Cameron Harland, CE

Tēnā tātou kātoa

There are many challenges coming at our industry right now, and I don’t want to dwell on these negatively today, but address what NZ On Air can and will do in the face of these challenges.

We have been engaging with platforms, experienced producers, industry leaders, fellow funders, policy leads at Manatū Taonga and our Ministers. We are taking every opportunity to understand the problems and discuss ideas for solutions. It would be fair to say that this period of intense discussion about the future of local media and our stories has grabbed attention. We hope some good will come of it.

At the same time, we are getting on with the mahi of keeping funding flowing into the production sector. While our investment strategy and round guidelines are clear about the focus on audiences and the creation of content for them, we are also obviously aware of the role our funding plays in underpinning the overall health of the sector. There are have been many calls for us to ‘save’ various programmes. I can only remind all applicants that audiences sit at the heart of our remit and that we run a contestable process for a finite pool of funds and the demand is only increasing.

Ironically, all of this is playing out at a time when we have extremely strong local content screening on our major platforms. From Friends Like Her and Testify, to the recent Escaping Utopia and Miles From Nowhere, and the return of favourites like David Lomas Investigates and 7 Days – this is content audiences are engaging with and loving. The problem is certainly not the lack of beautifully crafted stories, nor of audiences enjoying them.

In the latest funding round we have projects that plan to leverage the Screen Production Rebate, which continues to represent an excellent opportunity to create great content that appeals both here and overseas, with more ambitious intent and budgets than we alone can fund. We also have projects co-funded with Te Māngai Pāho that celebrate and uplift te reo Māori and te ao Māori.

We have also announced funding for projects that seek to find the hardest of audiences to reach – youth. With a share of the additional $10m we received in last year’s Budget, we have set out to do something bold and try to engage this audience with local content. We’ll be closely monitoring how the Within My Reach projects go, and applying what we learn from this in future. We’re also developing exciting young talent with this initiative – so watch this space. Our special thanks to Thomas Coppell who stepped aside from their day job to work with us over nine months guiding this mahi.

Finally, as we head into NZ Music Month next week, I challenge you all to switch up your playlist (check out this one here our Music team has jointly compiled for the 2024 Aotearoa Music Awards), seek out local artists and immerse yourself in great Kiwi music. Music has been the canary down the coalmine, facing the same crisis the screen sector now faces, only earlier. Every stream or download, or vinyl purchase of local music, or ticket to a gig, helps sustain our talented music community.

Happy NZ Music Month!


Looking ahead

Round Tahi

  • Round Tahi - the first funding round of the 2024/25 financial year closes at 4pm today.
  • Applicants will be informed of the outcomes from 5 July.

Round Rua

  • Targeted and General Audiences round
  • Applications open: 22 August 2024
  • Deadline: 4:00 pm, 12 September 2024
  • Applicants informed: 22 November 2024

Latest funding round

In this fourth and final funding round of the financial year, we received applications across Scripted, Non-Fiction and Content Development, including Children's, podcasts, games and feature films (part-financing). We also considered applications under the Discoverability and Capability streams.

As part of the round, we were also allocating $5m towards Youth projects and $2m for new projects by Māori-owned production companies. These funds come from the additional $10m allocated to NZ On Air in Budget '23.

Applications from Māori-owned production companies were assessed in the normal manner within the round and the $2m was allocated in addition to those funds. The $2m resulted in five additional projects from Māori-owned production companies being funded.

You can read more about the Youth funding decisions below.


We approved $13.4m in funding for seven projects (including one for additional funding) that will deliver drama, comedy and children's animation for local and international audiences.

Ambitious productions that will shoot in locations around the motu, several of these projects also plan to leverage the Screen Production Rebate. You can read more here.

Robyn Malcom

Robyn Malcolm features in a new documentary series


We approved $8.2m in funding for 19 Non-Fiction projects. These projects will tell stories from hospice care, the mental health system, Pasifika communities and the arts, among many other topics. You can read more here.

Te Māngāi Pāho Co-Fund

Scripted content received a further boost from our co-fund with Te Māngai Pāho, with four projects approved for production funding and five for development funding. The projects include the first primetime drama in 30% te reo Māori for screening on Three and ThreeNow. You can read more here.

Within My Reach - Youth RFP

A bold initiative to engage young New Zealanders with local content has seen $5m committed to projects with a social media-first approach, and created by young creatives. The Within My Reach initiative resulted from our Where Are The Youth Audiences research in 2022 and the resulting Youth Content Strategy. You can read more here.

Music update

New Music Project Kids

Earlier this month, we launched New Music Project Kids – the first project funding targeted towards the children’s music community in Aotearoa. This new targeted funding stream was created in response to our 2023 Music Funding Review, which had feedback from the music sector that we needed to “ensure that access is available to the New Music Project fund for children’s artists”.

New Music Project Kids funding provides up to $44,000 to support the production and promotion of new children’s music, associated visual content, and marketing and promotion. It is designed for New Zealand children’s music artists who have an established track record of audience, broadcast and online outcomes in Aotearoa, which is a key criteria for project applications. Applications close this week.

Rita Mae

Rita Mae

Music Showcase

We held our first NZ On Air Music Showcase for 2024 earlier this month at Big Fan in Auckland. This showcase had performances from ASHY, Wet Denim, Rita Mae and Borderline – and was yet another successful night of live music, showcasing to the sector some of the emerging talent who are either new to, or making their mark on, the Aotearoa music scene.

20 percent radio awards 2024

The 20% Local Music Content Awards

20% Local Music Content Awards

As part of the Showcase, we presented awards to three regional stations and three nationwide radio networks for playing more than 20 percent local music content in 2023. This included NiuFM who played the highest percentage of local music last year of any radio station – at just under 50 percent. The radio stations who all received awards were:

  • NiuFM - 49.7%
  • BayrockFM - 36.8%
  • CFM (Coromandel) – 22.4%
  • Q97 (Whakatane) – 22%
  • Radio Hauraki – 21.6%
  • LifeFM – 20.4%

(The data gathered for the awards relates to airplay on commercial radio only and doesn’t include music played on public, student and iwi radio – which all have legislated benchmarks that commercial stations do not. Their data is tracked separately and also shows exceptional local content airplay results.)

NZ Music Month 2024

The month of May is NZ Music Month, which this year sees a 31-day celebration of homegrown talent across the motu. The theme this year is Amplifying Aotearoa | Paorotia Aotearoa and is about shining a light on those who are the heartbeat of our nation’s music scene – from emerging talent to rising stars on the international stage, music fans going to local gigs to people championing NZ music behind the scenes, and those taking our music across the nation and to the world.

There are a whole lot of activities and events planned for NZ Music Month, and kicking it off is NZ Music T-Shirt Day on Friday 3 May which raises funds for the charity MusicHelps. To learn more or to donate head to

Games Development Sector Rebate update

Final applications have now opened on the very first year of the Game Development Sector Rebate (GDSR), the scheme set up post-Budget '23 to support the development and growth of game development in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Thirty-six studios were successfully registered for the Final Application phase earlier this year and are currently submitting their applications – with Final Applications closing on 30 April. Those applications will then be processed and assessed, with applicants notified of decisions no later than 14 June. The estimated call on the GDSR in Year One is approximately $30m and includes funds paid out at the conclusion of a recent Pilot Phase.


We have held a series of webinars throughout the first six months of the GDSR to provide as much information as possible on the rebate scheme, the application process, how it will be assessed and audited, and all the tools and guidelines that are available. These recorded webinars and resources can be found here on our website.

Also, if you wish to be on our list for news and updates on the GDSR, you can go here and tick Game Development Sector Rebate updates.

To find out more about the GDSR, check out our webpage with all the information.

Funding details


Game On, 5 x 44', Pango Productions for viewing on ThreeNow and Three, up to $1,285,220.

P.I. Story, 3 x 45', Razor Films for viewing on Three and ThreeNow, up to $10,000.

Music with Michal, 40 x 2', Music with Michal for viewing on YouTube Kids, up to $235,000.

Breaking Silence 4, 8 x 12', Magnetic Pictures for viewing on TP+, up to $334,969.

K' Road Chronicles 4, 8 x 12min, Magnetic Pictures for viewing on TP+, up to $331,895.

400 Weddings and a Funeral, 1 x 44', Great Southern Television for viewing on TVNZ+ and TVNZ 1, up to $339,248.

Grace, 1 x 85', Gaylene Preston Productions for viewing on RNZ and Sky Arts, up to $551,035.

Mind Menders, 2 x 44’, Diva Productions for viewing on Sky Open, Neon and Sky Go, up to $548,541.

Bryn & Ku’s Singles Club, 6 x 15’, Hex Work Productions for viewing on The Spinoff and YouTube, up to $499,117.

Hospice Heroes, 8 x 22’, Great Southern Television for viewing on ThreeNow and Three, up to $742,631.

Mānawatia a Matariki, 1 x 240’, Kahawai Productions for viewing on TVNZ+, TVNZ 1, Three, Prime, Whakaata Māori, RNZ, Stuff, Pasifika TV and Iwi Radio, up to $250,000.

Buzz’s Epic Little Missions, 6 x 30’, Rogue Productions for viewing on TVNZ 2, TVNZ+ and YouTube Kids, up to $534,087.   

Mr Asia: A Forgotten History, 6 x 45’ podcast, Bird for viewing on Paradise Productions for NZ Herald and iHeart Radio, up to $171,455.

Riches of Heaven, 6 x 35’ podcast, NZME for viewing on NZ Herald, NewstalkZB and Spotify, up to $136,092.


Be With ZeZe, 52 x 5’30”, Oddly Quiet for viewing on YouTube Kids and local platform tbc, up to $2,500,000.

Educators 4, 6 x 22’, South Pacific Pictures for viewing on TVNZ+, up to $1,923,500.

It Takes A Village, 6 x 26’, 787 Media for viewing on Whakaata Māori and Māori Television, up to $25,000.

Ms. X, 8 x 45’, Plus6Four Entertainment for viewing on ThreeNow and Three, up to $2,750,000.

The End Of The World, 8 x 44’, Green Sugar Media for viewing on TVNZ+ and TVNZ 1, up to $1,899,982.

Pike, 1 x 100’, POP Film for viewing on ThreeNow and Three, up to $84,000 (additional).

Buzz’s Epic Little Missions, 6 x 30’, Rogue Productions for viewing on TVNZ 2, TVNZ+ and YouTube Kids, up to $534,087.

The Magic Measina Room, 6 x 10’, Taro Patch Creative for viewing on YouTube Kids, up to $25,000.

Island of Mystery 3, 10 x 11', Adrenalin Group for viewing on YouTube, up to $803,603.

Within My Reach - Scripted

First Place, 5 x 12', Tikilounge Productions for viewing on TheCoconetTV, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and TVNZ+, up to $970,000.

Literally Dead, 8 x 8', Lusty Productions for viewing on YouTube, up to $526,990.

Bloke Of The Apocalypse, 6 x 6', Suite Habana Productions for viewing on YouTube, up to $472,368.

The Sender, 17 x 2', Cable Maiden Productions for viewing on Instagram Reels, TikTok and YouTube, up to $375,000.

Within My Reach - Non-Fiction

The Regions, 5 x 7’ plus 5x 3’ plus 5 x 90”, to Re: for viewing on Re: , YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and TVNZ+, up to $505,115.

Beyond The Beat, 5 x 8 - 12', and 50 x 15 - 60”, and 1 x music video, Chillbox Creative for viewing on YouTube, TikTok, Instagram and Facebook, up to $500,000.

Pā Life, 5 x 10’, Three Feathers Productions for viewing on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and TVNZ+, up to $463,788.

The Gender Agenda, 5 x 10', Rumbletoon for viewing on YouTube, up to $395,115.

Kaputī With The Cuzzies, 10 x 20', Electric Shoelace Productions for viewing on YouTube, up to $194,311.

Sight Unseen, 5 x 5-10’, Able for viewing on YouTube, TikTok, Instagram and, up to $186,767.

What Sex Ed Didn't Teach You, 15 x 90”, Re: for viewing on Re:, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and TikTok, up to $178,550.

d8talk, 230 x 1’, Champion Creative for viewing on Instagram Reels, Facebook, TikTok, and YouTube, up to $149,986.

TMP/NZ On Air Co-Fund

(The total funding is split approx. 60/40 between Te Māngai Pāho and NZ On Air)

Tangata Pai, 8 x 44’, Green Sugar Media for viewing on ThreeNow and Three, up to $3,990,000

Dead Ahead, 6 x 22’30”, HiMama for viewing on TVNZ+ and TVNZ 2, up to $2,893,133

Rapunga The Hunt, 6 x 26’, Cinco Cine Film Productions for viewing on Māori+ and Whakaata Māori, up to $2,185,920

Kupu X, 6 x 15’, Adrenalin Group for viewing on Whakaata Māori, TikTok and YouTube, up to $951,280


Amped Music Project, Dunedin Fringe Arts Trust, up to $29,740

ASPC and Mukpuddy: Audience and Discoverability Internship, Mukpuddy, up to $27,500

SIGANZ Leadership and Management Skills Programme - Online Training Modules - Phase One, The Screen Industry Guild of Aotearoa New Zealand, up to $10,000

SIGANZ Rate Card Project - Phase 2, The Screen Industry Guild of Aotearoa New Zealand, up to $10,000


The Student Radio Network Awards 2024, RDU98.5FM, up to $10,000

NZ Web Fest, Keith Barclay, up to $10,000

NZ Music Month Summit 2024 'Amplifying Aotearoa', NZ Music Managers Forum, up to $5,000

Children's Music Awards (and Sounds Fun Activations) for Treehut, up to $5,000

Waiata Takitahi (each received up to $14,000)

Alya Jade, Rebel

Aro, Mahoe & Pātatē

Byllie-jean, Hine Koukou

Common-Unity, Ringapototia

Cymbol, Alliance

Geneva AM, Pikipiki

MĀ, Kōrero

Majic, Malu Tangata

Mirage, Raumati / Summer

MOHI, Boysenberry Ripple


Rory Noble, All These Nights

Swizl Jager, Better With Time

TAWAZ & Troy Kingi, Haere Mai

Tuari Brothers, Higher

YAHYAH, Whetū Re Re

New Music Single (each received up to $11,000)

Alba Rose, Subside (Wasting My Days)

Altercation, Destination

ARAHI, We’ve Seen Better Days

Avish, Dhoop (Sunlight)

Black Comet, Oooh Yeah Baby

Brandn Shiraz, Manea

Brody Leigh, Overdue

CRYSTAL, Past Life

deepState, Games

Dera Meelan & Caru, See No Evil feat. Church & deadforest

ELENA, A Little Bit feat. Jaevan

Emma Dilemma, Ready or Not

Gracie Moller, Fun!

hanbee, days months years

Jazmine Mary, In A Field

Jujulipps, Nightshift

Kédu Carlö, But I Can’t

Leonard Simpson Duo, Bang Bang Boogie feat. Tha Movement

Marlin’s Dreaming, Lucky Star

Myshaan, Summer Serenade

Neil MacLeod, I Need A Battle

Noah Slee, dreaming

Phodiso, Troublemaker

Phoebe Rings, Drifting

PONZ, Spinning

Rita Mae, Kiss The Sky

Soft Plastics, Drown!

TE KAAHU, I Roto I Te Poo, I Roto I Te Ao

T.G. Shand, Scenes

Tom Lark, Dumb Luck

Tusekah, Baby’s Breath

Womb, Only You

New Music Project

Ashy - 'The Sister Singles' EP, Aswini Batchelor t/a Ashy, up to $33,000

Corrella - 2024 LP, LOOP Media NZ, up to $33,000

Daily J - 2024 LP, Daily J - 2024 LP, up to $44,000

Georgia Gets By - 'Madeline' EP, Broods Live Limited, up to $30,800

Lontalius - 2024 LP, Lontalius 2024 LP, up to $44,000

Mitch James - 'this is not what I had in mind' EP, Sony Music Entertainment NZ Limited, up to $44,000

PNC - 'Unbothered Rapper' LP, Unbothered Rapper Limited, up to $44,000

Rita Mae - 'Kiss The Sky' EP, Rita Laing t/a Rita Mae Music, up to $33,000

Robinson - 2024 EP, Robinson Music Limited, up to $44,000

Serebii - 'Sunwell' LP, Creative Pwele Limited, up to $34,329

Tom Lark - 'Moonlight Hotel' LP, Winegum Records, up to $33,000

Womb - 'A Shooting Star and A Setting Sun' LP, Flying Nun Records, up to $22,000

New Music Development (each received up to $6,000)

Abby Wolfe, AWOL Collective Ltd

Abraham Kunin, Khandro Music

Christian Tjandrawinata, Christian Tjandrawinata

Clint Murphy, Clint Murphy Productions Limited

Laughton Kora, Momo Kora Limited

Lucy Graves, Lucy Graves

Maree Sheehan, Toiere Productions

Mazbou Q, Mazbou Q

MsTake, Lora Thompson

PollyHill, MTCO Limited

Ryan Chin, Ryan Fisherman

Sarah Foley, Blake

Scott Seabright, Scott Seabright

Steph Brown, Lips Limited

Tarn PK, Tarn PK

Tipene Harmer, Native Niche Ltd

New Music Pasifika (each received up to $11,000)

Dmoney Da Don, Put Da Don On You

Ema I’u, Move Mountains

Finau, Isn’t It Obvious?

GiantKilla, Forever

JARNA, Make This Work

Kenzie from Welly, Hold Ya Head

Keren Mara, Under the Wind

Luana Gordon, Got Me Good

M3LLI, Wanna Know

Mark Vanilau, Aleipata Mermaids

MAYJUN, In Denial

Myshaan, Carry My Heart

Pati AF, Energy

Romi Wrights, Capsized

Saia Frank Sola, E Le Galo Le Mativa feat. DJ Twitch

Schofield Strangelove, Luna Llena

Sks, Talking Again

TheWesternGuide, Bottom of the Bed

Uncle Is, Caught in the Middle

Village90, On My Way

Voske, Sade