In Budget 2023, the Government provided funding of $40 million per annum for delivering and administering a rebate for the game development sector, with a view to support the ongoing development and growth of game development in Aotearoa New Zealand.
The Game Development Sector Rebate (GDSR) is a rebate on eligible expenditures of eligible firms, at a rate of 20%. A firm’s rebate payment will be capped at $3 million per annum and the minimum qualifying expenditure per annum is $250,000. The GDSR is effective as of 1 April 2023 which means that eligible firms will be able to count eligible expenditures from this date.
The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) has policy responsibility for the GDSR while NZ On Air has been appointed as the agency to administer this rebate due to our experience as a funding agency and our experience in the gaming space (limited to children's games funding to date.)
After two years, MBIE will review the scheme to gauge uptake and early impact, and it will undertake a further review at around the four-year mark to assess whether the scheme provides net benefits to New Zealand and whether modifications should be pursued.
GDSR Process Flowchart
29 Sept 2023: Pilot Phase Registration opened
1 Oct 2023: General Registration for Year One opened and GDSR Guidelines available
13 Oct 2023: Pilot Phase Registration closed
31 Oct 2023: Pilot Phase Application deadline for registered applicants
30 Nov 2023: Deadline for General Registrations for Year One*
Nov - Dec 2023: Applications reviewed and claims processed for Pilot Phase
Dec 2023 - Jan 2024: Letters of Acknowledgement sent out to eligible applicants
Dec 2023 - Feb 2024: Statement of Readiness process undertaken by eligible applicants
1 Apr 2024: Final Applications open for Year One rebates
30 Apr 2024: Final Application deadline for Year One rebates
Apr – June 2024: Applications reviewed and claims processed for Year One
*Please note, for those looking to meet the General Registration deadline of 30 November, it is really important to give yourself plenty of time to complete this. For instance, there is an initial step in the registration process where you’ll need to create a Profile. So, we recommend you begin your General Registration as soon as possible.
How to Apply
Please note, if you have not registered by midday 30 November, your application will not be able to be processed in time to submit a GDSR Final Application by the deadline for the 2023/24 year.
Click on the link below to begin:
Resources to Apply
Pilot Application Phase
As part of a pilot phase of the scheme - exceptionally for year one of the scheme - eligible businesses that anticipate expenditures for the year 1 April 2023 to 31 March 2024 of $5 million NZD or above, are able to submit an application for a rebate on eligible expenditures incurred in the six months 1 April 2023 to 30 September 2023. This Pilot Phase has been designed so NZ On Air can test its rebate administrative processes with a small group of studios before the standard registration and application process takes place in 2024.
A business that considers it meets that $5 million threshold will be able to register their interest with NZ On Air, to process and confirm its eligibility to submit an application into the pilot phase. NZ On Air will assess the application and, if the standard criteria outlined in the GDSR Guidelines related to eligible businesses, eligible games and eligible expenditures is met, NZ On Air will pay the claim. Payment will flow to the business in the October-December 2023 quarter.
Pilot Phase Registration
From 29 September, a business can email NZ On Air at firstname.lastname@example.org to register an Expression of Interest (EOI) for the Pilot Phase.
Please use the subject line: ‘[Business Name] – EOI for Pilot Phase’ and please confirm and provide the following detail in that email:
- Confirm your business undertakes relevant games development activity as those outlined in the GDSR Guidelines
- Confirm your business is either a New Zealand resident or has a permanent establishment in New Zealand
- Please submit your financial statements (or forecasts) covering the period from 1 April 2023 to 31 March 2024, as well as those from the two preceding years (if available). This information will enable us to evaluate whether your anticipated expenditures for the year spanning 1 April 2023 to 31 March 2024 meet or exceed the Pilot Phase threshold of $5 million NZD.
Please note the deadline for Expressions of Interest is 4pm, 13 October 2023. We will not be accepting expressions of interest after this date.
Pilot Phase Application
After NZ On Air has assessed your EOI, you will receive either an approval or a decline email based on the information you supplied and NZ On Air's determination of your eligibility for the Pilot Phase.
If approved, you will be sent a private link to the Pilot Phase Application Form on NZ On Air’s Air’s online application system.
An eligible business submitting an application in this Pilot Phase is not required to provide a Statement of Readiness.
A business will be asked to confirm that it agrees to repay any payments made if NZ On Air determines at a later date that the business was not entitled or the entitlement changes.
A business submitting an application in this Pilot Phase may submit a second application at the end of the full eligibility period, in line with the standard process, for its expenditure incurred in the six months 1 October 2023 to 31 March 2024. Any over- or under-payment made to the business as a result of the pilot phase application will be balanced as part of their later standard application and assessment process that happens post 31 March 2024.
Please note the deadline for submission of Pilot Phase Applications is 4pm, 31 October 2023.
Applications for these roles are now CLOSED.
However, if you want to make a late application, you can contact: Scott King, Inside Recruitment, email@example.com.
We are looking for a Programme Director and a Programme Coordinator to come and join our hard-working, fun and friendly NZ On Air team.
Both these roles are an incredible opportunity to influence and contribute to the thriving world of game development in Aotearoa. These are newly created roles which will actively support the effective delivery of the NZGDSR.
The roles are fixed term for four years and full-time. With offices in Wellington and Auckland, we are accepting applications from individuals residing in either city but will also consider these roles operating remotely for the right candidates. So come help us with this awesome mahi to develop and grow New Zealand's burgeoning gaming sector.
Programme Director (there is one role but a link for Wellington-based or Auckland-based applicants):
- Programme Director Wellington-based - https://www.seek.co.nz/job/70138181
- Programme Director Auckland-based - https://www.seek.co.nz/job/70138074
Programme Coordinator (there is one role but a link for Wellington-based or Auckland-based applicants):
If you have any queries on the GDSR, please feel free to get in touch with us. Just email
Also, regardless of whether you are going to register as an eligible business for the GDSR, you can subscribe to newsletter updates from NZ On Air about the scheme. To subscribe, just click on the sign up button below.