A note from the CEO

Cameron Harland

Cameron Harland, CEO

Just under two months ago, on what was officially Day 4 in the job for me, we all packed up and headed home to set up our home offices and begin what would be the most extraordinary period in our work lives.

Next week NZ On Air, like many other workplaces, will begin a tentative transition back to the office. Our staff will work in two 'bubbles' - on any given day half in the office and half at home for the next wee while. We won't be conducting any face to face meetings just yet, but as always we are just a phone call/email/zoom meeting away if you need us.

It has been heartening to see funded productions getting back to work too; some even managed to continue working in limited ways through the lockdown period. Please ensure as you return to work that you follow all the rules, and keep everyone on site safe. This isn't over yet.

We know the media, production and music sectors still face significant challenges. We have been hard out advocating for you to the highest levels. In yesterday's Budget there was a four year funding boost for the crucial public media platforms we fund (aside from RNZ). Read more about this below. We are also encouraged by news that there are more announcements coming for the Arts and Media sectors to address the impacts of Covid-19.

For now, we believe that the most important things we can do are keep the funding flowing, and be flexible to your needs. We won't be able to help in every instance but we will try.

To this end, we recently released a survey asking producers to let us know the impacts to their productions of Covid-19. We encourage you to complete the survey if you have not already done so. We will show flexibility around delivery deadlines, drawdowns and deliverables. We also understand that in some cases shooting within current restrictions may bring additional challenges.

Two Premier productions have been particularly affected by the recent times. Black Hands and Westside 6 were both filming when the lockdown took effect. For a range of reasons they have faced considerable additional expenses during the lockdown and in preparing to get back up and running. After careful consideration of all options by management and the Board additional funding was approved to ensure our significant investment to date in these productions was not jeopardised and they can be completed.

I want to be clear that this is a last resort option, and we do not expect a flood of applications for additional funding. But the first step as always is to talk through your issues with someone from our team.

Finally, it is NZ Music Month and never has it been more important to show our support for local music artists. They're doing it tough right now due to the cancellation of gigs up down the country. Again, we are doing what we can to keep funding flowing for the recording of new music and promoting the heck out of local songs. Please do your part by buying local music (online or physical) and merchandise. We really look forward to a resurgence of local music when the gig industry is back up and running!

Kia kaha


New investment

We are delighted with the Budget 2020 announcement we will receive $6.25m more each year over the next four years to increase the operational funding for vital public media platforms.

These services provide important connection for New Zealand audiences that are not well-served by the mainstream. We have been very aware for some time that these services need more support, and that has only become even more acute in recent weeks.

You can read more about this new funding in our media release.

The funding decisions for Platforms at the end of this newsletter were taken prior to this Budget 2020 increase being announced. We will be considering where the most pressures are being felt and looking at options before a decision on how to allocate the additional Platforms funding. There will be a further announcement on this soon.

NZ Media Fund update

Our May round was the last for the financial year, meaning our funding was limited and applications to the round were restricted.

In total, we received 63 applications across Factual and Scripted, Platforms and IDF seeking just over $30m in NZ On Air funding. We are pleased to announce the funding of 44 applications for up to $16.8m.

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.


Scratched, The Spinoff


In April NZ On Air fast-tracked seven new factual projects from fresh storytellers to ensure a pipeline of work for the production sector post-lockdown.

Among the mix were stories traversing disability, issues from a youth perspective, the aftermath of disaster, and the lasting legacy of a significant NZ cultural and political event. Read more in the May Factual media release here.

Kea Kids News

Kea Kids News, Stuff NZ

Returning kids series

Our May round saw $2.7m invested in the renewal of seven entertaining and educational shows for tamariki, including the much-loved Kea Kids News.

Kea Kids News 2 will continue to give a voice to curious young reporters across the nation, empowering them to become involved by engaging young citizens with topical stories about their world.

New seasons also coming to HEIHEI include George and Me 3: Saving Lives, Kitchen Science 2, Tales Of Nai Nai 2 and many more great local titles. Read more in the May Children's media release here.

Dai's House Party

Dai's House Party, Three

Rapid Response RFP

On 1 April we released a Rapid Response RFP to serve an immediate need for content creators, as well as commercial media platforms that had experienced large reductions in advertising revenue due to Covid-19.

This RFP was intended to create fast turn-around content that could be made and distributed safely during Level 4. We received a whopping 112 applications seeking a combined total of $5.6 million.

Nine creative teams were given the green light to create fresh new content. Six of the nine projects have now launched and have not only kept New Zealand audiences entertained during lockdown, but also provided crucial work for creatives during a time in which the local production sector ground, mostly, to a halt.

You can enjoy these projects through our Watch and Listen page now.

NZ Media Fund

The below graph indicates the expenditure to date.

% expenditure to date

Current Round

July is the first round of the new financial year and we expect to receive a large number of applications.

Given the widespread impacts that Covid-19 is having on the sector, for the July round we will be prioritising larger-scale drama productions that will give sizeable crews assurance of work, and balancing this with support for a range of Factual projects at different budget levels that might more easily be made in different Alert Levels.

Please read the full July 2020 round information for applicants - Scripted, Factual, Industry Development Fund here.

July funding round priorities:


  • Genres prioritised include Documentary, Information, and Events.
  • We will also be considering a small number of previously-supported Regional Media projects in a closed round.
  • Approximately $10m has been allocated for content intended for general audiences.
  • Development applications for complex Factual projects that require significant research and that are co-funded by the supporting platform will be accepted in this round.


  • Scripted applications for the Premier strand of our Scripted Roadmap will be considered.
  • Approximately $17.5m has been allocated for content intended for general audiences.
  • Development applications for Scripted content development (Mainstream and Diverse) will be considered. Please see the Development Roadmap.

Industry Development Fund

  • To this round we are accepting applications to all three strands of our Industry Development Fund: Professional Development, National Conferences and National Awards.
  • The annual budget for this fund is $450k and is generally oversubscribed so there will be a high bar for new projects to secure funding.
  • Please see our Development Roadmap for more information.

HEIHEI only round information

We will once again be running our assessment of HEIHEI video content proposals over two funding rounds in 2020. Please read the full round information for applicants - HEIHEI only here.

Music update

New Music Pasifika

New Music Pasifika

Our second ever New Music Pasifika round is currently open for artists of Pacific descent with new music that they would like to get to a bigger audience via broadcast and online platforms.

This round was enabled by extra investment from Budget 2019. We have partnered with the Pacific Music Awards Trust and Pacific Media Network to provide expertise and support for applicants and recipients.

The round closes at 4pm next Thursday 21 May, more details can be found here.

Pacific Music Awards nominees

We’re also partnering again with the forthcoming Pacific Music Awards 2020 as a sponsor for three categories - Radio Airplay Awards, Streaming Awards and Best Pacific Music Video.

It’s really encouraging to note that three of our 2019 New Music Pasifika funding recipients have been nominated for awards this year – Disciple Pati, Lani Alo and Mikey Mayz.

It’s also great to see a record number of entries for the awards! Congrats to all Awards nominees this year.

For more info and the latest updates on the Pacific Music Awards visit their website.

Troy Kingi

Taite Music Prize

Troy Kingi and his band The Upperclass won the 2020 Taite Music Prize for the album Holy Colony Burning Acres, a popular choice amongst an outstanding set of shortlisted albums this year.

Also honoured at the online ceremony last week were Shona Laing for Independent Music Classic Record, music journalism legend Murray Cammick ONZM for Independent Spirit, and the Auckland Live Best Independent Debut went to Dunedin artist Millie Lovelock for her album as Repulsive Woman.

NZ On Air is a proud official partner of the Taite Music Prize which has been running since 2010.

If you haven’t caught up on the Taite Music Prize ceremony you can still watch it on YouTube here.

NZ music month

New Zealand Music Month 2020

It’s halfway through NZ Music Month already and we are pleased to see so much activity and support for our incredible New Zealand music artists across a wide range of media platforms. The theme this year is Support Local and it’s something we certainly take pride in doing each and every day.

NZ On Air has been celebrating a series of Iconic Albums from the last 20 years (since NZ Music Month began) across our social media - throwing back to records from the likes of Goodshirt, Aaradhna, David Dallas, Shapeshifter, Che Fu, Gin Wigmore, Brooke Fraser, Tiki Taane, Fazerdaze and more. One NZ album is profiled every day throughout this month so make sure you follow us on Instagram or Facebook to get your daily Iconic Album fix!

Getting back to work


New Screensafe Standards and Protocols

With the transition into Level 2 we know that many of you will be gearing up to return to full production. To ensure the safety of your cast and crew against Covid-19, new Standards and Protocols have been produced by Screensafe and endorsed by WorkSafe.

Please ensure you read the Screensafe Covid-19 Health and Safety Standards and the Screensafe Covid-19 Health and Safety Protocols.

Each production company needs to create your own individualised Health and Safety plan and Site Plans particular to your requirements and each site on which you intend to shoot.

Every production, regardless of size or scale, is expected to submit the registration form to ScreenSafe - please read about these requirements carefully in the Protocols. The website for registration is www.screensafe.co.nz/covid19/registration

In addition, NZ On Air’s expectations for funded productions returning to work are:

  • You must understand the Screensafe standards and protocols, and have developed a H & S plan for operating under the current Alert Level
  • Then discuss your H & S plan with your supporting platforms, and receive the platform’s approval of your plan
  • Inform NZ On Air of your intention to resume work, and have assured us that you have the primary platform’s approval of the H & S plan.

Positive stories from our sector

If the last few weeks have proved anything, it's that New Zealand's creative community is incredibly resilient and innovative when it comes to working out ways to keep production flowing.

If you have been working during the lockdown, or are preparing to return to production, we would love to hear from you! That way we can spread the good news and highlight the strength of our sector.

So as and when you have approved plans to get back to work please let our comms team know, and maybe send images and a quick video of you and your crew doing your thing.

On screen sessions

On Screen Sessions

Join On Screen Sessions, a series of 11 webinars held every Tuesday and Thursday for six weeks from 5 May, to hear industry experts discuss a range of topics currently top of mind for screen businesses.

Each webinar will be facilitated by Felicity Letcher – Auckland screen business owner and Screen Sector COVID‑19 Action Group Chair – and at the end of each session, you’ll have the opportunity to ask all your burning questions.You can catch up on previous sessions here.

National Treasures

National Treasures

TVNZ is calling for New Zealanders to scour their homes in search of treasures, objects, and taonga that have special significance to New Zealand and our history.

National Treasures will explore New Zealand’s recent history; the weird, the wonderful, the hidden and the controversial, and Kiwis are encouraged to submit their own historical objects, alongside their personal story, to feature in the series.

Submitting an entry is easy. Simply upload a couple of photos to the website www.nationaltreasures.co.nz and share your personal story on how the object links to New Zealand’s special history.

National Treasures is being made by Pango Productions and is funded through the NZ On Air / Te Māngai Pāho Factual Co-fund.

NZTV Awards

TV Awards

The New Zealand Television Awards are returning in 2020, albeit a little different to usual!

The Craft and Gala awards ceremonies will now be merged into one, with the NZTV Awards winners ceremony broadcast on the NZTV Awards website in November. In light of this move to digital, the NZTV Awards team have reduced the entry fee to $75 + GST per submission.

It's more important than ever to celebrate all the achievements of our screen industry, many of who have been hugely impacted by the restrictions put in place to help eliminate COVID-19 in Aotearoa.

Check out the key dates and registration on the NZTV Awards website here.

Meet the team


Meet Ash, our Music Promoter and resident muso!

Ash runs the promotions side of NZ On Air Music, helping connect great New Zealand music with platforms, media and New Zealand audiences.

When she's not creating content for our social media channels, putting together our monthly NewTracks compilation or keeping artists up-to-date with funding opportunities, Ash can be found performing as one half of the Auckland-based pop duo Foley.

Learn more about Ash and her role at NZ On Air on our Meet The Team page here.

Funding decisions


Young And…, 6 x 20 mins, TVNZ for TVNZ On Demand, up to $350,000. A new strand of compelling documentaries about young Kiwis and the issues that matter to them.

Inside Out, 20 x 3 mins, Attitude Pictures for AttitudeLive.com, up to $205,624. A community-led webseries for AttitudeLive allowing those with a disability to tell their own stories.

Cry Of Whakaari, 1 x 44 mins, Run Lola Productions for Three, up to $203,605. A prime time documentary focused on the aftermath of the deadly Whakaari/White island eruption in December 2019.

Scratched: Aotearoa’s Lost Sporting Legends 2, 6 x 10 mins, The Spinoff for The Spinoff, up to $203,532. From tennis champions to dance craze inventors, Scratched celebrates NZ sporting heroes who never got their due - but whose legacy deserves to be in lights.

Hikoi: Long Shadow Of The March, 7 x 8 mins, Hinge Productions for Newsroom, up to $199,863. The stories of seven women who walked in the 1975 land march led by the late Dame Whina Cooper.

Sex And Prejudice, 5 x 4 mins and 5 x 20 mins, Notable Pictures for RNZ, up to $173,404. Exploding in a tangle of sex, race and prejudice, this multimedia project asks are we giving prejudice a free pass when it comes to our love lives?

The Red Carpet Attitude Awards 2020, 1 x 44 mins, Attitude Pictures for TVNZ 1, up to $144,815. The Attitude Awards acknowledge the success and achievements of people who live with disabilities.

Children's content

Kea Kids News 2, 66 x 7 mins, Luke Nola & Friends for Stuff and HEIHEI, up to $1,000,000. News by kids, for kids from the far North to the far South of New Zealand and all the places in between.

Tales Of Nai Nai 2, 10 x 10 mins, Becky Kuek for HEIHEI, up to $500,000. Chinese-New Zealand twins Maggie and Michael who go on amazing adventures all over Asia through their grandmother's magical stories.

Jandal Burn 2, 10 x 5 mins, Mukpuddy for HEIHEI, up to $308,900. Follow the misadventures of Puku (the kiwi) and Kev (the kiwifruit) who live above a jandal store.

Creepy Crawly Cooking, 6 x 15 mins, Gibson Group for HEIHEI, up to $249,000. Follow entomologist Morgane Merien and her team of Junior Bug Chefs on their mission to take the creepy out of cooking with insects!

Kitchen Science 2, 18 x 6 mins, Greenstone TV for HEIHEI, up to $239,967. An educational show using fun and simple science experiments performed in a kitchen.

The Adventures Of Tinka Lalala And The Magic Moana, 10 x 4 mins, Tikilounge Productions for HEIHEI, up to $207,500. Tinka and her band of musical friends use their passion and talents to work together to solve some of the mysteries of the Moana.

George And Me 3: Saving Lives, 7 x 2 mins, Attitude Pictures for HEIHEI, up to $205,260. Come along on a journey through the weird and wonderful human body with George and his friend Me.

Brain Busters (additional), 150 x 25 mins, Whitebait Productions for TVNZ 2, up to $75,000.

Rapid Response RFP

House Party, 6 x 22 mins, Kevin & Co for Three, up to $250,383. Host Dai Henwood brings together a bunch of local comedians performing sketches, stand-up routines and much bubble-based silliness from their own lockdown locations.

You Got This!, 8 x 26 mins, Warner Bros NZ for TVNZ 2, up to $139,971. Prime time family entertainment show pitting four kiwi whanau against each other in a challenge to make objects from materials found within their ‘bubbles’.

INSiDE, 8 x 12 mins, Floating Boy for Prime, up to $92,901. A scripted dramedy series about a self-isolating tech-savvy loner who finds herself called upon to become a hero… but nothing is what it seems.

Sound Check, 5 x 3 mins, Four and Five Films for Re: News, up to $59,000. A webseries checking in on five music artists who were on the verge of a breakthrough when lockdown hit.

Artist in Residence, 10 x 15’ to The Pantograph Punch Trust Board for The Pantograph Punch, up to $54,600. A podcast series created in collaboration with 10 New Zealand artists. Each episode will explore themes of isolation and connection.

Minoi!Minoi!, 22 x 3 mins, Tikilounge Productions for the Coconet.tv, up to $48,575. A series of videos for Pacific audiences providing cultural learning, comedy, exercise and nutrition tips.

48Hours Lockdown, 1 x 44 mins + 17 x 3’ mins, Timpson Films for TVNZ 2 & The Spinoff, up to $35,000. The annual 48Hours filmmaking challenge just got harder – the films all have to be made in lockdown.

Wild Eyes Covid Missions, 2 x 2 mins, POP Film for NZ Herald, up to $19,140. Wild Eyes uses screens to get kids off screens and engaged with nature, in lockdown and beyond.

The Night Shift, 5 x 6 mins, Stuff for Stuff, up to $4,316. An experienced journalist and photojournalist introduce us to the people who work through the night, exploring a range of workers through a first-person narrative.

RNZ / NZ On Air Joint Innovation Fund

The Service, 5 x 40 mins, RNZ for RNZ, up to $20,000. The story of John Daniell's childhood family home becoming a base for SIS internal NZ operations in Wellington.

Conversations With My Immigrant Parents 2, 8 x 30 mins, Uhz t/a Wayfr for RNZ, up to $103,133. A podcast and video webseries in which immigrant whānau have frank conversations about love, ancestry, home, food, expectation and acceptance.

The Citizen's Handbook Election Special, 3 x 8 mins, Kevin & Co for RNZ, up to $67,866. An Election Special to prepare young people for voting in the 2020 General Election and the two associated referenda.


Westside 6 (additional Covid-19) South Pacific Pictures for Three, up to $444,640

Black Hands (additional Covid-19) Warner Bros. Int TV Production NZ for TVNZ 1, up to $360,580

Educators 2 (additional episodes), South Pacific Pictures for TVNZ OnDemand, up to $10,000


New Music Project

Church & AP, MTCO Limited, up to 30,000

Flamingo Pier, Success Ain't Limited, up to 30,000

Fly My Pretties, Loop Media, up to 30,000

Jupiter Project, DRM/Jupiter Republic, up to 22,000

L.A.B, Loop Media, up to 30,000

Leisure, Goldie Management, up to 30,000

Lontalius, MTCO Limited, up to 30,000

Merk, Heartstop Music, up to $10,000

Raiza Biza, Great Things, up to 30,000

Sachi, Richmond Music, up to 30,000

Toi, NicNak Media, up to 22,000

Troy Kingi, AAA Records, up to $22,000

New Music Single

Alien Weaponry, Tangaroa, up to $8,000

Ashy, Ego, up to $8,000

Ben Woods, Body Rhyme, up to $8,000

Cassie Henderson, Burns Brighter, up to $8,000

Chaii, Night Owl, up to $8,000

Death And The Maiden, Waratah, up to $8,000

Fade The Public, Unfair ft. PNC & PT, up to $8,000

Hans Pucket, Bankrupt, up to $8,000

Israel Starr, Beat You Down, up to $8,000

Jamie McDell, Dream Team, up to $8,000

Louis Baker, Overdrive, up to $8,000

Mick, Better ft. Wells, up to $8,000

Milly Tabak & The Miltones, Honest Woman, up to $8,000

0800, Instant Stimulation, up to $8,000

Pacific Heights, 405 ft. Chaii & Kings, up to $8,000

Prins, Magnetic, up to $8,000

Team Dynamite, Dragonfruit ft. Louis Baker, up to $8,000

The Beths, Not Getting Excited, up to $8,000

Troy Kingi, All Your Ships Have Sailed, up to $8,000

Villette, Curious, up to $8,000

Zac Taylor, Stay In The Night, up to $8,000

Anthonie Tonnon, Entertainment, up to $8,000

Chubby Fly, Rei & Rokse Tha G, Blessed, up to $8,000

Earth Tongue, Astonishing Comet, up to $8,000

JessB, Pon It, up to $8,000

Kora, Secret Lover, up to $8,000

Connor Mac, See Through, up to $8,000

Ryan Fisherman, Observation, up to $8,000

Mo Muse, Flying, up to $8,000

Platforms 2020/21

HEIHEI Games, Gamefroot, up to $142,833

HEIHEI, TVNZ, up to $527,715

Voxpops, Kinga Voxpop Limited, up to $48,600

Radio Active Capital Fund, Radio Active FM, up to $3,450

Radio Control Capital Fund, Massey University Students Association, up to $1,500

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 $1,399,102

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

Arrow FM, Access Radio Wairarapa Charitable Trust, up to $160,000

Coast Access Radio, Coast Access Radio Trust, up to $160,000

Free FM, Waikato Community Broadcasting, up to $267,000

Fresh FM, Tasman Broadcasting Trust, up to $195,000

Manawatu People's Radio, Manawatu Access Radio Charitable Trust, up to $200,000

Otago Access Radio, Hills Radio Trust, up to $200,000

Plains FM, The Canterbury Communications Trust, up to $254,000

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

Radio Kidnappers, Radio Kidnappers Charitable Trust, up to $210,000

Radio Southland, Southland Community Broadcasters Charitable Trust, up to $197,500

Wellington Access Radio, Wellington Access Broadcasting Society, up to $250,000

Access Media NZ Project, Waikato Community Broadcasting, up to $74,468

CAMA, Community Access Media Alliance, up to $70,000

95BFM, Campus Radio BFM, up to $250,000

Radio Active, Radio Active FM, up to $200,000

Radio Control, Radio Control 99.4FM, up to $85,000

Radio One, Radio One 91 FM, up to $130,000

RDU 98.5FM, RDU 98.5FM, up to $200,000

TV Captioning and Audio Description, Media Access Charitable Trust (Able), up to $2,900,000