A note from the CE


CE, Cameron Harland

It has been a truly whirlwind start to 2021!

We've been busy with the important everyday work of getting funds out the door, while also working on new areas of focus. Not least of which is the new $55m fund for public interest journalism.

Since the announcement we've undertaken an initial round of stakeholder engagement focused on the different entities and needs across the sector (from local, regional and national newsrooms, online news distribution, magazines, and radio, through to training and development and skills shortages) before we undertake further consultation to inform the wider design of the fund. We are working at speed for the first funding round as we know there is great need for this funding, and we have agreed to get the first $10m committed by the end of June. We hope shortly to announce further details, and also to appoint a Head of Journalism to direct the day-to-day delivery of the initiative.

It’s been a genuine pleasure to work closely alongside Te Tumu Whakaata Taonga New Zealand Film Commission and Te Māngai Pāho to appoint Kay Ellmers and Polly Fryer as Kaihautū o Te Puna Kairangi / Joint Heads of Te Puna Kairangi ($50m Premium Productions Fund). This fund is a unique collaboration between the three funding agencies and it’s fitting to embrace a dual leadership model as we move forward with Te Puna Kairangi.

Today we are releasing the NZ Media Fund review. This review, undertaken by consultant Hal Crawford, looked at how well this new strategy is delivering on it's objectives after three years. There's more about this below. I encourage you to read Hal's comprehensive report, and our response document, which provides important updates on how we are responding to the review's recommendations.

In addition we are releasing our bi-annual stakeholder survey, conducted by Colmar Brunton. We are grateful to the stakeholders who gave of their time for this survey. We are heartened by the high level of support we received. As CEO I am proud of our staff team who go above and beyond to provide good service to you.

Finally I want to acknowledge the commercial radio industry. Your support of local music last year was extraordinary and showed that in these times of fragmented audiences you continue to drive the success of local music. A shout out also to the student radio network, access community stations and RNZ who also play a huge role in taking local music to ears up and down the country.

Rock on!

Ngā mihi maioha,


NZ Media Fund review

Late last year we engaged media consultant Hal Crawford to review the three-year old NZ Media Fund. As an independent person with direct experience of the NZ media and NZ On Air funding he was briefed with asking whether the fund is working, and what could be better.

His comprehensive review is below. It highlights some things we could change so that the funding model continues to evolve and deliver to its promise. We've taken some time to chew over the recommendations and you can read about what we are doing in the Response document also below.

In addition, you can now also read our two-yearly Stakeholder Survey conducted at the end of last year.

Ara ki Te Puna Kairangi – The Premium Development Fund

Ara ki Te Puna Kairangi – The Premium Development Fund is designed to support projects that intend to apply to Te Puna Kairangi - Premium Productions for International Audiences Fund. These projects need to be ambitious and bold with significant international appeal and should represent a step change to support high quality productions.

Ara ki Te Puna Kairangi – Premium Development has a total budget of $2,000,000 and applicants can apply for up to $120,000 per project which will be awarded as a non-recoupable grant.

Please read the Premium Development Fund Guidelines and supporting Submission Checklist before registering for an account to apply online at https://funding.nzfilm.co.nz/

The portal will open for applications on 22 March 2021.

You can invite team members who also have an account to collaborate on the application.

The deadline for applications is 1pm, 9 April 2021.

Once the deadline is reached, the funding round will close, and the portal will no longer be available for submissions. Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.

NZ Media Fund update

Our March round was for production applications to our Scripted funding stream, Pan-Asian Factual RFP, and the NZ On Air and Te Māngai Pāho co-fund.

In total we received 56 new applications across our Scripted, Factual, Platforms and Industry Development streams, seeking $20.7m in NZ On Air funding. We are pleased to support the funding of 28 applications for up to $6.1m.

The full details of all funding decisions are at the end of this newsletter. You can also use the funding decisions search on our website.

The Untold Tales of Tūteremoana

The Untold Tales of Tūteremoana, Sweetshop and Green

Te Māngai Pāho and NZ On Air co-fund

NZ On Air and Te Māngai Pāho have announced funding for a new six episode supernatural anthology series, as well as five incredible projects which will see varying levels of te reo Māori used across a wide variety of programme genres.

The new scripted anthology series will screen during prime time on TVNZ 2, and will explore supernatural stories of Māori, Pasifika, and Filipino cultures. Four of the episodes, From The Mist / Te Pao o te Patupaiarehe, Tappy, Taumanu, and Te Āo Mārama were funded through the NZ On Air and Te Māngai Pāho co-fund. Two of the episodes, Albularyo: The Witch Doctor, and 26:29, were funded through the NZ On Air Newer Storytellers fund.

Read more in our Supernatural Anthology media release here

Te Māngai Pāho and Irirangi Te Motu/NZ On Air co-fund have also announced support for five innovative productions that will engage Aotearoa audiences with a diverse and alternative Māori perspective.

Read more about Gowns and Geysers, The Untold Tales of Tūteremoana, Duality , Hui Hoppers, and Meng in our media release here.

Michelle Ang

Image credit: Leatrice Ching

Pan-Asian Factual RFP

NZ On Air has invested $1.7m in six documentary projects that speak to the diversity of experiences of Pan-Asian peoples in Aotearoa.

The projects were chosen following a call out for high-quality Factual content with a focus on Pan-Asian led creative teams, experiences, and perspectives.

Read more about When Haka Meets Bhangra, The Hustle, Sik Fan Lah!, 1984, Hair Now, and Takeout Kids in our media release here.

Taskmaster NZ

Taskmaster NZ

Three local comedy productions set to bring laughter to Aotearoa audiences

NZ On Air has backed one new feature film and two returning comedy projects to bring more crack-up content to the nation in 2021.

Up to $1.2m has been invested in three productions: Taskmaster NZ 2 , Dox, and the Best Foods Comedy Gala 2021, all of which will showcase the best and brightest of Aotearoa’s comedic talent to prime time audiences.

Read more in our latest media release here.

% expenditure to date

Current round

Given the high percentage of Factual and Scripted funding that has already been allocated in the current financial year, as previously advised, the May 2021 round is considering applications for a limited number of initiatives:

May funding round priorities

  • Factual, Scripted and Music applications to the Youth RFP (up to $2.5m) – RFP Details are here.
  • Factual and Scripted HEIHEI returning series (up to $2m) - Invitation Only - This round will also accept applications for HEIHEI returning series that launched on HEIHEI after the Aug/Sep 2021 Children’s funding round deadline.
  • Development - Our Content Development funds have been fully expended for both supported and diverse development. Therefore, we will not be accepting any Content Development applications in this round.
  • Industry Development applications will be considered as well as new Cultural Sector Capability Funding applications.
  • Platform applications - this is a closed round.

Important dates

18 February 2021 - 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. You must submit a request to register with our online system well in advance of the application deadline day.

18 March 2021, 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 won’t be generous.

5 May 2021 - Decisions confirmed, applicants notified the following day.
This date may be extended at NZ On Air’s sole discretion.

Music update

Music dates

Music funding rounds

2021 has seen a flurry of music funding rounds so far with five different funds cycling through a round in the first two months of the year.

We have so far allocated a further 28 New Music Development grants to producers working with new and emerging artists, seven New Music Project grants for multi-single releases, 21 New Music Pasifika grants for single-based releases from Pacific artists, 15 New Music Kids grants for new music for our tamariki, and a further 36 grants under our New Music Single scheme.

With the additional funding from 2020’s Arts Recovery package we will have more Music funding rounds and a wider range of music grants than ever in 2021. More details on our various music grants can be found here.

Oro - APRA

Oro – Growing a Bilingual Music Industry

APRA NZ have launched their Oro initiative this year partnering with songwriters, broadcasters, funders, record labels and other music entities to support the emergence of a bilingual music industry.

Oro (meaning to resound, resonate or a musical note) is APRA’s strategy as part of a shared music industry approach to increase the repertoire of waiata reo Māori and waiata reorua (bilingual songs).

APRA has launched an online maramataka/calendar to create awareness and opportunity for waiata productions around the country throughout 2021 – check it out here.

On that note, the first funded Waiata Takitahi single through the recent NZ On Air co-fund with Te Māngai Pāho has been completed and released this week – Baby Beat by Aro features on our March NewTracks new NZ music compilation.

15 waiata reo Māori and waiata reorua were funded in the first Waiata Takitahi round in December 2020 and we will be running another round in November this year.

Team update

We have two exciting updates to our staff team to share with you.

We are delighted that Heperi Mita, who joined us last year on a fixed term contract as a Funding Advisor has agreed to join the permanent staff. Hepi will be based in our Auckland office.

We are also thrilled to announce that Ash Wallace has become our Funding Advisor - Music. Ash has been doing a sterling job as our Music Promoter - Content to date.

Meet the team


Assistant Accountant, Luke Campbell

Meet Luke, one of NZ On Air's wonderful Assistant Accountants who has the important job of getting people paid!

Luke joined our team in September of last year and is fundamental in guiding successful funding recipients through our contract, budgeting, and drawdown process.

Whilst day-to-day you'll fund Luke answering questions from funding recipients and processing invoices, in the weekend he's never too far from a beach.

Learn more about Luke and his role at NZ On Air on our Meet The Team page

Funding decisions

Pan-Asian Factual RFP

Sik Fan Lah!, 6 x 23 mins, Phoebe Shum for TVNZ 2, up to $417,364. Translated as ‘come and eat’ in Cantonese, Sik Fan Lah! follows host Xana Tang as she embarks on an Insta-worthy culinary road trip across Aotearoa.

When Haka Meets Bhangra, 1 x 45 mins, Nomadz Unlimited for Māori Television, up to $369,600. A documentary about the unexpected alliance between a group of Māori and Pasifika wāhine and their Sikh coach/mentor who team up to take on the international sport of Kabaddi.

The Hustle, 6 x 22 mins, Notable Pictures for Three, up to $368,633 plus a platform contribution of $96,000. New documentary series The Hustle will explore the lives of millennial, Kiwi Pan-Asian entrepreneurs to find out how they are pushing boundaries on the world stage.

Takeout Kids, 4 x 10 mins, Uhz & Hexwork Productions for The Spinoff, up to $259,974. Observational documentary series Takeout Kids will follow the joys and challenges of children growing up in the back of takeaway restaurants run by their immigrant parents.

1984, 6 x 10 mins, Fire Fire for RNZ, up to $184,288. 1984 is the first New Zealand documentary series about the 1984 Sikh Massacre in India, and the subsequent diaspora that led to an influx of Punjabi/Sikh immigrants into Aotearoa.

Hair Now, 6 x 5 mins, A Grain Of Rice Productions for The Spinoff, up to $107,932. Six women of different ages, ethnicities, languages, religions, and socioeconomic backgrounds examine their complex relationship with their hair.

Te Māngai Pāho and NZ On Air co-fund

Gowns and Geysers, 8 x 12 mins, Te Noni for TVNZ OnDemand and Māori Television, up to $569,580. Follow contestants of Miss Rotorua 2021 as they prepare for one of Aotearoa's most controversial pageants.

The Untold Tales of Tūteremoana, 3 x 26 mins, Sweetshop and Green for Māori Television, up to $294,675. This trilogy of tales draws on parallel stories that cover six generations of oral stories of the Ngāi Tara people, centred around the great chief Tūteremoana.

Duality, 6 x 22 mins, Fire Fire for RNZ and Māori Television, up to $234,488. A raw look at mixed-whakapapa young Māori, between the ages of 18-32, who are on a journey to find their identity.

Hui Hoppers, 7 x 10 mins, Three Feathers Productions for TVNZ OnDemand, up to $567,318. Hui-hopping half-sisters-come-professional hui caterers, Fran and Kura use their prowess in the kitchen to grandstand as self-appointed leaders of their marae in this scripted comedy.

Meng, 1 x 52 mins, Uhz for Māori Television, up to $199,831. This bilingual documentary unpacks one man’s determination to promote the rights of tāngata whenua, while negotiating what this means for himself as tauiwi hainamana with influence in Aotearoa.

Tappy, 1 x 22 mins, Steambox Collective Charitable Trust, up to $500,000. A displaced young man and his reluctant ghostly companion confront love, loss, and abuse on an unlikely road trip together when he is sent to steal a dead body.

From The Mist / Te Pao o te Patupaiarehe, 1 x 22 mins, 10000 Company Ltd, up to $508,055. Two soon-to-be lovers are drawn together by song but divided by the friction between the human world and the world of the Patupaiarehe.

Taumanu, 1 x 22 mins, Sweetshop and Green Ltd, up to $500,836. In 1929, a toi moko is delivered to a colonial manor house and when mysterious Māori twins arrive to reclaim it, the head butler, Tīpene, finds himself drawn into the bloody climax of a century of utu.

Te Āo Mārama, 1 x 22 mins, Brown Sugar Apple Grunt Productions Ltd, up to $546,327. The story of a glamourous, ball-breaking, recently deceased wahine, who threatens to haunt her neighbour if he doesn’t help her pass over to the afterlife.

Newer Storytellers fund

Albularyo: The Witch Doctor, 1 x 22 mins, The Hot House for TVNZ 2, up to $500,057. When a Kiwi-Filipino doctor discovers that her deceased grandmother has become a manananggal, a corrupted witch, she must face up to her troubled youth and make peace with her estranged brother before they both suffer the bloody consequences.

26:29, 1 x 22 mins, Tusitala Media for TVNZ 2, up to $500,000. A group of millennial vloggers enter an abandoned church in Auckland and uncover the truth of its mysterious past in this found footage horror.


Taskmaster NZ 2, 10 x 44 mins, Kevin & Co for TVNZ 2, up to $792,119 plus a platform contribution reduction of $635,040.

Dox, 1 x 90 mins, Piki Films for Three, up to $300,000 plus a platform contribution reduction of $40,000.


Best Foods Comedy Gala 2021, 2 x 66 mins, TVNZ for TVNZ 2, up to $128,212 plus a platform contribution reduction of $102,569.

New Music Development - First Round

Anonymouz, up to $6000

Ben Edwards, up to $6000

Ben Malone, up to $6000

Devin Abrams, up to $6000

Elena Šiljić, up to $6000

Estère Dalton, up to $6000

Graham Gilleberg, up to $6000

James Goldsmith, up to $6000

Joseph Corban-Banks, up to $6000

Josh Naley, up to $6000

Maree Sheehan, up to $6000

Mark Perkins, up to $6000

Marley Sola, up to $6000

Maude Minnie Morris, up to $6000

Noema Te Hau, up to $6000

Peter Ruddell, up to $6000

Rory Noble, up to $6000

Seth Haapu, up to $6000

Simon Oscroft, up to $6000

Sophie Bialostocki, up to $6000

Steven Marr, up to $6000

Struan Finlay, up to $6000

Te Omeka Perkins, up to $6000

Troy Kelly, up to $6000

Will Henderson, up to $6000

Woodcut Productions, up to $6000

New Music Development - Second Round

Abraham Kunin, up to $6000

Alistair Deverick, up to $5500

Ben King, up to $6000

Choice Vaughan, up to $6000

Chris Mu Fai'umu, up to $6000

Dan Martin, up to $6000

Dave Khan, up to $4000

Edyonthebeat, up to $6000

Emily Wheatcroft-Snape, up to $6000

Frank Eliesa, up to $6000

Geoff Ong, up to $5200

Indira Force, up to $5460

Jack Berry, up to $4000

Josh Strand, up to $6000

Malcolm Welsford, up to $6000

Marika Hodgson (Sorrento), up to $6000

Morgan Allen, up to $6000

Neil Baldock, up to $6000

Nik Brinkman, up to $6000

Ryan Fisherman, up to $6000

Sam Johnson, up to $6000

Shannon Matthew Vanya, up to $5992

Simon Gooding, up to $6000

SMOKE, up to $6000

Toby Lloyd, up to $6000

Tom Broome, up to $6000

Will McGillivray, up to $6000

New Music Project

Broods, NicNak Media, up to $40,000

Harry Parsons, Five AM Artists Management, up to $40,000

MAALA, CRS Music Management, up to $40,000

Muroki, CRS Music Management, up to $40,000

Nouri, DRM, up to $37,720

REI, Kog Mastering, up to $40,000

Summer Thieves, Loop Media, up to $40,000

New Music Single - up to $10,000

Alien Weaponry, Buried Underground

And That, Sailing Again

Cody Wave, 100 ft. Jake Murphy

Dateline, Do It Right

Dr. Reknaw, Sunrise Lullaby

Earth Tongue, Imminent Brain

Edy, Cotton Candy ft. Jarna & Sam V


Fazerdaze, Overthink It

GRACE, I'm A Liar

Harry Parsons, Anything

Holly Arrowsmith, Neon

INDYAH, Dynamite

JessB, Waiting Patiently

Kora, Gone

LAIIKA, Any Way You Want It

Lévyne, Losing Sleep

Louisa Nicklin, Moving Slow

Luke-W, U

Mako Road, Helicopter

Mermaidens, Soft Energy

NEKO, Facade

NLC, Good Times

Noah Slee, GOLDEN

Otosan & Shadow Child, Right Here

Pacific Heights, Fronlines ft. Ni/Co

Paddy Echo, The View

Phodiso, War

RAZÉ, Do Me One ft. Omega Levine

Rhombus, Treat You So Right

Rob Ruha, Lost In The Queue ft. Jhaymeān

Shannon Matthew Vanya, It Gets Better ft. Lévyne

Silas Futura, Complusion ft. Tei

Solomon Crook, Rains

There's A Tuesday, Do Our Friends Know?

Tomorrow People, Say My Name

Tree, Even If

Troy Kingi, First Take Strut

Vallé, Swing Low

Waazzoo and the vibes, Juice and Lemonade

Wells*, Therapy Summer

Written By Wolves, Oh No

Waiata Takitahi - Te Māngai Pāho co-fund - up to $14,000

Anna Coddington, Mana-Wā-Hine

Aro, Baby Beat

Ed Waaka, Āhuru Mōwai

Emily Rice, Kanohi ki te Kanohi

Eno x Dirty, Utu

House Of Misfits, Tā Te Manawa

Lion Rezz, Waikato

Louis Baker, Kapakapa

Matiu Walters and Bic Runga, Nōu te Hē

Modern Māori Quartet ft. Mahuia Bridgman-Cooper and Bic Runga, Kei Roto Te Ahi - Into The Flames

Rob Ruha ft. Ka Hao, Taka Rawa

Seth Haapu, Whai Ora

Tomorrow People, Oku Ra

Tyna Keelan, And I Know

Waimārama Reo Songhubs Whānau, Āio Nuku

New Music Pasifika - up to $10,000

Adam Snow, Maybe Lean

Diggy Dupé, Nesian

Disciple Pati, Serious

Elias, Don't Stop

Ezra Phoenix, Oxygen Tank

Hawkins, Lost Ones

Kenzie From Welly, No Hype ft. Poetik

La Coco, Gone

Lani Alo, Tua I Manū

Liana Frangipani, Cruisin' Part 1

LIVELY, Climbing

Mikey Mayz, Lost

Noah, Dancing In The Sun

OZKI BAND, Si Ona Paopao

Ponifasio Samoa & Junior Soqeta, Can't Wait

Samson Squad, Kiaku (To Me)

Soul Brow, Fire ft. Kabin Bread Boyz

TREE, No Fear ft. Junior Soqeta

Vallé, 675 ft. STNDRD

Victor J Sefo, My Baby


New Music Kids - up to $10,000

Anna van Riel, Christmas in NZ (You're For Me)

Captain Festus McBoyle, Wot the Cat Dragged In

Chris Lam Sam, Silly Funny Songs for Kids! 2

Claudia Robin Gunn, Sing Your Feelings

Deano Yipadee, The Singing Author Album collection

fleaBITE, My Teeth

Gerry Paul, We All Got Bones/Magic of the Circus

Itty Bitty Beats, Itty Bitty Bubbles EP

Jackie B and the Mini Band, Back In Time

Jaqualyn Taimana Williams, Waiata Tamariki

Judi Cranston, Grandad’s Farm

Kath Bee, The Teddy Bear Team

Loopy Tunes Preschool Music, Papatūānuku

Music With Michal, Good Morning and Good Night

The Kane & Regan Show, The KaRs

Industry Development

Pacific Music Awards 2021, Pacific Music Awards Trust, up to 24,000

Voyager Media Awards 2021, Newspaper Publishers' Association, up to 15,000

NZ Web Fest 2021, NZ Web Fest, up to 10,000

WeCreate 2021, WeCreate Incorporated, up to 10,000

Drawing Science x Illustrators Workshop, Hex Work, up to 48,500

Eyes On The Prize, Script To Screen, up to 134,563