A note from the CEO

Jane 2018_edited.jpg

Jane Wrightson, CEO

We've wrapped up our final funding round of the year spending pretty much every last cent of our available budget (with a couple of projects in the wings you will hear about soon.) As always we had more excellent proposals seeking funding than we could support, so choosing was done very carefully.

It was the annual funding round for Platforms, to confirm operating funding for 2019/20. Knowing how hard it has become for a number of services to maintain their outputs on constrained funds, we examined budgets (ours and the platforms) extremely closely. By re-prioritising some funds we have been able to offer modest increases to several platforms. We value the platforms we support - and hope those who missed out on increases can understand the competing tensions we are trying to balance.

At the May meeting we farewelled Board member Stuart McLauchlan who leaves us at the end of May. We are indebted to Stuart for his wise input and expert guidance as Chair of our Audit and Risk Committee. We also welcomed to the Board lawyer Linda Clark who, as a former broadcaster, is no stranger to most of you. Also announced this month is Philip Broughton (Ngai Tahu / Kahungunu) from a Dunedin accountancy firm, who joins us from 1 June.

Today we are releasing, along with Creative NZ, the outcome of research into the sustainability of careers in the arts. A Profile of Creative Professionals is based on surveys of a range of people who earned income from their creative pursuits in the year to March 2018. It is sobering reading. Along with the full research report, NZ On Air has released a discussion document for our industry. We intend to continue to consider what interventions and levers we have at our disposal to ensure sustainable careers are possible in our sectors. It is important not only for the well-being of the individuals, but also to ensure a diverse range of people can contribute to content creation, so that we can authentically represent New Zealand in that content.

Finally, since our last funding newsletter was early March, I want to acknowledge everyone who responded to the events of March 15 in Christchurch with excellent public media content. Too much to list in one place today but thank you to the Access Radio people who created programmes to inform and enlighten; to Frank Films for thoughtful video content in the Changing South series; to TVNZ for the live coverage of the memorial service; to MediaWorks for the Aroha Nui concert broadcast; to Able for going above and beyond to provide captions for extra programming; and to Radio NZ and other NZ media news teams for the outstanding coverage throughout the attacks, and the aftermath. It was an exceptional effort from everyone. Tino pai.

Ngā mihi nui


Draft Factual Roadmap for feedback

Thanks to the excellent contributions of the attendees at our Factual Summit in March we are well on the way to defining a direction for our investments in Factual content.

Today we have published a draft Factual Roadmap - below. The roadmap is intended to inform applicants about our priorities with Factual investments, and guide our assessors in weighing up competing applications. Last year we published a Scripted Roadmap and a Development Roadmap from a similar process.


We welcome your feedback on the draft Factual Roadmap by 4pm Friday 31 May.

Please send your feedback to hilaire@nzonair.govt.nz

We intend to publish the final version of this roadmap in time to implement it from 1 July 2019.

NZ Media Fund update

May round overview

May was our final round of the 2018/2019 financial year, meaning remaining funding was limited. With this in mind, we refined the scope of our round, seeking only applications for general Scripted content and for content to commemorate Tuia Encounters 250.

The full list of funded content from this round is at the end of this newsletter.

flat 3

Flat 3 Productions


NZ On Air is thrilled to support two new Scripted projects, Creamerie and Cousins, which are both led by women creatives.

Creamerie is a new dystopian comedy series for TVNZ made by the successful producer/writer team behind Flat 3 and Friday Night Bites.

Cousins, a feature film based on the seminal novel by celebrated Māori author Patricia Grace, has also been funded in our May round. The screenplay will be written by Patricia Grace and her daughter-in-law Briar Grace-Smith. Cousins is a Rautaki Māori project.

Raupapa Whakaari

We were excited to announce last week the ten series ideas to win $10,000 each in development funding from the Raupapa Whakaari initiative, a collaboration between NZ on Air and the NZ Film Commission.

Raupapa Whakaari: Drama to the World, will support each writer/producer team to develop distinctive, high-end scripted series with both international and local appeal. Each team will also attend a Series Drama Lab, held in conjunction with Script to Screen, where international advisors will give feedback to assist the teams to further develop their concepts. Following the Series Drama Lab and submission of the re-worked projects, four teams will be selected to receive additional development funding of up to NZ$80,000.

Tuia 250

Four thought-provoking new projects exploring stories of voyage have been funded to support the Tuia 250 commemorations which acknowledges 250 years since the first sustained onshore meetings between Māori and Europeans.

We received 11 applications in responses to our special request for proposals.

The supported projects include live coverage of the Tuia 250 ki Tūranga festival to ensure New Zealanders everywhere can observe this landmark occasion, and another which embraces honest discussions about racism in Aotearoa today.

Kea Kids News
Kids News

Did you catch the latest news for kids? As we approach the one year mark since the launch of our ad-free children's platform HEIHEI with TVNZ , we announced funding for an exciting kids news project.

Created by Luke Nola and Friends, Kea Kids News will provide a kid’s view of current affairs, helping our tamariki to understand the world around them and become informed young citizens.

The project will deliver seven minute audio-visual news bulletins twice a week on the online children’s platform HEIHEI and in a new dedicated kids news page on Stuff. The young reporters from around the country will be mentored by Stuff journalists.

Kea Kids News has been funded as a pilot from the one-off additional funding allocated to NZ On Air in the 2018 Budget.

July round

July is the first round of the new financial year and we expect to receive a large number of applications. In response to feedback received from producers and platforms we intend to cap the Factual and Scripted funding committed in this round to ensure funds remain for later rounds.

  • Factual genres prioritised for this round include Documentary, Information, Events and Regional Media. Approximately $9m has been allocated for content intended for general audiences.
  • Scripted applications for two of the investment strands (Premier and Sustainable) of our Scripted Roadmap will be considered. Approximately $16m has been allocated for content intended for general audiences.
  • The July round coincides with our HEIHEI content funding round. Producers intending to make a proposal for content for which HEIHEI is the only platform must submit their two page-pitch before 30 May.

Applications for projects intended for targeted audiences (with the exception of Regional Media) will not be considered – these will be considered in the September round (deadline 8 August).

The July round closes on 30 May 2019.

Full round information is available below.

Music update

Music Month

NZ Music Month

May is officially NZ Music Month. The theme this year is ‘Discover Live’. In particular 31 May is ‘Love Your Local Venue Day’ and we are encouraging as many people as possible to get out and enjoy live New Zealand music.

In support of NZ Music Month, our Head of Music David Ridler hit the road for the ‘Going Local’ seminar series along with representatives from Recorded Music NZ, NZ Music Commission, Music Managers Forum, APRA, Independent Music NZ, Bandcamp and local artists in Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin. The series is a way to connect with artists and managers and share knowledge, insight and tips about the current music industry including building a fanbase and 'getting your music out there'.

The final Going Local seminar in this series will be in Auckland on Tuesday 28 May.

Music live

Get out and enjoy live NZ music this month!

Listen to Aotearoa All Day

If you want a simple playlist solution to immerse yourself in NZ music all day then check our mighty Aotearoa All Day playlist. Play it as is or shuffle it up for more kiwi musical goodness than you can shake a buzzy bee at! It’ll last you more than an 8-hour work day and you’ll discover (and rediscover) some absolute NZ music gems.

2018/19 Projects funded

In this financial year we supported 39 new multi-single Projects through our New Music Project scheme. Artists supported this year included Aldous Harding, Nadia Reid, Bailey Wiley, Yoko-Zuna, BAYNK, Reb Fountain, Jon Lemmon, Tiny Ruins, LEISURE, Marlon Williams, Matthew Young, Church & AP, Fazerdaze, Cymbol, Tami Neilson, Lawrence Arabia and many more.

Project funding is aimed at artists with an established track record who have the support of a third party NZ music company to assist with their release. We also offer New Music Single funding which supports 130 Single recordings, visual content and promotion for a wide range of different songs and artists across the year, and which doesn’t require third-party support.

Meet the team


Sophie Howard, Communications Assistant

Sophie is our Communications Assistant and resident social media guru.

Sophie joined the NZ On Air team in March 2018 - she's the person in charge of making New Zealanders aware of all the fantastic local content available to them.

When she's not busy working away on the website Sophie can be found scrolling through Instagram, Facebook and Twitter (for work, she swears.)

Find out more about Sophie here

Funding decisions

Tuia 250 content

Tuia 250 Live, 1 x 180 mins, Pango Productions for TVNZ 1 & Māori Television, up to $591,195. A live broadcast of the Tuia 250 ki Tūranga Festival, presented by John Campbell and Stacey Morrison.

Waka, 6 x 12 mins, Tawera Productions for E-Tangata & NZ Herald, up to $157,600. Four master carvers build four waka of their traditional style to welcome the Tuia 250 Flotilla when they arrive at Waitangi, our nation’s birthplace.

Re: discovering Aotearoa, 8 x 8 mins video content + 8 x 35 mins podcast, TVNZ for Re: up to $78,025. A multimedia series looking at how modern relationships mirror our nation’s first meeting of cultures and what we can learn for our shared future.

After White Guilt, 7 x 6 mins, Nia Phipps for NZ Herald, up to $139,452. A web-series telling the stories of New Zealanders who are reflecting on their colonial heritage, and taking action against racism.

General Factual

Loimata – Sweet Tears, 1 x 90 mins, Anna Marbrook Productions for Māori Television, up to $180,000. The story of traditional waka builder and ocean captain Ema Siope who in the final months of her life seeks to heal her family from systemic abuse.

Children's News RFP

Kea Kids News, 86 x 7 mins, Luke Nola & Friends for HEIHEI, up to $1,000,000. A children's news program that will provide NZ tamariki with a way to understand the world around them.


You Are Us / Aroha Nui, 1 x 270 mins, Mediaworks TV for Three, up to $200,000. Live coverage of Aroha Nui, You Are Us, a concert to raise funds and bring people together following the March 15th attack.

National Remembrance Service, 1 x 90 mins, TVNZ for TVNZ 1, up to $49,052. Live coverage of the National Remembrance Service held to pay respects to the victims of the March 15th attack.

Smoke Free Rock Quest & Tangata Beats, 77 x 2 mins, Rockquest Promotions for WatchMe, up to $50,000. Meet the nation's best young musicians as they battle it out for a places in the Smokefreerockquest and Smokefree Tangata Beats national finals.

The Red Carpet Attitude Awards 2019, 1 x 59 mins, Attitude Pictures for TVNZ 1, up to $84,100. Coverage of the 2019 Attitude Awards which celebrate the achievements of New Zealanders living with disabilities.



Creamerie, 6 x 22 mins, Flat3 Productions for TVNZ 2, up to $1,733,889. After a viral plague has wiped out 99% of men, 3 Kiwi-Asian dairy farmers suddenly encounter a man after 8 years of abs(tin)ence.

Cousins, 1 x 100 mins, Miss Conception Films for Māori Television, up to $200,000. Connected by blood but separated by circumstances, three cousins spend a lifetime in search of each other.

Raupapa Whakaari - Development

(*Not Her Real Name), Pip Hall, Carmen J Leonard and Deborah Cope, up to $10,000.

All of Me, Daniel Musgrove, Natalie Medlock, Shoshana McCallum and Peter Salmon, up to $10,000.

Chasing Pure, Carey James Carter, Gavin Strawhan, Rachel Lang and Steven Ivan Zanoski, up to $10,000.

Dreamhunter, Roxane Gajadhar and Angela Littlejohn, up to $10,000.

Drunk Poetry, Briar Grace-Smith, Victor Roger and Desray Armstrong, up to $10,000

O, Donna Malane, Paula Boock and Carthew Neal, up to $10,000.

Rockburn, Hannah Marshall, David de Lautour, Gareth Williams and Kelly Martin, up to $10,000.

Ruatoria, Kath Akuhuta Brown, Greg McGee, Philippa Rennie and Robin Scholes, up to $10,000.

The Different Girl, Alison Maclean and Philippa Campbell, up to $10,000.

The Harder They Fall, Matthew Saville, Luke Sharpe and Gerard Johnstone, up to $10,000.

New Music - Projects

Chores, NicNak Media, up to $22,000

Church & AP, MTCO Limited, up to $22,000

Estere, Saint Lachine, up to $30,000

LA Women, Richmond Music, up to $20,520

Sons Of Zion, Sony Music Entertainment, up to $30,000

Industry Development 2019

NZTV Awards, J & A Productions, up to $60,000

NZ Music Month Summit, Music Managers Forum, up to $2,000

NZ Game Developers Conference, NZ Game Developers Association, up to $10,000

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

Yami Sounz Summit, Lake Wanaka Sounz Incorporated, up to $3,000

You're The Future Of Music Seminars & Workshops, MTCO Limited, up to $5,000

Platforms 2019/20

National Pacific Radio Trust, National Pacific Radio Trust, up to $3,950,000

Samoa Capital Radio, Siufofoga O Le Laumua Trust, up to $190,000

NZ On Screen and Audioculture, Digital Media Trust, up to $1,193,000

Access Radio Taranaki, Access Radio Taranaki Trust, up to $200,000

Arrow FM, Access Radio Wairarapa Charitable Trust, up to $150,000

Coast Access Radio, Coast Access Radio Trust, up to $155,000

Free FM, Waikato Community Broadcasting, up to $250,000

Fresh FM, Tasman Broadcasting Trust, up to $180,000

Manawatu People's Radio, Manawatu Access Radio Charitable Trust, up to $184,000

Otago Access Radio, Hills Radio Trust, up to $178,000

Planet FM 104.6, Access Community Radio Auckland, up to $250,000

Radio Kidnappers, Radio Kidnappers Charitable Trust, up to $200,000

Radio Southland, Southland Community Broadcasters Charitable Trust, up to $185,000

Wellington Access Radio 106.1FM, Wellington Access Broadcasting Society, up to $235,000

AIR Project, Waikato Community Broadcasting, up to $67,512

Plains FM, The Canterbury Communications Trust, up to $235,000

95BFM, Campus Radio BFM, up to $220,000

Radio Active, Radio Active FM, up to $140,000

Radio Control, Radio Control 99.4FM, up to $75,000

Radio One, Radio One 91 FM, up to $120,000

RDU 98.5FM, RDU 98.5FM, up to $140,000

TV Captioning and Audio Description, Media Access Charitable Trust (Able), up to $2,950,000