Scripted or Factual content exclusively for TikTok.

New Zealand and Australian applicants will be eligible to apply for approximately NZD $83,000 / AUD $75,000 per project, with up to 10 successful projects set to receive funding. Projects must comprise of episodic content designed to be told in 6 to 15 episodes of no more than one minute each, aimed at audiences aged between 16 and 35. Projects can be of any genre of Scripted or Factual content. Successful teams must also be available to attend an in-person workshop in Sydney from 5th – 7th December, 2022. Travel and accommodation costs associated with this workshop will be covered.

To participate in the initiative this year, applicants must first submit a short pitch video and post the video on their public TikTok account, between 27 June and 21 July, including the hashtag #everyvoice, as well as providing their contact details via an online entry form. Full eligibility and assessment criteria for New Zealand applicants is available in the guidelines here.

Teams must consist of between two to five members, with the roles of writer, director and producer filled across these team members. Applicants’ projects with genuine collaborations between a TikTok content creator(s) and established producers, production companies and/or entertainment properties are encouraged and may strengthen an application. Collaborations between New Zealand and Australian creators are also encouraged.

This partnership supports a range of screen projects from New Zealand and Australia, and is intended for creators from under-represented backgrounds including First Nations, Māori, Pacific Peoples, Pan-Asian, LGBTQIA+, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD), female or trans/gender diverse, people with disabilities and creators based in regional and remote areas. Screen Australia will manage applications for Australian projects, while NZ On Air will manage applications for New Zealand projects.

Creators can apply for Every Voice here. Applications close at 7pm NZT Thursday, 21 July 2022.

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.

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


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.


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 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.


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 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.