Two South Island regions will benefit from more multi-media reporting on current issues on their patch, with the support of NZ On Air.

NZ On Air recently commissioned a review of funded regional media by former NZ Herald Editor Dr Gavin Ellis. Following that review a fresh call for proposals was issued for civic journalism that would reach regional audiences.

Six projects have been supported – two new projects, and four existing projects will be supported for a further year, with total funding of $1.45 million.

The first of the new regional projects supported is a new venture in Queenstown Lakes District. Storyworks will produce 20 short films exploring local issues for the recently launched community-funded website

The second new project supported is from notable Christchurch filmmaker Gerard Smyth, who has already extensively documented the Christchurch earthquakes and rebuild. Frank Film will produce video stories for multiple platforms, with a focus on the Christchurch rebuild.

The four existing providers have taken on board feedback provided in the Ellis review. NZ On Air considered a further year of funding would provide the opportunity to consolidate and grow their services.

“The changing habits of NZ audiences have made regional media an important public media gap to address. We continue to look for new ideas and improvement, and remain committed to ensuring audiences can continue to access audio-visual civic journalism about the regions they live in,” said NZ On Air Chief Executive Jane Wrightson.

NZ On Air is also bringing the funding recipients together for a workshop to help providers continue to improve the range and quality of content they provide their audiences, and to share knowledge.

Funding details

Local Focus, Very Nice Productions for stories from Manawatu, Hawkes Bay, Bay Of Plenty & Waikato, up to $400,000

The South Today, Allied Press for stories from Otago & Southland, up to $397,000

Haukāinga, Te Hiku Media for stories from Te Tai Tokerau, up to $180,000

Star.Kiwi, Star Media, for stories from greater Canterbury, up to $158,945

Living in La La Land, Storyworks, for stories from Queenstown Lakes District, up to $114,137

Christchurch Dilemmas 3, Frank Film Ltd, for stories focused on Christchurch rebuild, up to $200,000