7 December 2022

A ground-breaking project aimed at supporting New Zealand’s Asian audiences has received support in the latest round of the Public Interest Journalism Fund (PIJF).

The first year of a new RNZ Asian Unit producing news and current affairs content in Mandarin, Hindi and English will receive $1,114,672 to ensure underserved Asian audiences can access high quality public interest journalism.

NZ On Air Head of Journalism, Raewyn Rasch (Ngāi Tahu), says by providing the first year of funding, the PIJF was helping to seed the Unit. From there, RNZ intends to progress the project through to a second year on a ‘best endeavours’ basis, given that the funding decision for a second and any following years will rest with the new public media entity.

Rasch says RNZ’s radical sharing policy – where content is made available to other media partners – will ensure the ethnic media sector is supported by the Unit providing additional content for them to publish.

In this second to last round of the PIJF, the RNZ Asian Unit was one of 28 applications funded, from a total pool of nearly $12m.

The highly successful Te Rito Journalism Cadetship will get a second intake of cadets following the announcement of another year’s funding.

The Te Rito programme, established in February 2022, selected 25 Māori, Pacific and diverse cadet journalists to participate in a year-long training programme run through four partners - NZME, Whakaata Māori, Pacific Media Network and Newshub.

Te Rito has provided the most significant injection of Māori, Pacific and diverse journalists into the sector ever.  Rasch says while the 2022 Te Rito graduates will make an important impact on the sector as they move into full employment, a second cohort in 2023 will cement the progress the PIJF has been able to create by further establishing this on-the-job training programme.

Funding of up to $1,719,407 will ensure the programme can continue for another year, while specific role funding has also been granted to four publishers which will see at least 11 graduates from the current cohort move directly into employment. Other cadets are expected to be hired in non-funded roles.

Round 6 funding also looks to ensure long running legacy journalism projects continue, including programmes Q+A with Jack Tame 2023, Newshub Nation 2023, The Hui, Tagata Pasifika and investigative journalism projects by Stuff Circuit and Newsroom Investigates. Podcast series The Detail has also received funding, along with daily Māori current affairs programme Paakiwaha for Radio Waatea and a second series of tamariki news programme News 2 Me.

The seventh and final round of the PIJF will open on Thursday 12 January 2023. For more information, visit the NZ On Air website.

Funding Decisions


Te Rito 2023, NZME, up to $1,719,407. A second year of funding for the successful collaborative training scheme between NZME, Whakaata Māori, PMN, and Newshub, to provide journalism training and work experience for 12 cadets from Māori, Pacific and diverse backgrounds.

Tagata Pasifika 2023, Sunpix, up to $2,019,190. A 2023 season of the flagship Pasifika current affairs and news programme.

RNZ Asia Unit, RNZ, up to $1,114,672 for one year of a two-year project. A new unit producing news and current affairs content in Mandarin, Hindi and English, for Asian communities of Aotearoa.

Newshub Nation 2023, 42 x 60min, including Budget and election specials, for Discovery NZ, up to $999,781. A weekly political current affairs programme that provides political news, interviews, and analysis.

Q + A with Jack Tame 2023, 40 x 60min plus 1 x 118min special for TVNZ, up to $842,200. TVNZ’s leading political current affairs programme that tackles newsworthy political issues alongside debates and interviews.

The Hui Series 8, Great Southern Television, up to $737,036. An additional season of the award-winning weekly bilingual Māori current affairs programme that confronts difficult subjects, exposes injustice, and celebrates Māori success.

Voice of Tangaroa, Kōwhai Media Ltd, up to $175,145. A follow-up to the successful A Voice for Tangaroa project, the second season is a text, photographic and audio series of in-depth current affairs stories focused on the health and wellbeing of New Zealand’s Ocean environment.

Stuff Circuit, 90 mins video and accompanying text, print and feature articles for Stuff, up to $371,406. An award-winning investigative journalism project that unpacks Aotearoa’s most complicated and risky topics in multimedia formats.

Newsroom Investigates, 6 x 10min videos plus additional podcasts for Newsroom, up to $364,918. A collection of agenda-setting investigations from the experienced and award-winning team at Newsroom.

The Detail, 269 x 26min podcasts plus 223 articles for Newsroom, up to $626,780. A daily podcast designed to explain the stories behind the news headlines, giving listeners content and a deeper understanding of important events.

News 2 Me series 2, TVNZ, up to $515,499. A 5min news bulletin and explainer series tailor-made for tamariki between the ages of 8-14 producing 30 x 5min eps and 30 x 5min podcasts broadcast on TVNZ 2, RNZ and across social media.

Paakiwaha, UMA Broadcasting, up to $457,000. A bilingual radio programme broadcast on Radio Waatea and Waatea News Online. It provides a Māori perspective on news and current events while contributing to the normalisation of te reo Māori.

Critic Video Team, a year-long project of weekly 1min 30sec and monthly 4min video segments for Critic Te Ārohi, up to $27,516. Covering hyper-local news in Dunedin to an underserved student and rangatahi audience.

#OurMoanaOurHome, Tikilounge Productions, 15 x 3min videos and 5 x 12 min talanoa panels alongside social media content for TheCoconet.TV, up to $169,340. A digital video series educating rangatahi on the impacts of climate change on communities across several Pacific countries.


Newshub Te Rito Graduates, Newshub, up to $240,000 for four roles over one year. Four graduates of the PIJF-funded Te Rito journalism training scheme will join the Newshub newsroom to continue their career progression and contribute underrepresented perspectives to the media industry.

PMN Te Rito Graduates, The National Pacific Radio Trust, up to $120,000, for two roles over one year. Two graduates of the PIJF-funded Te Rito journalism training scheme will join the PMN newsroom to boost newsgathering and reporting capacity, and upskilling of Pasifika journalists.

NZME Te Rito Graduates, NZME, up to $240,000 for four roles over one year. Four graduates of the PIJF-funded Te Rito journalism training scheme will join NZME newsrooms to gain further professional experience and increase Māori and Pasifika participation in the industry.

Digital News Producer, Tikilounge Productions, up to $75,000 for one role over one year. An additional year of funding to continue this role, creating engaging and high-quality news content for Pasifika audiences in TheCoconet.TV newsroom.

Social Media Design Specialist, The Pantograph Punch, up to $50,058 for one role over one year (part-time). A continuation of this previously funded part-time role enhancing the discoverability and delivery of arts journalism through innovative digital design.

Sub-editor, The Spinoff, up to $111,000 for one role over one year. A continuation of this PIJF-funded role that provides dedicated fact-checking, vetting and sub-editing across The Spinoff’s news content.

Kaiwhakatiki Hourua (Partnership Editor), Kowhai Media, up to $58,520 for one role (part-time) over one year. An extension of the Partnership Editor role which provides strategic leadership on Māori issues and journalism for NZ Geographic, including recruitment and development of Māori talent and relationships with Māori communities.

Specialist Reporter, Ashburton Guardian, up to $163,840 for one role for two years. Dedicated coverage of two underreported and important topics (the courts and rural issues) for the Ashburton community.

Reporter, Radio Bay of Plenty, up to $185,924 for one role over two years. To increase the station’s newsgathering capacity in areas that currently lack coverage, including Whakatane, central and eastern Bay of Plenty.

Editor – Kaupapa Māori, The Pantograph Punch, up to $64,074 for one role over one year (part-time). Enhancing the quality and discoverability of The Pantograph Punch’s public interest journalism as it relates to Nga Toi Māori and Māori-interest publishing.

Regional Reporter, Valley Media, up to $58,355 for one role over one year (part-time). Provide news coverage of the Hauraki-Thames Valley and the Coromandel Peninsula region for the Coromandel App and the Valley Profile.

Podcast Reporter/Producer, Schistrockmedia, up to $165,246 for one role over two years. Produce and present four weekly news podcasts that cover the Wanaka, Queenstown, Central Otago and Southland regions for The Wanaka App, The Queenstown App, Central App and Southland App.

Social Media Editor, The National Pacific Radio Trust, up to $92,561 for one role over one year. Turn written news pieces into discoverable and engaging video content suitable for sharing across social media platforms.

Journalist, Radio Ngāti Porou, up to $158,093 for one role over two years. Employ a Te Rito graduate to cover newsworthy issues and deliver local news stories to iwi and Ruatoria communities.