Associate Head of Funding (Business Affairs) - Benedict Reid

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Benedict Reid

Benedict joined NZ On Air in January 2010 as the TV Funding Coordinator. Since then his role has grown and he is currently the Associate Head of Funding (Business Affairs)

What exactly do you do day-to-day?

I spend half my time reading and assessing the great applications for funding that we get and half my time trouble-shooting.

I oversee the contracting of most of NZ On Air funding, including ensuring that producers have actually met all our funding requirements. I then get involved in monitoring all our funded contracts, particularly when something tricky or unexpected crops up… such as responding to any health and safety incidents which are reported to us.

For the first year of the NZ Media Fund, I particularly enjoyed chairing all the funding team initial assessment meetings. As a funding assessor, I’m often focused on the business case of a potential project. Questions such as: Does it's budget make sense? How large is the likely audience? Is it clear from the proposal how much content, and in what format, will be produced?

What are the biggest challenges in your job? Has it changed over time?

The biggest challenge for me is remembering names. There are so many people who we interact with on a weekly basis, so I apologise to all the Peter’s who I have called John.

I came to NZ On Air with a pretty good knowledge of NZ television, from over a decade working in jobs at places such as Sky TV and Māori Television. However being at NZ On Air has given me wider interaction with the entire local industry. I’m still getting to grips with who’s who in the NZ radio industry, but I’m getting there. I feel lucky to have been part of the NZ On Air digital assessment and contracting team through a period of time where online video has moved from artistic experimentation to a mainstream format.

When you’re not at work what’s your favourite place to be and why?

A cinema, or a theatre, seeing something weird. I just love seeing something unexpected, surprising and moving… and that still mostly happens to me at film festivals, comedy festivals and Bats Theatre in Wellington. It has the added bonus of me generally knowing who actors/writers/directors are when producers pitch them to us as new talent.

What’s something surprising people won’t know about you?

I still very occasionally hear my 8-year-old voice on RNZ National, as I spent a few hours in an Auckland studio in the early 1980s saying things like “wow”, “tell us another story” or “that’s amazing”. I think it was for the Erratic Attic Radio Show, because I still have a badge they gave me at the time.

Executive Assistant to the CEO - Hilaire Carmody

Hilaire

Hilaire Carmody

Hilaire Carmody joined NZ On Air in January 2018 - with the big job of keeping our Chief Executive in line.

How is your job of EA to the CEO different to previous jobs? I’ve previously been working in the not for profit sector, where we rely on funding to achieve our mission. Sometimes it can be a daunting and relentless task to keep asking for money. It’s great to be on the other side knowing that every day my organisation is helping New Zealanders create the amazing content that they’ve been working hard to make a reality.

What are the biggest challenges in your job? This role requires a lot of juggling, there are always multiple priorities that need to be met. I often feel like my head is a web browser with about 50 tabs open at once.

When you’re not at work what’s your favourite place to be and why? During the day searching through op-shop and vintage stores for great bargains. I’m rather chuffed that our office is across the road from a terrific Salvation Army store. During the night, down at the Fringe Bar on Allen street, it’s my favourite venue. There is always an interesting show with hot new talent on stage; be it burlesque, comedy or live music.

What’s something surprising people won’t know about you? I used to fly and have proudly landed a prop plane at Rongotai / Wellington Airport – apparently it’s listed as the 15th most scariest airport to land in the world. I figure if I can achieve that, I can achieve anything I set my mind to.

Receptionist & Office Administrator - Robyn McAllister

Robyn

Robyn McAllister

Robyn is our 'frontline'. We share her with the Broadcasting Standards Authority.

What do you do? I am the Receptionist and office Administrator for NZ On Air, which means I am the first friendly face people see when they walk in the door to our office, or contact via phone. I also organise most of the travel for our staff and help out with stakeholder and other various office events.

How is this different from what you’ve done before? Previously I was working in Scotland for the Forestry Commission making maps and dealing with land ownerships and tree disease outbreaks so this is a very different role for me. I love being able to deal with people face to face in this role and working with such an eclectic group of people, no day is the same.

What are the biggest challenges of the job? I think the biggest challenge for me was after spending so long living in the UK coming into this job and learning about all the new NZ music artists who I had never heard of. Keeping up to date now with all the new screen content and music we fund can be hard as there is so much great new stuff to listen to and watch.

When you’re not at work what’s your favourite place to be and why? Friends and family are everything to me so when I am not catching up with people, getting out and about socialising, I love experimenting with new recipes in the kitchen and baking. I love being out in nature so going on a big long bush walk or a swim on a sunny day is where I am happiest!

Who is your favourite music artist? My favourite NZ artists would definitely have to be Shapeshifter. I would see them every year they toured in Scotland. I have also recently been listening to Lord Echoafter seeing him live. Outside of NZ it would be Michael Kiwanuka who is an R&B /soul artist from London.

What’s something surprising people won’t know about you? I have been playing and Dj-ing house music on vinyl since I was 20 years old and I still play out and put on my own events every now and again. It is definitely my biggest passion!

Assistant Accountant - Gemma Fulton

Gemma

Gemma Fulton

Gemma started out at NZ On Air as Television Payments Coordinator. Last year she moved into the Corporate Services team as an Assistant Accountant.

What do you do?

I’m one of two assistant accountants at NZ On Air. I process all of the reports and invoices from producers of screen content, and a little bit of community radio. I also assess application budgets and assist producers in any reporting queries.

You came straight from uni - so how well did uni prepare you for this?

My degree (Accounting, Economics, Commercial Law) mostly prepared me for having to write opinions and arguments and apply certain skills. I’ve learnt an immense amount on the job.

What are the biggest challenges of the job?

Trying to keep up with watching all of the amazing content we fund! I’m also ridiculously organised (in my head- don’t look at my desk), so one challenge for me is wanting to expand my knowledge within NZ On Air but also wanting to hold onto all of the other tasks I enjoy.

When you’re not at work what’s your favourite place to be and why?

I love summer, so anywhere I can go for a swim and sit on the beach. My summer break plans include Napier, Rotorua, Tauranga and Whitianga, which I think is pretty self-explanatory.

I also love animals so when I’m in Wellington I always enjoy a coffee from Spruce Goose and a stroll along Lyall Bay down by the dog walking area.

What’s your favourite TV show & music artist?

That’s so hard, but if I had to choose just one I’d probably say Katchafire.

I’m really enjoying listening to the Fresh Cuts playlist at the moment so I can discover some new NZ music while walking to work! My Spotify account is currently paused on the Fresh Cuts playlist- Chelsea Jade’s High Beam. I don’t know if I have a favourite TV show at the moment, with juggling work, study and flying to Auckland every second weekend it’s hard keeping up with serial shows. I mostly try to watch the shows we fund and I’m a fan of documentaries so I tend to watch one-offs and also a lot of web series on demand.

What’s something surprising people won’t know about you?

I was a bit of a child genius at primary school and I once got something like 98% on a Australasian science test. I went to University to study Science in Biotechnology, that only lasted six months and then I realised I was good at accounting instead.

Music Promoter - Content, Hannah Brewer

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Hannah Brewer

Hannah started out as Online Promotions Assistant, working both for NZ On Air as a whole, and the Music channels. Now she spends all her time with the Music team.

Tell us about your role.

My role is Music Promoter- Content. I work to help connect New Zealand songs with New Zealand audiences. This ranges from social media management to delivering songs to radio and other broadcasters.

How is it different to your previous role with NZ On Air?

A big part of my new role is creating and distributing NewTracks, a compilation of new songs from NZ artists each month. This means selecting 28 new songs a month, sequencing them, creating artwork and digitally and physically distributing them to different radio stations and broadcasters throughout Aotearoa.

What are you finding the biggest challenges of the new role?

There is a quick turnaround to create NewTracks each month and a challenge I face is organising 28 songs from 28 different artists within a short time frame. Things can change pretty quickly in this part of the industry so we need to remain really flexible and adapt to things happening at the last minute.

When you’re not at work what’s your favourite place to be and why?

I love to be near (or on) the ocean - I grew up near the beach and still love being near or on the water. If I’m not near the water I also love writing, playing and listening to music.

What’s something surprising people won’t know about you?

When I was a teenager I appeared as an extra in our first NZ On Air-funded daily soap opera - Shortland Street.

Funding Advisor, Nicole Rex

Nicole

Nicole Rex

Nicole comes from a broadcasting background, and a well-connected family.

What’s your role?

I am the Funding Advisor for Community Broadcasting. I look after Spoken Radio, Access Radio, Pacific Radio and Regional Media.

How is it different to your roles prior to joining NZ On Air?

This is a totally different role to the ones I’ve previously had. I come from a broadcasting background, 14 years behind the mic and later behind the scenes as an operations manager. I really enjoy this role because it challenges me. One day I could be writing papers recommending funding for some great Kiwi content, the next I could be meeting with one of my awesome stakeholders watching a poetry recital in beautiful Dunedin! It’s a wonderful role that makes me feel good about the work I do to get Kiwi content funded.

What are you finding the biggest challenges of both settling in and delivering the new strategy and processes?

I had big shoes to fill coming into this role as the previous Community Broadcasting manager was well respected and loved by our stakeholders. The wonderful thing about our stakeholders though, is that they are all amazing people and I get phone calls just to chat or received lovely welcoming emails which made my transition less daunting.

As for the new strategy, this is an exciting time for NZ On Air. The technology age is well and truly upon us and NZ On Air have embraced it and are adapting to meet the rapidly changing environment. The NZ Media fund continues to champion NZ content and content makers. As the funder we want all our providers, producers and musicians to succeed - when you succeed we succeed!

When you’re not at work what’s your favourite place to be and why?

My favourite place is anywhere with my two kids Arty (6) and Senara (5) and my partner Hannay. My kids are my world and it could be us lounging around at home watching Moana for the 100th time or down at the local court shooting some hoops with them.

What’s something surprising people won’t know about you?

I am 125,233th in line to the British throne. The Queen is a great Aunty and Will and Harry my cuzzie bros. My great great great grandfather is King George III (yes the mad one!) In a nutshell he had three sons to Hannah Lightfoot, a seamstress, before marrying Queen Charlotte. Hannah and her sons were exiled and given the last name Rex. One settled in Tasmania in Australia and his grandson came to a little Island in the South Pacific (best island, btw) called Niue. He settled in Niue and the rest is history!

P.S I dropped the ‘Princess’ title back in the 90s but if you must…'Your highness' is fine ;)