A note from the CE


CE, Cameron Harland

Tēnā koutou.

Our agency has been a hive of activity lately – more so than usual!

Yesterday we closed the first funding round for Public Interest Journalism, and it is clear there is massive demand out there for support. This round we have $9.6m to allocate, but for those who miss out, don’t worry, there’s a new financial year just around the corner, with $25m available from July 1.

We are very much looking forward to our newly appointed Head of Journalism, Raewyn Rasch, joining us in a couple of weeks. Raewyn brings a wealth of knowledge, experience and industry connections to our team and will immediately begin building a small team to support the mahi. No doubt she will also jump straight into engaging with the broader sector and learning the ropes around administering funding to ensure we achieve the next milestone of funding decisions by the end of June.

Another new team member we are really excited to have joining us is Cat Goodwin, most recently from media agency OMD, who joins us next week as our new Audience and Media Strategist. Cat has years of media strategy behind her and is coming into a role we created to address a deficit in audience data metrics. She will assist the funding team in both monitoring performance of funded content across the various linear and digital platforms we support and driving future strategy to ensure content is found by our diverse audiences.

On that note, we have taken an innovative approach to funding content for younger New Zealanders in the recently announced Youth RFP decisions. It was innovative in several ways, not least of which was that we utilised the street smarts of young content creators (think TikTokers!) to help us understand what this audience will respond to, and where to reach them. We will be monitoring the success of this initiative closely and learning from it.

It was another significant milestone to announce along with NZ Film Commission and Te Māngai Pāho last week the first production funding through Te Puna Kairangi – the $50m Premium Productions Fund. The spread of successful projects will see high end factual, drama series, feature films and a popular returning children’s series produced for content-hungry international and local audiences. You can read more about the projects here.

We continue to be delighted with the level of local music being played on local radio. The 20% local content target for commercial radio continues to be achieved (and more) after a record-smashing year in 2020. Thank you to the radio programmers who are helping to ensure local songs and artists are being heard and appreciated.

Special mention also to the Student Radio network. We have recently increased their operational funding partly as recognition of the difficult times they have and continue to experience financially, but also to acknowledge that they are a strong bastion for local music and culture. Without them many great alternative artists would struggle to find their audience.

And finally, the Community Access Media Alliance is celebrating 40 years of community access radio. If you haven’t had the joy of finding your local station yet, or the plethora of podcasts on their site accessmedia.nz then I highly recommend you check it out. It’s sometimes quirky, always informative and entertaining, grass-roots content that reflects the many different faces and voices of Aotearoa.

Hei konā mai,


NZ Media Fund update

Our May round was for production applications to our Youth RFP, Scripted and Factual HEIHEI returning series, and Industry Development fund.

In total we received 111 new applications across our Scripted, Factual, Platforms and Industry Development streams, seeking $80.5m in NZ On Air funding. We are pleased to support the funding of 21 Scripted, Factual and IDF applications for up to $4.5m. In addition, we confirmed Platform funding for the 2021/22 year with 27 applications being approved for funding of up to $58.8m.

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.


Bouncers, Culture Factory and West Park Entertainment

Youth RFP

NZ On Air has greenlit 11 innovative new youth projects to be distributed through a variety of online platforms used by young audiences.

Up to $2.4m has been invested in content that will focus on youth voices, perspectives and issues in Aotearoa.

Read more about the 11 projects in our media release here.

Island Of Mystery

Island Of Mystery, Adrenalin Ltd


NZ On Air has funded almost $2m worth of Aotearoa’s most-loved children’s shows in the latest funding round, including news, creepy crawlies and a quirky local series that’s gone global.

NZ On Air has also allocated operational funding from this round to continue support for the HEIHEI Games platform, and to house HEIHEI content on the TVNZ OnDemand site.

Read more about the six exciting returning tamariki series in our media release here.


Able Captioning and Audio Description


Our latest round saw us support 27 platforms for up to $58.8m.

Essential local platforms that have received funding for 2021/22 include 12 Community Access Radio Stations, five Student Radio Stations, Samoa Capital Radio, the National Pacific Radio Trust, the HEIHEI Games Platform, HEIHEI on TVNZ OnDemand Platform, Able Captioning and Audio Description, the Digital Media Trust which runs the NZ On Screen and AudioCulture sites and more.

You can read all the funding details about each platform at the end of this newsletter.

% expenditure to date

Current round

July is the first round of the new financial year and we expect the annual inundation of applications.

As we did last year, we intend to provisionally cap the Factual and Scripted funding committed to this round to ensure funds remain for later rounds.

  • Factual – genres prioritised for this round include Documentary and General Factual applications (including Events). Approximately $10m has been allocated for content intended for general audiences.
  • Scripted – applications for the Premier, Sustainable, Newer Storytellers strands of our Scripted Roadmap will be considered. Approximately $20m has been allocated for content intended for general audiences.
  • Development – both Content (including Diverse Development) and Industry Development applications will be considered. Please see the Development Roadmap.

Important dates

22 April 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.

20 May 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 will not be generous.

14 July 2021 - Decisions confirmed, applicants notified the following day.

This date may be extended at NZ On Air’s sole discretion

Public Interest Journalism

The inaugural funding round for the Public Interest Journalism Fund (PIJF) closed at 4pm yesterday.

Decision for application up to $1m will be made by 28 June

Decisions for applications greater than $1m will be made by 14 July.

The below guidance documents were published to help applicants understand how the fund will work, what they can apply for, and whether they may be eligible.

  • The General Guidelines is the foundation document which sets out the fund’s objectives, eligibility and assessment criteria.
  • The Round guidelines set out what we were accepting applications for in this first round.
  • The Funding flowchart is a step-by-step guide to the funding application and assessment process from start to finish, and will be especially useful for first-time applicants.
  • The Q and A attempts to anticipate common questions and provide answers.
  • The Funding Deadlines document has the opening and closing round details until the end of the year.

Music update


Taite Music Prize winner – Reb Fountain

The 2021 Taite Music Prize was awarded to Reb Fountain at an event in Auckland on 20 April for her magnificent 2020 self-titled album.

At the ceremony Na Noise were awarded the Best Independent Album award for their debut album ‘Waiting For You‘, the Independent Spirit award was granted to Pete Rainey and Glenn Common from Smokefree Rockquest, and the Patea Māori Club were honoured with the Classic Record award for their ground-breaking single ‘Poi E’ released in 1983.

NZ On Air had invested in all of the finalist records for 2021 and the event highlighted the range of quality artists and recordings that are being produced in Aotearoa. Read more about the event and results here.

Music funding 2020/21

We have just completed the final New Music Single round for the 2020/21 funding year, rounding out a year of boosted funding thanks to the 2020 Arts Recovery package.

This has enabled us to invest in more than 206 New Music Single projects in the past 12 months, along with 49 New Music Project grants (multi-single releases), 80 New Music Development grants, 35 New Music Kids grants, 14 Waiata Takitahi grants (with Te Māngai Pāho) and 20 New Music Pasifika grants.

We’ve already seen a large increase in the range and volume of music coming through in the past few months and we’re very excited about some of the amazing songs, video and promotional content still to come. Our increased funding for music runs until June 2022.


Children’s Music Awards

The APRA Children’s Music Awards will be presented at Auckland’s Tuning Fork this Sunday 16 May - including awards for Best Children’s Song, Best Children’s Music Artist and Best Children’s Music Video .

We’ve created a playlist to celebrate all the wonderful children’s music practitioners who have been nominated this year – essential listening if you have little ones at home or in the car!

Meet the team


Meet Allanah, Head Of Communications at NZ On Air and the wahine who keeps us all informed!

Allanah's mahi spans all the way from dealing with media, stakeholder and public enquiries, to planning and overseeing our research programme. In her time at NZ On Air she's led the development of key industry research, including the annual Where Are The Audiences? report and 2019's New Zealand's Identity, Culture and the Media research.

Even when she's not at the office Allanah is still busy - tending to her menagerie of dogs, chooks and sheep is no small feat!

Learn more about Allanah, her role at NZ On Air, and what local content she's been loving recently on our Meet The Team page.

Funding decisions

Youth RFP

**Note: Only the primary distribution platform is listed in the synopsis of each project. Distribution across multiple social media platforms is a key component of many of these projects.

Bouncers, 8 x 5 mins, West Park and Culture Factory for YouTube, up to $289,638. Bouncers will follow a rag-tag trio of clueless security officers and their boisterous supervisor as they struggle to keep their jobs in the temp department of a security company.

Here If You Need, 6 x 10 mins, Tumblin’ Cheek Productions for YouTube, up to $248,994. Dark comedy series Here If You Need will follow a young woman who forms a social netball team to better understand the circumstances of her brother's death.

I Got You, 30 x 1 min, Cadness Street for Instagram, up to $200,183. Vertical comedy series I Got You will see a 24 year old Pasifika woman cover her family's bills with a side hustle of dishing out dating advice, despite having no relationship experience.

Self Help, 8 x 7 mins, Wrestler for YouTube, up to $300,000. Self Help is a comedic exploration of the world of personal self-improvement, through the lens of a young man struggling to find healing and self-acceptance in the wake of a breakup.

Amplified, 6 x 8 mins, Vetiver Pictures for RNZ, up to $211,646. Hosted by Jess Fu, Amplified will shine the spotlight on young musicians who use music to explore, embrace and connect with their cultural roots

Check Check, 36 x 12 mins, MTCO for Re:, up to $100,000. A series of original, short-form, live music performances by diverse New Zealand artists in amazing Aotearoa landscapes.

Shit You Should Care About Presents: Extremely Online, 25 x 2 mins, Hex Work Productions for Instagram, up to $260,382. An explainer video series set to unravel the chaos and complexities of the internet for a young Kiwi audience.

STILL HERE, 4 x 13 mins, Four and Five Films for Re:, up to $195,430. Documentary series STILL HERE will profile millennials from the remaining Pasifika community in Auckland’s affluent inner-city suburbs of Ponsonby, Grey-Lynn, and Herne Bay.

Tribal: Inside New Zealand’s Wildest Music Scenes, 6 x 10 mins, Fairfax NZ for Stuff, up to $170,900 plus a platform contribution of $29,920. A documentary series investigating how music builds diverse and devoted sub-cultures across Aotearoa.

Young and Famous, 31 x 3 mins, Manaia M for YouTube, up to $230,088. A raw, real, and crazy ‘behind the fame’ look into the lives of some of New Zealand’s most viral content creators, who will expose some of the less glamorous elements of being Young and Famous.

2000s Baby, 5 x 10 mins, Re: for Re:, up to $190,980 plus a platform contribution of $39,600. The babies of 2000 are turning 21 and inviting audiences to their birthday parties in the new documentary series 2000s Baby, which will explore what it looks like to become an adult in different parts of Aotearoa.


Bug Hunter! Aotearoa, 6 x 10 mins, Gibson Group for HEIHEI, up to $303,368. Follow Morgane Merien, aka the Bug Hunter, as she searches for unique insects and spiders living across six of Aotearoa’s most extreme and special habitats.

Island Of Mystery 2, 10 x 9 mins, Adrenalin Group for HEIHEI, up to $385,079. Josh, his dog Kazumi and his rōpū of newfound friends continue their quest for the godstick in the second season of this animated series.

Kea Kids News 2021/22, 40 x 7 mins, Luke Nola & Friends for Stuff, up to $608,461 plus a platform contribution of $36,320. Kea Kids News 2021/22 will keep Aotearoa’s young citizens educated and engaged with news made by tamariki, for tamariki.

Riddle Me This!, 8 x 4 mins, A Grain Of Rice Production for HEIHEI, up to $265,950. A mesmerizing animated series chronicling how a group of children use their powers of critical thinking and imagination to solve an intriguing mystery riddle

Welcome To Cardboard City 3, 10 x 5 mins, Vinewood for HEIHEI, up to $271,400. Join unlikely cardboard heroes as they embark on more crazy, pint-sized blockbuster adventures in the third season of this award-winning series.

Yap Trap 2, 15 x 2 mins, Sad Patrol for HEIHEI, up to $154,815. An animated musical comedy series that creates oddball humor from stock and archive footage and photography.

Platforms 2021/2022

Access Radio

Voxpops, Kinga Voxpop Limited, up to $48,150

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 $4,760,000

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

Access Radio Taranaki, Access Radio Taranaki Trust, up to $240,000

Arrow FM, Access Radio Wairarapa Charitable Trust, up to $190,000

Coast Access Radio, Coast Access Radio Trust, up to $185,000

Free FM, Waikato Community Broadcasting, up to $302,000

Fresh FM, Tasman Broadcasting Trust, up to $225,000

Manawatu People's Radio, Manawatu Access Radio Charitable Trust, up to $230,000

Otago Access Radio, Hills Radio Trust, up to $235,000

Plains FM, The Canterbury Communications Trust, up to $289,000

Planet FM 104.6, Access Community Radio Auckland, up to $300,000

Radio Kidnappers, Radio Kidnappers Charitable Trust, up to $240,000

Radio Southland, Southland Community Broadcasters Charitable Trust, up to $227,500

Wellington Access Radio, Wellington Access Broadcasting Society, up to $295,000

Access Media NZ Project, Waikato Community Broadcasting, up to $90,430

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

Student Radio

95BFM, Campus Radio BFM, up to $300,000

Radio Active, Radio Active FM, up to $250,000

Radio Control, Radio Control 99.4FM, up to $150,000

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 $4,900,000

RNZ, Radio New Zealand, up to 42,606,000

HEIHEI Games Platform, Gamelab, up to $148,280

HEIHEI Operating Costs, TVNZ, up to $458,190

NZ On Screen and AudioCulture, Digital Media Trust, up to $1,399,500

Additional funding

Tokyo 2021 Paralympics, 12 x 720 mins, TVNZ for TVNZ 1, up to 101,597

Waharoa Portal To The Past, Gateway To The Future, 2 x 45 mins, Frame Up Films for Prime, up to 83,213

Patrick Gower On...2, 2 x 44 mins, Ruckus Media for Three, up to 31,750

Breaking Silence 2, 8 x 10 mins, Magnetic Pictures for Stuff, up to 10,662

Rural Delivery 2021, 10 x 23 mins, Showdown Productions for TVNZ 1, up to 6,037

Return Of The Wild, 4 x 45 mins, Fisheye Films for RNZ, up to 39,926

Tumeke Space S1: Part 1, 5 x 22 mins, Mukpuddy for HEIHEI, up to 217,400

The Panthers, 6 x 44 mins, Tavake Limited for TVNZ 1, up to 123,149

Ahikāroa 4, 20 x 26 mins, Kura Productions for Māori Television, up to 88,050

Kura 2, 6 x 15 mins, Plus6Four Entertainment for TVNZ OnDemand, up to 17,009

SIS 1, 6 x 22 mins, SIS The Show for Prime, up to 45,760

Princess Of Chaos, 1 x 90 mins, Chaos Films for TVNZ 1, up to 19,200

Taskmaster NZ 2, 10 x 44 mins, Kevin & Co for TVNZ 2, up to 14,692

RDU 98.5FM 2020/2021, RDU 98.5FM, up to $13,458

NZ On Screen and Audioculture Capital 2020/2021, Digital Media Trust, up to $38,600


New Music Project

Balu Brigada, Goldie Management, up to $40,000

Donell Lewis, Five AM Artists Management, up to 40,000

Jenny Mitchell, NicNak Media, up to 30,000

Lilly Carron, Goldie Management, up to 40,000

Niko Walters, Universal Music New Zealand, up to 39,200

Reb Fountain, Flying Nun Records, up to 32,000

Shepherds Reign, Wrecking Ball Media, up to 30,000

Sit Down In Front, Native Tongue, up to 29,528

Troy Kingi and ChoiceVaughan, Tavake Limited, up to 40,000

New Music Single - up to $10,000

Abby Lee Ft. Vince Harder, Look What You Made Me Do

Aidan Fine Feat. Church & Ap, Clv

Alae, Forever

Alien Weaponry, Down the Rabbit Hole

Amamelia Feat. Junny , Love Is Useless

Ant Utama, Any Other Way

Beastwars, Cold Wind

Bexy, Not the One I Want

Dbldbl Ft. Pollyhill and Lvj, Big Mike

Deadbeat, Diamonds

Dual, Two Hands Up

French for Rabbits, Ouija Board

Gino October Ft. Chaii, About That

Holly Arrowsmith, Desert Dove

Indi, Crushed

Isla Noon, Talk About Us

Jack Page, Halfway

Jamie Mcdell, Not Ready Yet

Jarna, If Only You Knew

Jazmine Mary, Move Me

Louisa Nicklin, There Will Be Times

Lucky Boy Ft. Phoebe Rings, Burned Out

Mazbou Q Ft. Raiza Biza, G.o.a.t Problems

Nicholas Franchise, Worry Bout

Osqar, Company

Park Rd, Control

Prins, Follow Me

Sam V, Wired

Shannon Matthew Vanya Ft. Ives, Saw It In Your Eyes

Sheep, Dog & Wolf, Periphescence

Shepherds Reign, the Cup Has Spilt

Sylvee, Retrograde World

Tom Verberne, Tangled

Trei X Lee Mvtthews Ft. Nu, Lights Out

Upper Hutt Posse, Say Do Don't Do People

Voom Ft. Fazerdaze, Magic

New Music Development - up to $6,000

Abigail Knudson

Alex Wildwood


Anna Edgington

Cody Patea

Delaney Davidson

Guy Harrison

Harry Charles, Sophie Bialostocki

Jazmine Rose Phillips

Jesse Austin-stewart

Jol Mulholland

Joseph Faris

Josh Edmonds

Mazbou Q

Mckenzie Comer

Nathan Haines

Paddy Hill

Pierre Beasley

Reti Hedley

Sarena Close

Scott Seabright

Solomon Crook

Stephen Small

The Response

Timon Martin

Vivek Gabriel

Wayne Bell

Industry Development

NZ Television Awards 2021, J & A Productions, up to 60,000

Māoriland Film Festival 2021, Māoriland Charitable Trust, up to 10,000

Māoriland Industry Development - He Uru Maire, Māoriland Charitable Trust, up to 80,000

Yami Sounz Summit 2021, Lake Wanaka Sounz Incorporated, up to 6,000